Marianna Hunt

Picturesque pubs for a post-lockdown pint

  • From Spectator Life

There are few finer pleasures than sitting by a river or canal in summer – cold drink in hand. With the bitter winter weather on its way out and pub gardens given the green light to reopen from April 12, a balmy few months of al fresco drinking and dining are now upon us.

Here are the seven best pub gardens around the UK to book now.

The Sun Inn, Essex


With bunting strung up and marquees and deck chairs spilling across the lawn, the garden at The Sun Inn has the charming feel of a village fete. The pub sits in Dedham, in the heart of Constable Country on the Essex Suffolk border. A village church spire peeps over the garden hedge.

The outdoor bar is open for drinks Friday to Sunday from April 16, 12pm until 6pm. Bar snacks, such as handmade sausage rolls, will be available to buy and visitors are also welcome to bring their own picnics. A £1 per head service charge will apply.

There’s also a gravel pit where you can play boules.

The Black Rabbit, West Sussex


This riverside pub has its own jetty, framed by weeping willows, where pleasure boats moor up in summer. The outdoor picnic benches have sweeping views over some wetlands to Arundel Castle, which dates back to 1068.

The historic building has been a pub for centuries and for many years was owned by the Duke of Norfolk’s family. There are wild swimming spots nearby, although the current is extremely fast so be careful.

The Black Rabbit reopened on April 14, with an open-sided marquee outside to shelter diners. The garden menu has options to suit most diets, from a vegan aubergine katsu curry to a steak pie with beer gravy. On Sundays they do meat and vegetarian roasts.

The Boat Inn, Monmouthshire


Sitting along a popular kayak route on the River Wye, The Boat Inn has a charming terraced garden that leads up to a waterfall.

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