The weekend is fast approaching which traditionally means seeking out a great pub garden or terrace to enjoy long family lunches and sun-downers with friends. A truly good pub garden can sometimes be hard to find and the best seats are usually taken before you’ve had a chance to order your Pimm’s. So we’ve decided to spill the beans on some of our favourite hidden pub gardens. Some are tucked away, others are a little out of town, but all are worth the journey and are prime secret spots for your weekend plans.
For beautiful gardens a-plenty, the Cotswolds should be your first port of call. The Lion Inn can be found in this area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Built in honey-hued Cotswold stone amid the tea rooms and antique shops that dot Winchcombe’s high street, it brims with quintessential Cotswold charm. But step out-back and you’ll also discover a beautiful English garden filled with lavender and summer blooms that wouldn’t look out of place in any Jane Austen novel. Pub garden bliss.
What The Admiral Codrington‘s outdoor terrace may lack in size, it more than makes up for with its incredible food, drink and stylish crowd. Think gourmet burgers and a menu of fresh fish dishes paired alongside Bellinis, Aperol Suns and inventive G&Ts. All of this is hidden away in the heart of Chelsea, which is probably why it’s become a favourite hang-out for London’s stylish set. That and the fact that it is within perfect striking distance of the capital’s big hitting museums that line Exhibition Road – your bank holiday plans sorted.
If you were thinking of paying a visit to Goodwood this weekend, we highly recommend a pit-stop at the boutique White Horse in Chilgrove. Nestled at the foot of the gorgeous South Downs, there’s plenty of room for everyone on their vast terrace where fresh fish (the South Coast isn’t far) and lobster are served. You can even enjoy a croquet match on their private lawn and sample their brand new martini menu that has launched just in time for summer – the Parma Violet Martini or the Pear & Elderflower Martini are not to be missed.
We’ve said for a long time that The Old House Inn in Copthorne is one of Sussex’s best kept secrets. If you’re planning a bank holiday getaway via Gatwick, it’s the perfect spot for an overnight stay before or after your trip. It’s a mere seven minutes away, although you’d never guess when you’re relaxing in their peaceful (and enormous) garden, savouring fresh wood-fired pizzas from their outdoor oven. They even have a brand new children’s play area, so you can concentrate on sipping your pre or post-holiday G&T while the little ones entertain themselves.
It doesn’t get much better than a canal or riverside setting when you’re looking for a sunny spot to enjoy at the weekend. At The Dundas Arms in idyllic Kintbury, you have both. Only those in-the-know may have already ventured through the barn doors at the side where it opens up to reveal a jaw-droppingly beautiful garden, filled with flowering shrubs and knobbly apple trees. It is set with the River Kennet on one side and the Kennet and Avon canal on the other – the latter providing a pretty backdrop of bobbing canal boats. The best bit? The train from London drops you off literally outside its doors – so no designated drivers required. A good thing too, considering their superb list of local ales.
THE SUSHI LOVER’S HIDEOUT
Fancy some Sushi made from only the finest British ingredients? This is one Hampshire garden that tops our foodie lists every time for its inventive and tempting food. At the back of the quaint The Yew Tree you’ll find a sun-trap with a fresh fish counter, tables decorated with teapot planters, and barrels filled with fine fizz and chilled rosé. Picnic blankets are provided and dogs are warmly welcomed – the perfect excuse to take Fido on a long country walk this weekend. They also have rooms too should you wish to stay longer.