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Coronavirus restrictions are soon lifting, which means we can once again drink and dine indoors. But with warmer weather on the way, we may actually choose to sit outside and finally enjoy al fresco pub trips minus the wooly hats and thermals! So here are some of our favourite UK cocktail bars with outside seating that you can book this summer, from riverside gardens to sunny terraces...
At the heart of Manchester’s financial district is The Lawn Club, a glamorous bar and kitchen with plenty of outdoor seating. There are lawn houses (mini greenhouses), lawn pods (cosy glass domes) and deckchairs for lounging, as well as plenty of indoor space. The cocktail menu includes all the classics, from Pimm’s to ‘Lawn’ Island iced tea, as well as some more unusual concoctions, such as an orange flower mojito and a sharing Aperol spritz in a giant watering can.
One of Cambridge’s most iconic venues, this rooftop bar boasts impressive panoramic views over the historical city. An extensive cocktail menu features tipples such as a lychee martini, an elderberry collins made with homemade blueberry-infused gin, and sharing cocktails for four people. The terrace also offers a menu of classic barbecue grub, but for a more formal affair, guests can eat at SIX, the hotel’s brasserie.
The Pumproom is the award-winning Copper Rivet Distillery’s restaurant and bar, and it has a spacious terrace with a beautiful view of the river Medway in Chatham. All the spirits used in their cocktails are created at the neighbouring distillery using grains farmed on the Isle of Sheppey. We love the Dockyard Kent strawberry gin, which is infused with local strawberries.
If you’re impartial to an Aperol spritz (or three) on a summer Saturday, head to The Refinery in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. Adorned with the cocktail’s signature orange hue and decked out in bunting and lights, the garden is a tranquil spot for an aperitivo and bite to eat. Other cocktails on the menu include negroni and sbagliato (a negroni with prosecco instead of gin).
London’s trendy Hackney Wick is home to Barge East, a restaurant and bar on a 118-year-old canal boat with beautiful accompanying gardens. As well as cans of Beavertown craft beers and The Uncommon wine, you can enjoy bottled cocktails from East London Liquor Co, plus street food if you get peckish. If you don’t manage to secure a booking, they save a third of their tables for walk-ins.
If you’re venturing to Dorset this summer, visit The Nook Cocktail Club on Weymouth’s seafront. The bar’s outdoor area is covered and heated, serving freshly made cocktails that can be ordered for delivery or to go (great for sipping on the beach). For a more luxurious experience, The Nook and Sea Salt Events will organise a stunning sunset picnic for you on Chesil Beach.
Hotel Chocolat’s sophisticated bar and restaurant has an outdoor terrace overlooking London’s bustling Borough Market. Its sister bar is on the Rabot Estate cacao farm in Saint Lucia, and Rabot 1745 celebrates the rich ingredient with an innovative chocolate-themed cocktail menu. Choose from the likes of a cacao old-fashioned and chocolate mojito, as well as a range of velvetised vodka creams.