16 brilliant pub gardens for post-lockdown drinks in Warks
Pubs are officially allowed to open for business this weekend, so we've rounded up our pick of 15 glorious pub gardens and terraces for a socially-distanced drink.
Is there anything more British than a beer garden or terrace in the sunshine? After a challenging period, pubs have been given the all-clear to open from Sat July 4 and the safest space amid the ongoing pandemic is outdoors.
So weather permitting, book al fresco drinking & dining in advance, be mindful of the new social-distancing practices and enjoy one of summer’s simplest pleasures.
Whether you want your green space near a river, meadow, fields, village or tourist attraction, we’ve scoured the county for the best in show. Bear in mind that many of these pubs will have booking systems in place to limit their capacity, so don’t just rock up expecting to nab a seat – make sure you check the websites or phone first!
Here’s 16 of our favourites across Warwickshire – form an orderly “1-metre plus” queue:
If you’re looking for a relaxed lunch out with the family you can’t go wrong with this friendly, rural pub. Situated on the banks of the River Leam next to a Grade II listed sandstone bridge, the star of the show at this past winner of Best Destination Pub in summer is the frankly gigantic garden. It’s recently further extended into a neighbouring field in preparation for the July 4 reopening – and there’s even an outdoor kitchen.
No 44 Brasserie on the Waterside, The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
This small luxury hotel has an award-winning 2 AA Rosette restaurant has uninterrupted views across the River Avon from the awesome outdoor terrace, and award-winning garden, plus the added benefit of being opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Food options include a variety of ‘small plates’ to share, favourites, seasonal dishes and Sunday lunch to enjoy while soaking up the rays in a relaxed atmosphere. You can expect live, online availability, table bookings and a smart/casual dress code when it reopens on July 17.
The George Townhouse, Shipston-on-Stour
This gorgeous Georgian-fronted award-winning Warwickshire pub-restaurant with rooms reopens on July 4, five days a week (with Tues and Wed closed). It has a wonderfully sunny patio overlooked by the Garden Room. Table bookings will be taken for both food & drinks, inside and out. Booking in advance is strongly recommended and where possible pre-ordering your food.
Fizzy Moon Brewhouse, Regent Street, Leamington Spa
The large garden space at this friendly Muddy award-winning buzzy bar in the centre of town, with its own micro-brewery, cocktail bar and no less than 150 varieties of gin (take me there immediately!), has undergone a magical makeover to comply with government guidelines. For all bookings email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Old Coffee Tavern, The Old Square, Warwick
At the back of this character Victorian boozer – formerly a teetotal coffee tavern – just off the main town square is a lovely sheltered ‘secret’ walled courtyard garden with seating and parasols – a nice spot for a cold rosé and al fresco lunch or dinner on balmy summer days. You’ll need to book a table for inside or out here for July 4 onwards.
The Kitchen Bar & Restaurant, Farnborough
Nestled in the heart of a beautiful, and ancient, rural village on the edge of the north Cotswolds, this honey-coloured stone Grade II listed country eating house has a great reputation for food. It’s in a bucolic setting complete with working kitchen garden and outdoor seating areas with far-reaching views, close to the National Trust’s Farnborough Hall. Local food heroes Jo and Ant – chef have been extraordinarily busy in lockdown with their pop-up Saturday shop (10am-12noon) selling Ant’s fab sourdough and wild garlic pesto, as well as Pop-up Friday takeaway service.
The Castle at Edgehill, nr Banbury, Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon
Enjoy a pint of Old Hooky from pub owners Hook Norton Brewery in the extensive garden of an imposing 18th century folly with far reaching views across the Warwickshire countryside unchanged since 1642 when the battle of Edgehill took place in the fields below. The design of the castle tower – where you can also stay – was based on Guy’s Tower at nearby Warwick Castle. Register on arrival and outside you order from the Shack Bar.
The Clarendon Arms Kenilworth
The little walled garden at this Grade II listed traditional family pub opposite Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, is a suntrap, and dog-friendly. You can tuck into honest hearty pub food. A weekend takeaway service is also still up-and-running from 5pm – 8.30pm on Fri & Sat, plus Sunday lunch. Email your table bookings and follow the re-opening guidelines here.
The Howard Arms, Illmington
A chocolate-box, 400-year-old Cotswold-stone inn on the village green, just outside Shipston-on-Stour, with a lovely newly extended secluded garden. The pub is reopening with a celebratory garden bbq on Sat July 4 (need to book ahead), a 12pm bar opening with a Sunday Roast available until 5pm on Sun July 5 and back to ‘normal’ from Mon July 6 for bar and restaurant food with new measures and guidelines in place. It’s still supporting the local community by providing a takeaway service in July every Fri & Sat (4pm-6pm) and Sunday (3pm-5pm).
The Stag at Offchurch, nr Leamington Spa
This picture-perfect thatched country gastropub is in a peaceful spot in the tiny village of Offchurch, off the Fosse Way. It’s operating an app-based ordering service. A large grassy pub garden is filled with summer blooms where you can savour delicious home-cooked food, fine wines and real ales with popular Aubrey Allen Butchers’ Sunday Roasts.
The Chequers Inn, Ettington
Refurbished in 2018, this independent traditional 18th Century pub & restaurant just outside Stratford-upon-Avon has a focus on well-sourced ingredients, craft beers, wine and cocktails. You can book to dine in the long lavender-scented fairy-lit garden. It reopens on July 4 and is now taking reservations here.
Baraset Barn, Alveston, nr Stratford-upon-Avon
Last year Paul Hales and business partner Paul Salisbury from Lovely Pubs opened their first 16-room hotel at this stunning rural barn conversion, two miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. A Muddy award-winning boutique stay it has a stylish bar and lounge, large airy conservatory and cleverly landscaped outdoor sun terrace with firepit. A wide-ranging, good value menu features Warwickshire produce. A full restaurant service will be available for dining in the garden, and a limited number of tables can be booked by calling on the day.
Arrow Mill, nr Alcester
This Brunning & Price gastropub certainly makes the most of its secluded riverside views, with a stone terrace and grassy beer garden overlooking the water. Situated in rural Warwickshire, close to Stratford-upon-Avon, by the Roman market town of Alcester, this former mill lies borders the Ragley Hall estate. Deckchairs, beautiful planting to attract wildlife and glorious scents add to your al fresco dining experience. Outside tables aren’t available to book, but a controlled queuing system will be in place when busy. Safety measures in place here.
A quintessentially English Country Pub & Home Eatery situated in the delightful Warwickshire hamlet of Armscote near Stratford-upon-Avon. Sip their famous Ducks Fizz cocktail or weekend ‘Bloody Mary’s & Papers on the decking area or large child-friendly garden when it reopens on July 4.
This former 18th century coaching inn with eight rooms in the pretty village of Alderminster reopened following a refurbishment under new management in Feb just before lockdown, then closed in March. Now run by Brunning & Price its safety guidelines are on a a par with Arrow Mill. The spacious pub garden overlooks the Alcot Estate. Likewise outside tables are not available to book, but a controlled queuing system will be in place at busy times. A date for summer reopening is to be announced imminently.