The Fentiman Arms, Stockwell
The Fentiman Arms is a buzzy local positioned between Oval, Vauxhall and Kennington tube stations – close enough from the Oval cricket ground that you can just hear the roar of fans on match days. This is a warm, homely pub with superb quality British food and friendly faces aplenty. A covered and heated garden comes with festoon lights, comfortable chairs, snug lounging areas and upholstered bench seating. The kitchen serves up British pub classics as well as Sunday roasts, all paired with bloody marys, ales and craft beers
The Warrington Hotel, Maida Vale
Opened in 1857, The Warrington makes the most of original features such as mosaic floors, stained-glass windows, pillared porticos, art-nouveau friezes and marble fireplaces. Not far from the canals of Little Venice, the pub is also close to Lord's – ideal for a post- or pre-match game once sport reopens to crowds. For now, The Warrington’s large shaded patio garden is on our radar for Sunday lunches and beers with friends.
The Kenton, Hackney
The Kenton was runner-up in 2019’s Observer Food Monthly ‘Best Place To Drink’ competition. We can confirm it is indeed an outstanding spot for a few weekend pints. On Sundays, count on Scottish topside of beef, leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic, free-range corn-fed chicken, or butternut squash and artichoke nut roast. In time for pubs reopening, a fixed roof over half of the garden has been installed, while the open half has three sails that can be strapped on in case of rain.
The Hero of Maida, Maida Vale
On the site of the much-missed Truscott Arms, this stylish pub is the work of Harcourt Inns, the collective behind The Coach that specialises in rescuing noteworthy sites and conserving them as drinking and dining destinations. Headed up by Henry Harris, the Hero’s menu merges classical French cooking with British ingredients: Sunday lunches include whole roasted black leg of chicken with bread sauce, and treacle-cured chateaubriand with madeira sauce. Independent beers from family-run breweries are served from behind a zinc-topped bar, alongside a variety of wines – all of which can be enjoyed on its terrace.
This Islington dining room is located in a former neighbourhood boozer. Neil Rankin might have left the kitchen in 2016, but his region-spanning influence remains. Many of the dishes that stole the show when it launched are still on the menu today – think Korean chopped brisket roll with gochujang; pork tacos with green sauce and chipotle aioli; smoked gammon steak with jalapeño, pineapple and duck egg. All are available to tuck into in its pretty beer garden, where guests can sip craft beer and local ales (20 on tap, and 60 in bottles) in dimpled glass tankards.