Pubs are finally back open! And although we’re having to stick to drinking outside for now, Brighton has some truly stunning pub gardens that have been welcoming drinkers back with open arms. There’s no time like the present to try somewhere new too – so we’ve compiled this list of 14 amazing pub and bar gardens across Brighton that you just have to visit this summer!
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Tucked between the bounty of yachts and sailboats moored at Brighton Marina, you’ll find one of Brighton’s best outdoor drinking spot: The Watershed. This laidback nautical-themed bar and restaurant has a gorgeous al-fresco terrace with premium views across the marina; it’s the perfect place to sip a spritz or two whilst soaking up the shimming sun that flickers off the water. If you’re looking to treat yourself, be sure to book their bottomless brunches – with unlimited Bloody Marys, Prosecco cocktails or draught beers, you really can’t go wrong!
THE BLACK LION
Anyone who’s anyone has heard of the infamous Black Lion. By day a trendy foodie pub, and by night a lively hub of music and sloshing pints, it’s a popular spot to swing by for any occasion. Their pub garden has been well orchestrated to harbour a good time whatever the weather, with heated and sheltered benches forming the bulk of the garden, so you can guarantee that your next pub visit won’t be rained off. Top tip: if you’re looking to drink something special, be sure to cast your eyes over their brand new cocktail menu.
The Mesmerist’s rooftop bar is one of our go to hangouts. Adorned with a criss-cross of colourful festoon lighting, plenty of heaters and a retractable roof covering should the weather turn against you, the team behind the Mesmerist have pulled out all the stops to create an outdoor space that’s full of energy, comfortable and practical (after all, we don’t live in a particularly hot part of the world do we). Paired with a couple of pints from Laine Brew Co. (mine’s the Ripper Session IPA) and a big portion of Jackfruit fries, pub gardens don’t get much better than this.
If cocktails are your bag, then Mrs Fitz’s should jump straight to the top of your must visit list. Mrs Fitzherberts’ list of drinks is extensive, boasting favourites from Espresso Martinis and Amaretto Sours to unique twists like their Peach Old Fashioned (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Demerara, Peach Bitters), meaning you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. Their street-side seating area is always bustling, from the moment they open until last orders are called; if you’re a people watcher (guilty as charged), you’re going to love it here. There’s also regular street food pop-ups to keep hungry drinkers fuelled (Pabu Kebabs were recent residents), and there’s nearly always a passing street performer who sets up shop outside and brings the noise.
BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL
Brighton Music Hall have been working hard behind the scenes this year to improve and extend their outdoor drinking space – and they’ve absolutely cracked it. Along with their array of old school pub benches on their, they’ve constructed seven new beach huts available to hire for a few drinks and a little something to eat from Brighton Music Hall’s vibrant street food inspired menu. They’ve also built a pagoda which is fitted out with lights and heaters so you can settle in for a long evening without the cool coastal breeze scaring you off. Let’s just say, they’ve thought of everything!
Okay, Lazy Fin might be more restaurant than bar, but with an outdoor space this good, we couldn’t not include it on this list. Situated right on the beach front, Lazy Fin offers an amazing coastal view from its intimate and cosy outside seating area. It’s food menu starts at breakfast with a classic line-up of dishes (try the sweet potato hash), all the way through the delicate evening plates (pulled pork crispy tacos – yes please) which means it’s a good spot to swing by at any time of day. And to drink, well the coffee is spot on – but it’s their choice of mezcals that floats our boat (the mezcal verde is an old favourite of ours).
THE TEMPEST INN
If you’re looking for a seafront bar with an attitude, you’ve found it. The Tempest Inn is one of our all-time favourite drinking spots in the summer months, thanks to its spot on location, great party atmosphere and cracking food (their Korean fried chicken is on another level). During the height of the summer, you’ll be pushed to find a sunnier spot in town so be sure to pack your sunnies and slap on some sun cream if you want to indulge in the beautiful seafront views.
BISON BEER'S BEACH BAR
The Bison Beer team have created a little slice of seafront paradise with their very own Beach Bar. Loaded with some incredible craft beers (we’re talking cans of their own brews, alongside the likes of Unbarred and DEYA) and partnered with Humble Plates’ Wood X Coal BBQ street food, Bison Beer’s Beach Bar this is one cool spot to hangout. Expect good tunes and good times well after the sun has set.
We’ve been waiting with bated breath for The Med to reopen, and the time has finally arrived! If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat and catch up with your closest pals, then look no further. The Med team have created an intimate outdoor terrace for small groups to wine and dine together; picture kicking back with a glass of Vinho Verde or a cool Aperol Spritz whilst savouring exceptional small plates inspired by Mediterranean tastes and textures, and you’re more than halfway there. It’s an absolute must visit this summer.
If you’re partial to a spot of live music, then we bet our bottom dollar that you’re a regular at The Brunswick in Hove. This 1930s pub has a well deserved legendary status, owed to its amazing line-up of past, present and future performers, as well as regular jazz nights hosted by a house band and local talent showcases (open mic night, anyone?). Although indoor events are on hold at the moment, the Brunswick spirit has been taken outdoors; their sizeable covered garden area promises to be a hub of merriment with drinkers sharing some of the best craft beers and cask ales from amazing regional breweries. If it’s your first visit, we definitely recommend getting a pint of their very own Brunswick Best Bitter (brewed by Downlands Brewery).
You don’t come across pub gardens like this very often! Purveyors of seasonal food and local craft ales, the Good Companions is on every pub loving Brightonians favourite watering hole list. Back in ‘normal’ times, this stylish modern local is usually packed to the rafters with revellers; cosy and warming, it’s an irresistible drinking spot on cold, dark evenings, attracting folk from all over the city. But right now, it’s the pub garden that’s really coming into its own! With seating available both at the front of the pub and outback, there’s ample space for everyone to rock up and grab a drink or two. Ahead of this summer, the Good Companions team have even constructed a number of booths in their rear garden, each one decked out with lights and heaters to keep you comfortable all night long.
THE GEORGE PAYNE
Much like the exterior of the pub itself, The George Payne prides itself on a picture perfect garden, decorated with brightly coloured hanging baskets, rustic garden furniture, and stylish festoon lighting. It’s the perfect spot for a quiet mid-afternoon drink (their cider selection is exceptional if you were wondering) with a packet of pretzel pieces, and a handful of close mates. But if you’re looking for something more substantial than two pints of lager and a packet of crisps, fear not – Yakamodo Pan Asian Kitchen are taking over The George Payne’s kitchen space in 2021, serving up spongy bao buns, Korean style fried chicken and ramen bowls. Get in the garden, grab yourselves a bao and let summer commence!
The Sidewinder boasts not just one, but two amazing beer gardens each with their own unique style. The first is a much more intimate space; a garden with art deco touches, street art and a hodgepodge of furniture, neatly arranged underneath a web of brightly coloured festoon lighting. At the far end, there’s a huge sheltered section with plush soft sofa-like seating – the perfect spot for post-work team drinks or to rally your group of 6 together in one space. The other is even bigger and offers much more shelter with hand-built booths, lined with cushioned wooden benches and plenty of heaters for those cooler nights. Tuck yourself into one of these with your best mates, and we guarantee you’ll be in for a good night.
THE STONEHAM PUB
Well-known for it’s gastro dining, The Stoneham Pub is a cracking family run pub situated on the bustling Portland Rd. Kitsch yet on equal parts stylish, The Stoneham Pub team have put all their effort into making this the dream local, with an incredible menu of ethically sourced food (who can resist their crispy confit belly of pork ) and an effortlessly cool drinks selection. Outside, the grassy garden space is a splash of fresh air, attracting the beaming sun throughout summer days. It’s dog friendly too, so make sure the pup gets an invite next time you swing by!