That’s all about to change, of course, from Monday (12th April). In case you’re suffering from a mind-blank, or sheer unbridled panic at the pressure of booking a coveted outside spot, we’ve come to the rescue.
So here’s a helpful list of a dozen-and-a-half terraces, gardens, front-bits and courtyards to while away the summer months, chilled libation in paw. Oh, and a disclaimer: it’s in no particular order.
The Grove Green Road craft beer and wine bar relaunches with Japanese kitchen Sho Food Doh this month. A successful crowdfunder means its blank canvas courtyard is to become a leafy haven of trees, bushes and pergolas covered with climbing and trailing plants that’s usable all year round, whatever the weather. @fillybrook, more here.
In the Before Times, we rather enjoyed a quiet pint and vegan streetfood in this astroturfed backyard, with its trio of booths and well-established flora, all secret-garden realness. @thebirdsleytonstone, more info.
The tiny Leytonstone taproom morphs into a more destination brewpub in May, occupying a couple of the arches off Grove Green Road. Outdoor seating takes over the pedestrianised cobbles, well away from the traffic. @solvaysociety, more here.
The best-equipped restaurant in Leytonstone for alfresco dining, there’s nothing more joyous than a ‘mini break’ on the terrace here, glass of Yakut in hand, in the early evening sun, with some mezze to nibble on. @theolivelondon, read our review here.
To Be Consumed
Buzzy spot just down from Leytonstone High Road Overground where you can sit with a sophisticated wine (served on tap) and watch the commuters pour out (while waiting for your streetfood). Win, win. @tbcwine, More here.
Coach & Horses
The Leyton High Road landmark is another west-facing afternoon suntrap – hit the raised decking for maximum rays. Plus there are benches, a handy covered-bit and an outside bar that we imagine will be put to good use this summer. @thecoachleyton, more here.
That corner where Francis meets Grove Green Road (our featured pic, above): locals flock to the quirky courtyard, strewn with festoon lighting, best appreciated with pint of Hells and wood-fired pizza in greasy paw. Access is through the old rear gates, too. More info.
William The Fourth
Up near the Baker’s Arms, this boozer can provide a little respite on a stroll back from Walthamstow Village at the weekend. Its walled courtyard is tucked-away and makes Leyton High Road feel like miles away. @williamthefourth, more here.
The cafe-turned-grocery store is back with lots of alfresco seating, draft pints of craft beer and coffee, snacks and pastries: linger and watch the action on Francis Road. @marmelo_kitchen, more here.
The Red Lion
The original – and still divine – tarted-up local boozer on the High Road boasts a Mediterranean-style high-walled courtyard (see below). This one is easy to spend a lost afternoon in. @redlione11, More info.
This pub, just off Wanstead-Flats in south Leytonstone, has an achingly hot suntrap garden (as well as spacious front terrace), yet with plenty of shade on offer to stop you cooking. Top burgers, too. @leytonstonetavern, More info.
Heathcote & Star
Its stunning and capacious garden, with central bar, is almost rural, like the village pub it could be (or perhaps once was). It makes for lively, sun-drenched people-watching (try the Krapow kitchen, too). And sister pub the Leyton Star is entirely different-in-feel, but no less fun, all inner-city outdoor vibes. @heathcotestar, @theleytonstar, more info.
Leyton’s acclaimed craft brewery has soared in popularity over the last few years and they’ve now opened a larger taproom with terrace, right by Leyton Midland station (opposite Host). @gravitywellbrewing, more here.
Jellied Eel at Strange Brew
The North Star
Bask (factor 30 firmly applied) like a lizard, Neck Oil in hand, pondering the timeless view over Bushwood’s tiny historic cottages. But be warned: the sun is ferocious all day long. At least if things get too over-heated there’s a shadier rear courtyard, too. Pizzas are recommended. @thenorthstarpub, more info.
Hare & Hounds
The outdoor areas, if you haven’t trekked over to this Lea Bridge Road pub – reputedly Leyton’s oldest – are a genuine cause for joy, with lots of space, comfy and not-so-comfy seating. And that was before the post-lockdown revamp. @hareandhoundse10
The news that the acclaimed Francis Road restaurant reopens as a cafe/wine bar from June was an exciting social media story this week, which means it will have a very decent front pavement terrace, as well as cosy Tuscan-style walled back garden, which catches the afternoon rays through the vines. @yardarm_leyton
The Alfred Hitchcock
Finally, we couldn’t do a round-up without a mention for the grand old Whipps Cross Road watering hole that directly faces Leyton Flats: with all the hammering and cleaning in the roadside courtyard recently, expect a very spacious, sheltered area to sip a pint. Let’s face it, you deserve one.
And, by popular demand, one more for the road…thanks to our readers and followers who mentioned The Birkbeck Tavern on Langthorne Road, whose surprisingly park-like oasis boasts lawn, picnic benches and lots of established foliage: another E11 gem.
Main image: The Northcote (SE)