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: a recent change of management has created a spacious, sheltered area to sip a pint. Let’s face it, you deserve one. Read more about it here.
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)