‘Blackheath itself is one big pub garden’, but if you’re partial to tables, chairs and access to loos, then you’re in luck – Blackheath has some brilliant beer gardens…
1 The Princess of Wales, Blackheath
As the team at the Princess of Wales correctly point out, ‘Blackheath itself is one big pub garden’. As well as the courtyard out front, from where you can nod your calm approval over the expansive Heath, the pub also has a substantial courtyard out back with plenty of seating, as well as covered and heated areas. Drinks-wise, choose from at least 20 speciality beers and ciders on tap and a world of wines. But this is not just a lovely pub for a roast and a pint, The Princess of Wales is something of a legend, since it served as the changing room for the first-ever England-Wales rugby international, which was played on the heath.
1a Montpelier Row, Blackheath SE3 0RL; princessofwalespub.co.uk
2 The Royal Standard, Blackheath
Elegant yet cosy, this pub has not one but two gardens where you can enjoy craft beers (check out their tap takeovers) and top-of-the-range fare. The main menu offers a superb selection of freshly prepared food using quality, seasonal ingredients along with a selection of light bites and classic favourites. The pub also serves up brunch and great Sunday roasts, and do look out for their brilliant special events, from open mic nights to live DJ sets.
44 Vanbrugh Park, Blackheath SE3 7JQ; royalstandardblackheath.co.uk
3 The Crown, Blackheath
This one’s roadside, which normally keeps beer gardens off our favourites list (nobody loves sharing their prosecco with petrol fumes), but The Crown can’t be ignored for its sheer vibrancy. Located right at the top of Blackheath Village, a stone’s throw from the rolling greenery of the Heath, there are plenty of seats for you and your chums to gather and get a little giddy pre-sunset. Plus, the circular picnic benches mean nobody’s stuck on the end all on their tod.
49 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath SE3 0BS; crownblackheath.co.uk
4 The Dacre Arms, Blackheath
This is a real gem. A bit of a boozer, with carpets and a very unfancy interior. Goodness knows how it’s managed to resist the typical buy out and gastropub makeover, but it has, and it’s a real treasure. Perhaps because it’s slightly off the beaten path, which also means its rarely crowded. Having said that, here we are blabbing about it… Plus, the beer garden’s had a killer makeover with a lick of paint, some pretty posies and a garden bar. Get there before everyone else does.
11 Kingswood Place, Blackheath SE13 5BU; @dacrepub
5 The Lord Northbrook, Lee
A cheeky addition on account of it not being in Blackheath, but The Lord Northbrook is just a brisk 25-minute stroll away in Lee. The smart, popular gastropub has a fantastic decked garden out back – perfect to linger over a couple of jugs of Pimm’s with friends – and great bar food such as homemade Scotch eggs and cheese and anchovy straws. There’s also a fab selection of ales from small local breweries and an extensive wine list.
116 Burnt Ash Road SE12 8PU; thelordnorthbrook.co.uk