Pubs glorious pubs! Oh how we've missed them. Never has a day been marked so fervently in our calendars: 4 July, the day when the government has officially decreed pubs can open their doors once more.
Sadly not everywhere's open, but we've tracked down some of London's best pub gardens reopening for Sunday lunches, quick pints, lazy afternoons, after work drinks and – if we can wangle it – during work drinks, too.
Anywhere we've missed? Let us know!
Wells Tavern, Hampstead
In a neighbourhood packed with brilliant pubs, the Wells Tavern still has a strong rep as being king of them all. There's a great list of wines and draught beers, and the pub is putting on a new menu for its reopening. What's more, the covid-19 guidelines means you're now able to book a table on its much-loved terrace, and they're adding extra outdoor seating on the pavement and in the parking bays.
The Albion, Islington
Tucked away in leafy Barnsbury lies the Albion, a Georgian beauty of a pub complete with extensive garden at the rear that's got to be one of London's worst-kept secrets. Sat under trees strung with fairy lights that flicker to life as the sun goes down, you'll probably be so happy to be in a pub you'll have forgotten all about the pandemic. Reservations for up to 6 people and cash payments only, opening 6th July.
The Lighterman, King's Cross
The only thing that beats a pub garden is a pub garden by the river, and for that The Lighterman in King's Cross ticks all the boxes with not one but three terraces. Soak up pints of freshly poured craft beer with freshly made flat breads and watch the world go by. Bookings open now.
The Blue Anchor, Hammersmith
Perched at the edge of the Thames in Hammersmith, The Blue Anchor was first licensed as a pub in 1722, but records suggest it was selling beer long before that. Which makes it very, very old. But we can also tell you it's very, very good and it's reopening on the 9th July, with a reduced number of tables on its famed terrace, which are only available to book.
The Metropolitan, Notting Hill
For fresh pints and juicy burgers, look no further than Notting Hill's Metropolitan pub, which has a garden and a roof terrace for all you al fresco boozing needs. The pub's taken the chance to do up its outdoor spaces so they're even more lush than before, and the tables are available to book now.
A Kentish Town classic, Abbey Tavern is reopening for reservations from 4 July. It's got a beer garden and a roof terrace, so book a booth for you and up to 5 mates. This is a pub known for its vibe, and that's what we've all been missing, right?
The Crooked Billet, Clapton
A fave among long-standing locals and Clapton hipsters alike, the Crooked Billet's garden tables usually groan with thirsty punters glugging pints of Five Points IPA. With reduced capacity, things will look a little different now – but it's sure to be busy, so you'll want to get yourself in the queue at 11am on Saturday on the dot.
40ft Brewery, Dalston
Beer doesn't come much fresher than when it's poured in a micro-brewery's taproom, which is why we and the masses are ready and waiting to park our butts at 40Ft Brewery in Dalston, which is open all day, erry day from 4th July. You can go in groups of six max, seated only.
The Crown & Greyhound, Dulwich
With generous gardens at both front and back, south east stalwart The Crown & Greyhound has space aplenty for you and your pals. It's best to reserve a spot before you pitch up – bookings are open now.
The Dolphin, Sydenham
Filled with carefully pruned topiary, The Dolphin has the best-groomed pub garden you ever did see. It's absolutely picture-perfect, and throw in lauded pizza by Wandercrust wood-fired pizzas (make ours a salsiccia e friarielli) and you'll understand why it's one of the best pubs in South East London. Make a booking now or face queuing on the day.
Four Thieves, Clapham
With a micro brewery, arcade games, decent food and even more decent beers, it's no surprise that the Four Thieves is one of the most popular pubs in Clapham. During lockdown its been hosting virtual events from comedy to bingo, but on 4 July it reopens for socially distanced shenanigans.
The Fentiman Arms, Oval
The Fentiman Arms is a star of South West London, and it's not hard to see why. The is a pub packed with character, all the way from whimsical wallpaper to gargantuan garden, complete with burger shack. Bookings only from 20th July.