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Go alfresco: great pubs with the best gardens

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Another beautiful English day! If ever there was a day to know where to go for a lovely alfresco pub lunch this is it.

Hopefully there’ll be some new ones that you can try on my list below. And if you know of any brilliant pub gardens not mentioned, spill the beans and I’ll spread the word!

Have a great day x

Jacobs Inn, Wolvercote, Oxford

jacobs inn patio
A pub so brand-spanking new it’s not even a week old! This is the much-hyped inn from the guys behind brilliant Headington cafe Jacobs & Field is situated prettily in the Oxford village of Wolvercote and boasts a colossal decking area. I’m hoping to review Jacob’s Inn next week (or maybe even today if I can get my act in gear) but if you make it there first, pleasey please let us know what you think.
[Photo credit: Foodie On Tour]

The Mole & Chicken, Easington (Bucks)

The Mole & Chicken ext

William and Kate were outside in the garden recently, hanging out with their posse (or whatever you call a royal entourage these days). The food is just fabulous – read my review here – and the small garden has gorgeous views over the Buckinghamshire countryside.

The Sir Charles Napier, Sprigg’s Alley, Nr Chinnor (Oxfordshire)

More of a restaurant than a pub in truth (there’s the small issue of the Michelin star) but it has such a phenomenal garden that it deserves to be included. Beautifully tended lawns, bold sculptures and gorgeous walks every which way from the entrance. You can stop for a drink in the week, weekends you’ll need to book for food too.

The Perch Inn (Binsey, Oxford) 

Port meadow and the perch Aug 10 2013 038
This gorgeous 17th century inn is just how I like them – down an enchanted country lane, next to a river, traditional but quirky and with a hell garden, with massive willow trees, wooden monkeys in trees, flamingos hanging from branches and lover’s seats. An outdoor bar/deli area serves chips and tapas in the summer and there’s a marquee for fun as the sun goes down.

The Olde Bell Inn, Hurley (Berks)

Oh alright, this one’s in Berkshire but it’s so fabulous it has special dispensation.  I reviewed it last year (read it here) and loved it – it’s a lovely old pub with gorgeous child-friendly gardens,  and an outdoor kitchen/ bar in a stunning waterside village. On a sunny day, walk down by the river past the locks and over bridges.

The Pink and Lily, Lacey Green (Bucks)

Love this outdoor area

I reviewed this pub just yesterday and it definitely deserves inclusion with its stylish modern seating, decent sized garden and large pirate ship play area for little kids. Older children can sneak inside to play on the retro arcade games.

The Fishes, Oxford


The Muddy Awards finalist boasts a glorious three acres not far from central Oxford. Buy a picnic from the bar and luxuriate in the sunshine.

The Black Boy, Oving (Bucks)

Oving is the chocolate box village chosen to shoot the original Hovis ads, full of gorgeous thatched cottages and grassy verges (also tantalisingly close to Waddesdon Manor if you want to make a detour). The Black Boy is a 16th century pub has a foodie reputation, though I haven’t eaten here for some years myself, and a stupendously lovely garden with a high terrace and far reaching views.

 The Trout at Tadpole Bridge, Faringdon (Oxfordshire)

the trout at tadpole bridge

Stunning countryside Cotwold pub with lovely large garden. Definitely child-friendly, with a littlies menu that offers simple dishes that kids will eat without resorting to chicken nuggets.

The Compleat Angler, Marlow (Bucks)


A bucolic setting just by Marlow bridge and bang on the Thames with a great reputation for food and slick service. An added bonus is the hotel parking so you don’t have to do battle with the ferocious local traffic wardens.

The Swan Inn, Denham (Bucks)

the swan inn, denham
A stonker of a Georgian pub in a quintessential South Bucks village, with a large, attractive beer garden. Denham is well worth a stroll around afterwards.

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