RSS Feed

Brum’s Best Beer Gardens

Posted on
public domain imagehttp://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=35287&picture=cool-beer

public domain imagehttp://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=35287&picture=cool-beer

You know how it is, we wait months for a sunny day then two come along on consecutive days.

Everyone rushes out to take in the Vitamin D.

‘This is it’ they cry.

‘Summer is finally here!’

You rush out to buy a new summer wardrobe, you debate buying a gas barbecue. You debate building an outside wood burning pizza oven.

Then suddenly, as quickly as it arrived our ‘Summer’ is over and we are once more flung back into the overcast existence of typically British weather.

The point is at the moment we should seize the sunny days as they occur. With this in mind here are my top five Birmingham beer gardens ahead of this weekend’s May Bank Holiday.

The ever so cool beer garden at The Lord Clifden is more fun than it sounds.

The ever so cool beer garden at The Lord Clifden is more fun than it sounds.

I wasn’t sure about this place in the Jewellery Quarter until recently. With its abundant collection of modern art (including a Banksy no less!), too-cool-for-school clientele such as Damian Hirst and Observer Food Award, I thought it would be trendy to the point of alienation. I’m half expecting Proudlock and Phoebe from Made In Chelsea to make a special Shoreditch-lite pilgrimage at some point.

But it turns out this beer garden is held in good regard by locals for a reason. Lots of seating space, a ping pong table, a constantly repainted/ graffiti-clad/ muralised  post box and its own beer make for a decent afternoon.

Apparently the garden has just had a makeover and if you want to want to check it out then you’re just in time for one of their Kitchen Disco parties this weekend on Sunday 26th. Entrance is free and from 2pm sounds and BBQ smells will be emanating from the garden. Roasts will also be on until 9pm too.

The good news is that there will be music events in the garden all summer providing a good opportunity to take a chance on this local institution.

The Figure of Eight's beer garden.

The Figure of Eight’s beer garden.

Now, now – we mustn’t get snotty about this being a Witherspoon place. For all the branding, they do at least keep pubs running that would have gone under as indies.

I have included this on the list because it does have the biggest beer garden in the city centre and a rather nice one at that. It was right around the corner from where I used to live. The drinks and food were cheap, there were never any fights, it was well-lit in the evenings and it was just an easy-going place to hang out which is all you can ask from a beer garden. Enjoy.

Jekyll & Hyde's beer garden has and Alice In Wonderland theme. Photo courtesy of joskitchen.co.uk

Jekyll & Hyde’s beer garden has and Alice In Wonderland theme. Photo courtesy of joskitchen.co.uk

As regular readers will know, this is one of my favorite bars in the city. It has a tiny beer (or should that be gin) garden out back with twinkly lights and Lewis Carroll murals. It gets crowded so best for an early drinking session (but that just means it can be first stop on your bar crawl).

This bank holiday it will unusually be open on Sunday (26th) but not Monday and there will be lots of Blues/ Motown/ Loft music all weekend (here’s a handy link to what’s occurring on which night).

OK, girls might appreciate this particular page of J&H's cocktail book more than any red-blooded males out there but it does give you an idea of the inventiveness on offer.

OK, girls might appreciate this particular page of J&H’s cocktail book more than any red-blooded males out there but it does give you an idea of the inventiveness on offer.

They also have what I consider to be the BEST BANK HOLIDAY DEAL  – £4 cocktails have been extended to all day and night on Saturday and all night on Sunday so a good opportunity to grab a whole bunch of the best gin & tonics in town!

Beer garden at The Prince of Wales. It is a pretty extraordinary place.

Beer garden at The Prince of Wales. It is a pretty extraordinary place.

When it’s a bonafide sunny afternoon in Brum, I like to go to the epicenter of pub garden awesomeness and that means Moseley Village. Just a 15 minute hop on the No. 1 bus from Town Hall or Broad Street and you are transported to Birmingham’s liveliest suburb.

The Prince should be on the list of best pub gardens in Britain, never mind Brum. For it is not just somewhere to take your pint and sit, it is a veritable beer garden complex not unlike the beer gardens in Munich’s English Gardens yet this is way more British in its eccentricity.

It's wine in a shed - how could you not love this place?

It’s wine in a shed – how could you not love this place?

Not only is there a ridiculously huge amount of seating but you are covered in the event of a downpour, you are heated in the event of a strong breeze and you are table-served in the event of sheer laziness.

It gets even better: dry ice cocktails at the Mo Tiki bar.

It gets even better: dry ice cocktails at the Mo Tiki bar.

I know, brilliant, right? Well it doesn’t stop there. Within the garden is a wine bar (Shed du Vin), a cigar bar and a Tiki cocktail bar. All this and a stage for the inevitable folk band performances (well, it is Moseley). There is a definite party atmosphere here which is really infectious – I dare you to come here and not have a good time. No really, I have some great dares lined up. Bring it!

A mere 2 minute stroll down the street from the Prince is this Mitchell’s & Butler’s owned (though you wouldn’t guess it) city boozer with another A1 beer garden in the rear. I told you – Moseley does this sort of thing better than most places.

41_thefightingcocks_gardenhero_03

     You remember at school when there was an annual Parents’ Committee barbecue and it was held at the farm of one of your friend’s dads? No? Just me then. Well, this beer garden reminds me of those kind of barbecues.

So many nooks and crannies to hide out in this place. I once took shelter on a leather couch in a barn here! There are the obligatory fairy lights, the music, the occasional hog roast. Like The Prince it is a really great place to while away the evening. And people mingle good-naturedly, a bit like parents at a barbecue.

And a special mention goes to…

  • The sun terrace at the top of The Cube
Spectacular view from the top of The Cube and it's slightly closer to the sun.

Spectacular view from the top of The Cube and it’s slightly closer to the sun.

Although I’ve heard mixed reviews of the Marco Pierre White restaurant attached, the terrace is pretty stunning. I’ve only been there at night and was not so impressed by the cocktails (or some of the clientele) but my old hairdresser told me that  she and her colleagues would retire there during sunny lunch hours to have a beer and sit outside.

Thinking outside the box, it could be worth a go.

Happy bank holiday folks, have a good time and maybe I’ll see you at one of the above 🙂 .

Advertisements

9 responses »

  1. Two Moseley pubs and yet Harborne (the Plough, New Inn, Junction, the Bell…to name but a few) has missed out – all are well worth a visit and equally close to Bham city centre!

    Reply
    • Sorry Rob, I’ll have to get my arse over to Harborne at some point to see if they they are better than the others. Just my opinion though; I think Moseley does a good one-two punch as far as beer gardens are concerned.

      Which Harborne beer garden do you think stands out and why? If you can better the other ones then I’ll certainly try to get over there this weekend. 🙂

      Reply
  2. The Lord clifton and the Jekyll & Hyde I love your murals! More places should have them! I’m biased as a muralist myself but they are fab!

    Reply
    • Absolutely – hooray for murals! Thanks for commenting. There is so much interesting urban art on display in Birmingham, more establishments should let the kids (or talented muralists like yourself) have a play with their outdoor spaces. The results can really enhance the atmosphere, especially when combined with effective lighting.

      Reply
  3. Some more suggestions in Brum and elsewhere…

    Reply
  4. The Church Inn on Great Hampton Street could be one to add to your list – only one week old!

    Reply
  5. Love all these places, I agree The Plough in Harborne needs a mention. Also The Garden House on the Hagley Road is lovely in the sun, but gets really busy. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Pub Crawling towards The World’s End: Brum’s Best Drinking Pubs | Brummed Out

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: