London's best barbecues

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Nothing is more satisfying than the sizzle of a summer barbecue

Hog Roast Hog Roast - © Rob Greig

Every sunny-day session should be accompanied by the tempting aromas emanating from the barbecue. Our favourite barbecues provide more than just fuel to soak up the drink – most of them are gastronomic destinations in themselves.

A quick caveat: we don’t want to rain on your parade, but given the vagaries of our weather, not to mention the vagaries of some venues, always phone ahead and make sure the barbecue is on – hot coals and torrential downpours don’t mix

Time Out's guide to barbecues in west London

  • Aragon House

    247-249 New Kings Rd, Parsons Green, SW6 4XG (020 7731 7313)

    This handsome Parsons Green public house is well known for its smart and spacious beer garden. Over the summer, it hosts a barbecue every day (weather permitting) noon till 3pm Monday to Friday, and all the way through to 10pm at weekends. Finding its way on to one of the two huge new grills is an inventive range of own-made burgers (beef, satay chicken, halloumi and roasted vegetable) and other, more ambitious ingredients like sea bass or sirloin steak. A line-up of crowd-pleasing beers, plus cider (Aspall’s, Scrumpy Jack), Deuchars and a regularly-changing guest ale, is another attraction. Read more

  • Grand Union

    45 Woodfield Rd, Westbourne Park, W9 2BA (020 7286 1886)

    The Grand Union’s situation might not rival Little Venice in evoking a pastoral waterside idyll in the heart of the city, but drinking beside any body of water always exerts a magical pull, even if the ducks are dodging plastic bags and beer cans. Unconnected to the mini-chain of GUs across London, this Westbourne Park pub is named after the canal by which it occupies a spot on one of the less glamorous stretches. The barbecue is held every sunny Saturday and Sunday from noon-6pm on the canalside terrace, and comes with similar gastropub credentials to the popular kitchen menu. Eats might run to hot dog and chips, full-flavoured beef and chorizo burger topped with melted mature cheddar, or a mixed fish grill (black sea bream, sardines, king prawns), while pints of London Pride or the seasonally-changing draught (Spring Sprinter, perhaps) keep throats well-oiled. As for weather, if it doesn’t hold, don’t despair – they’ll seat you in the ground floor dining room and fire up the indoor grill instead. Read more

  • The Old Ship

    25 Upper Mail, Hammersmith, W6 9TD (020 8748 2593)

    The tree-fringed deck, overlooking the languid curves of the Thames, is probably one of London’s best spots for getting a cold-one outside. The food menu is excellent (including great charcuterie and artisan cheese boards), but the big attraction in summer are the barbecues, held every Saturday and Sunday (and some Friday evenings), weather permitting. The grill menu is short but effective, focusing on expertly cooked beef and chicken burgers and tuna steaks. The alfresco area is split into a fully covered, heated terrace, and a more open balcony, both of which offer table service and allow reservations. There’s also a less formal section featuring ten picnic tables. Read more

  • Kensington Roof Gardens

    The Roof Gardens

    99 Kensington High St, W8 5SA (020 7368 3960/www.roofgardens.virgin.com)

    The evening barbecue buffet (at a lofty £60 per person) will be accompanied by mellow live jazz performances. Med-style starters (hummus, olives, couscous) pave the way for meaty grills including pork shoulder steaks, herby chicken, lamb sausages and veg concessions such as portobella mushrooms and green asparagus.

  • The White Horse

    1-3 Parsons Green, SW6 4UL (020 7736 2115)

    This popular pub nuzzled on the corner of Parson’s Green takes barbecuing seriously – using only charcoal grills and roasting whole hogs. Every weekend from noon (plus sunny weekdays from 6pm), the pavement jams with eager drinkers queuing to rip into bacon cheeseburgers, grilled chicken, or juicy pork baguettes slathered in apple sauce. If you’re lucky, you might even find fresh seafood (jumbo prawns, say) thrown on the grill. Limited outdoor seating in a walled roadside area forces most indoors, but the spacious pub dining room often proves the less rowdy and more comfy option. The taps flow with eight rotating ales including a number of small-batch varieties (such as Moorhouse’s Black Cat and Hook Norton’s Old Hooky). The kitchen also produces a tasty seasonal menu with posh items (guinea fowl salad with oyster mushrooms and a truffle dressing), as well as gastropub staples including Cumberland sausage and mash or beer-battered haddock with home-cut chips. Read more

  • White Swan

    Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DN (020 8744 2951)

    The interior of the White Swan has seen better days, but this doesn’t matter. You’ll be sitting outside at one of the dozen or so picnic tables across the road on the sun-drenched riverside terrace with the Thames lapping at the slipways either side of you, and views of boaters and weeping willows stretching either way. On the pub’s terrace, a gas-fired barbecue does simple barbie dishes (beef or lamb steak, salmon, sausages, or a Saturday hog roast) and you help yourself to the simple salad buffet on your paper plate. It’s not gourmet fare, but our steak was cooked correctly, and a plate of food only costs £8, or £5 on match days (when there’s no salad option: fans of the rugger want pure meat, apparently). Among the four oft-changing beers is Twickenham Naked Ladies from a local microbrewery. Read more


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