When the nation’s pubs and bars reopened in April, folk flocked to their beer gardens. With only outdoor seating allowed, we were initially blessed with relatively dry and occasionally sunny weather here in York. And then May brought with it the wind and rain that makes the British outdoors such an unreliable experience.
Much as they have done throughout the last year, hospitality venues adapted to these new rules and unpredictable conditions in style. York is not only making the most of its outdoor spaces, but cleverly making them fit for all weathers. So, when they’re not acting as sun traps, you’re still able to enjoy a garden beer, heated from the cold and sheltered from the rain. Here are a few of York’s best all weather options…
Previously more well known as a sumptuous basement bar to snuggle down in with quality tapas and glorious cocktails, Sotano has turned itself into an equally ace outdoor terrace to do just the same at. The Mediterranean feel is perfect for sunny days, but Sotano knows exactly where they are, and so have also got some stylishly sheltered tables and ample heaters to cosy under into the night.
The Whippet Inn
The elegant interior of The Whippet Inn has somehow been replicated to transform its exterior into a lush courtyard. With decor and lighting designed to bring the indoors out, it is only apt that the setting is covered and heated too. A brilliantly unique way to enjoy one of York’s best dining experiences, and perhaps a bottle of wine while you’re comfy here.
Tank & Paddle
A popular spot for a few good reasons, from craft beer to bottomless brunch to football screens, you can now add Tank and Paddle’s beer garden to the list. Their swish balcony is great for catching some laid back rays, and they’re prepared for worse weather too, so that you can remain warmer and dryer than the River Ouse below.
This traditional pub serving real ale and good times has a great beer garden to keep enjoying both of those things in. Tables and benches with central brollies to keep us dry mean that they’ve even been able to put on outdoor live theatre performances in The Gillygate garden since reopening.
Thirteen Thirty One
A favourite York bar that offers eclectic attractions, including cinema and sports, pool and parties, and wining and dining, they also have a lovely beer garden. Nicely lighted and mostly heated and covered, these tables and benches are a lovely spot to stay for their 241 cocktails and famous nacho-chip hybrid chipchos.
The Judge’s Lodging
The Judge’s Lodging is as grand as its name implies, and whilst the elegant interior must wait for now, they are offering al fresco eating and drinking in a beautifully relaxed setting. You can sip your sparkle in heated comfort, and there are a number of tables which can be booked under cover for a well judged verdict.
This impressive sight is a collection of grade II listed buildings sympathetically transformed into Middletons Hotel. Their outdoors is a wonderfully pleasant garden and decking to while away the time with a York Gin and some local grub. With effective table umbrellas too, come here and they’ll give you shelter from the storm.
Images: Sotano, The Gillygate, Middletons Hotel