Right on the knife edge of Shoreditch and the city, this popular pub attracts a crowd of bearable (ie not too twatty) scenesters and a dribbling of suits either lost on their way home from the city or there in a vain attempt to appear hip. Rain or shine the best action’s always to be found outside on the pavement though some heaters and more chairs wouldn’t go amiss. The pub is also the main purveyor of the ‘East End Fever’, an unknown substance pumped into the air that means, if not careful, you will soon find yourself battered beyond belief and insulting your best friends, losing your girlfriends laptop and/or headbutting a girl too small and nice to deserve it (delete as appropriate)
SEATED: A smattering of tables, doorways to sit in and window ledges to lean on.
TUBE: Liverpool St, Old St, Aldgate East
UPSIDE: A blind dog, classic East End landlady who will hula hoop on the pavement when she sees fit, good ‘wanker watching’
DOWNSIDE: no heaters, Friday and Saturday get real busy, all gets a bit silly when Tracy Emin/Pete Doherty show up…
HOURS: pub hours (some cheeky lock ins)
Little fifties themed bar, lots of red leather and tube lighting. We were thrilled to find two classic arcade game tables. Attracts a random (in the true sense of the word) crowd. As Blackstock Road tends to. -BF
Seated: A bench out front provides a spectacular view of the Post Office and the internet café, as well as some traffic lights.
Location: About half way down Blackstock Road.
Upside: Arcade games (take a pocket full o’silver).
Downside: Football crowds after Arsenal games spoil the view from the smoking bench.
Hours: Pub hours (late Friday and Saturday).
Nice little pub, fairy lights everywhere and wooden everything. Out of place crap graffiti above the bar kinda ruins it, but if you squint, you can pretend it’s not there. Obligatory Thai menu. Delicious though. Landlord (I assume he’s the Landlord anyway,) is the rudest man ever to serve me a cider. -BF
Seated: The word “garden” would be pushing it, but there’s a room with three tables and no ceiling out the back. Some well-placed wall plants provide ideal homes for ten thousand mosquitoes. Probably evil minions of landlord.
Location: Highbury end of Blackstock Road.
Upside: Thai green curry.
Downside: Being bitten half to death on a summer’s eve.
Hours: Pub hours.
Apparently trendy Soho pub. Feels like a Weatherspoon’s by-the-sea. Completely without character. Bar staff are bloody enthusiastic though; we got asked whether we were waiting four times while being served. Clientele mostly in drainpipe jeans with bed hair. -BF
Seated: There’s a rather nice looking garden, but it was raining when I went, and there are no umbrellas. So. There is also an alleyway next to the pub. The building next door provides shelter from the elements.
Location: By Berwick Market.
Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Upside: Warm ex-air-con-air from the Chinese next door blows onto the smokers congregated in the alleyway.
Downside: Warm ex-air-con-air from the Chinese next door blows onto the smokers congregated in the alleyway.
Hours: Pub hours
Niceness: Maybe in the summer it would get a 4. In the winter not so much. Don’t bother.
Makes it easy to understand how Amy Winehouse went so wrong. Get there early and get a seat. And, oh my, have a fish-finger sandwich. -BF
Seated: Two gardens. TWO. And one of them is a roof terrace.
Location: Castlehaven Road, opposite the horse market entrance to Camden Market.
Tube: Chalk Farm
Upside: Roof terrace (with tables, umbrellas AND heating).
Downside: It’s about as “scene” as it gets. And it gets super busy.
Hours: Depends who you are.
Niceness: On a quiet night it’s an 8.
This place is fucking amazing - see picture below - they love smokers, heaters, an actual roof, sofas outside - this is amazing.
SMOKING: Room for about 400 people with heaters and seats.
LOCATION: Folgate Street (just off shoredtich high street)
TUBE: Liverpool St
UPSIDE: Seats, heaters, a roof, warmth - its amazing
DOWNSIDE: not much really
HOURS: pub hours
Bland as you can get, cheapo hotel bar. Has tables outside on a little raised porch with fake heat lamps.
SMOKING: 4 tables on front porch with awning
LOCATION: Southampton Row
UPSIDE: seats and a cover in an area where there isn't much
DOWNSIDE: fake fucking heat lamps - deceptive
HOURS: pub hours
Nice normal average pub. Picnic tables
outside. Nice staff and good Thai kitchen. Curfew for beer at 10pm (I think).
SMOKING: picnic tables (often busy)
LOCATION: Balcombe street (next door to Marylebone tube, v near)
TUBE: Marylebone/Baker Street
UPSIDE: normal pub, nice staff, good beer, space to stand in the street if tables are full.
DOWNSIDE: Bit office-workery if you care about that kind of thing.
HOURS: pub hours
Awesome pub, great jukebox, good food, wicked landlords (Angus, Kenny). High walled courtyard with tables/chairs. A 10 min walk from Angel tube but worth it.
SMOKING: out back in the courtyard
LOCATION: Off Packington Street/St James Street, Islington
UPSIDE: great atmosphere, clientele, away from traffic.
DOWNSIDE: angry neighbours so quietness encouraged.
HOURS: 12am-ish (not sure about 10pm kerfew?)
Trendy bar/venue crammed with weedy Graham coxon-alike boys and Kate Nash wannabes with wonky art school hair. Cunts. Large outside under-cover area. Inside at ten by order of huge bouncers. Don’t try and resist them. £3:30 for a pint of Red Stripe. Pricey n’that. - Ol' Doc Benway
SMOKING: outdoor tables/chairs.
LOCATION: Hoxton Square TUBE: Old Street/Liverpool Street
UPSIDE: hot girls. No main road traffic.
DOWNSIDE: prices. Trendies.
Smokers have been smoking in this, king of all date spots, since the 1890s. Amazing wine list and mouth-watering cheeses aside, this is truly an Aladdin’s cave of a pub, with dark, cavernous walls, flickering candles and an atmosphere so romantic it makes you want wear some knickerbockers and a top hat. Gordon's is an amazing spot for a smokers’ date, with a good collection of umbrella’d tables outside next to the park so you can feel close to nature while you puff adoringly away at each other. Rudyard Kilping used to live upstairs and wrote ‘The Light that Failed’ in the parlour – a nod to the fact that all any good writer needs is somewhere good to drink, smoke and think. - Jess
As venues go these guys are pretty cool: you are allowed outside all night to smoke, but no drinks.
SMOKING: pavement (why does it always rain more in Camden).
LOCATION: Chalk Farm Road.
TUBE: Chalk Farm
UPSIDE: bands, late license, dirt, drunk indie girls
DOWNSIDE: no seats, no beer.
One of the larger venues that does not allow re-admittance at all. Last time we went we had VIP passes and we still couldn't get out. We did however smoke out of the window in the VIP bar but I guess you can do that anywhere although they might be more lenient on 'VIPs' - still smoking out of the toilet window makes you feel like a 13 yr old which sux - its not fair :( srsly wtf!!!!!
SMOKING: NO! YOU CANNOT COME BACK IN!
LOCATION: Brixton, Sarf Larndarn
DOWNSIDE - feeling tense and anxious whilst watching your favorite band.
Safe! Finally a pub that feels like its landlord understands our pain. The Windsor Castle has long been a favorite of ours since the days when you could purchase a solitary sausage to eat at the bar with your pint for a quid.
Its still full of posh types and has those tiny 5 ft doors inside but head outside and its like entering Smoking Narnia. Tables upon tables, each with their own heater some covered by expansive awnings and some humble umbrellas. The walls enclosing the courtyard are covered in ivy, wall flowers and even fairy lights which add to the whole 'magical mystery smoking land' feel.
SMOKING - FUCK YEAH!
Location - Notting Hill, 114 Campden Hill Road
UPSIDE - SMOKING, warmth, posh girls, food
DOWNSIDE - posh boys
Next to the barfly, this ex-Wetherspoons pub is spacious and boasts a reasonable partially covered smokers back garden and amazing prices. Proper normal pub vibe.
SMOKING: tables and chairs section out back.
LOCATION: Chalk Farm Road.
TUBE: Chalk Farm
EXTRAS: sport on the telly L
I know it’s rank n’that, but you can sit outside and smoke until 10pm when the bouncers getting militant. And it’s in central London. Downside - Service is quite slow.
SMOKING: smallish tables and chairs section facing square.
LOCATION: South East corner of Leicester Square.
EXTRAS: hideous trolls and ladies night Fridays,
HOURS: late, but smokers ‘kicked in’ at 10pm.
The Owl and the Pussycat has long been an oasis of calm amidst the rambunctious carnage that can be the streets of Shoreditch. Situated just off Shoredtich High Street the pub features old school carpet, often good tunes and joy of joys a Bar Billiards table! The best feature nowadays however is the moderately sized courtyard out back. With enough pub tables and umbrellas to accomodate around 40 people its an excellent place for for midweek drinks and also doesn't get too rammed at the weekends. Pub hours apply.
The Old Blue Last AKA The Vice Pub - so named because of its owners Vice Magazine is a haven for hedonistic revelry and the scene of many debauched nights out. The smoking ban has however, like most places, taken some of the fun out of the place. There's no official smoking area outside so punters are left to fend for themselves on the pavement outside - there's a nice ledge to lean on and if you're lucky you can have the one 'table' (read electricity box that you can rest your drinks on). The unfortunate thing about the OBL is that come 10pm you can't take your drinks outside which gets rather annoying come 1am and you have to leave your beer somewhere inside - there's also no cover so if it rains your getting wet.
The Strong Rooms is one of the best smoking venues in Shoreditch - situated just opposite American Apparel on Curtain Rd its a late night bar that has DJs (random psychobilly and unfortunately sometimes some house), live bands and serves food. However the best thing about the Strong Rooms is the large courtyard out front. With about 10 tables with umbrellas, high walls covered in Ivy this is a perfect quiet mid week haven for the smoker.
Welcome to Smoker's London - a site for sharing and discovering places where you can smoke and drink at the same time - be it cute courtyards, roof gardens, awnings or a heater - we're here to help you find somewhere to to enjoy a smoke and a drink.