Long live The Queen of Hoxton

With an already warm Spring reminding Londoners that Summer’s heat is just around the corner, the time has come when the collective masses begin searching for any pub, bar or club with an outdoor drinking area.

Unfortunately, humble beer gardens can be few and far between in Central London – where you’re more likely to find yourself herded onto a minute fraction of pavement out front of your favourite boozer, frantically protecting your pint from your fellow patron’s elbows and the hips and shoulders of the city crowd passing by – and rooftop bars (the holy grail of a summer’s afternoon) have traditionally been reserved for those willing to pay exorbitant member’s only club prices for the privilege.

…until now…

© Rooftop terrace courtesy of Queen of Hoxton

Tucked away on Curtain Road, just off Great Eastern Street between Liverpool Street station and the heart of East London’s trendy Shoreditch area, you will find the black-fronted and neon pink-signed Queen of Hoxton pub.

The Queen of Hoxton, on its own, would probably appeal to the inner hipster in all of us, with bands regularly playing downstairs, edgy-looking staff tattoos and experimental haircuts serving at the rate of glaciers, free table football, free table tennis and even an original Sega MegaDrive connected to a big screen TV on the ground level. But where it really comes into its own, and only for the summer months, is when you take a trip up the easy-to-miss set of stairs, tucked away to the left of the bar, seemingly leading up into what otherwise appears to be a very boring five story office block.

At the top you’ll find one of the East’s great hidden free treasures in the Queen of Hoxton rooftop terrace. Complete with fake grass and matching lawn furniture, fountain, coloured lights strung above your head, BBQ serving up the finest freshly cooked burgers, rooftop rum bar (though, be warned, if you’re a beer drinker it’s best to bring your pints or pitchers up from the ground level as there’s only cider on tap on the roof) and even toilets built to look like beach huts, the Queen of Hoxton is a perfect solution to the age old issue of trying to find somewhere in the sun without having to pay dearly for it. Though my advice would be to get there early, as it’s likely not to stay a secret for very long and – depending on the night of the week – the pub can charge a minimal cover of £3 after dark or if there are bands playing downstairs.

About the author

Bryce Keane is a London-based Aussie PR, with a keen interest in digital – but swears he’s still a decent bloke to drink with. When not searching for hidden bars, you’ll usually find him at gigs, festivals or taking any excuse to get out and travel the globe. You can follow his banter @Bryce_Keane

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