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10 brilliant post-lockdown pub gardens

Pubs are open and just in time for the sun this weekend! Here are the best pub gardens to enjoy a socially-distanced meal and drinks across Leicestershire, Rutland and those who live beyond the city's lockdown area. Cheers!

Whether you want your green space near a river, meadow, fields, village or city, we’ve scoured Leicestershire and Rutland for the best in show.

Bear in mind that many of these pubs may have booking systems in place to limit their capacity, so don’t just rock up expecting to nab a seat – make sure you check the websites, Facebook page or phone first!

Finch’s Arms, Hambleton, Rutland

This 17th Century English Country Inn comes with brilliant beamed ceilings, cask ales, a small bustling bar and great restaurant for drinks and the food is good too. The pub/restaurant comes with brilliant views of the water as does the garden.

Olive Branch, Clipsham, Rutland

It’s not a secret, but this is one of my fave gastro pubs (check out my review here). It’s tucked away in the tiny village of Clipsham and has a gorg cottage garden at the front – think verandas with intertwining branches and flowers in bloom. They’ve updated it since re-opening with seven garden gazebos so you can still enjoy food outdoors in a safe setting, plus their Tapas on the Terrace menu sounds great.

The Oat Hill, Market Harborough

You wouldn’t guess it from the front, but this stylish  pub/restaurant has a really impressive back yard. The small patio area opens up into a gorgeous garden that’s well worth bagging a spot when the sun’s out. The green area’s so big that the pub has even hosted outdoor theatre events. A straightforward unfussy menu, no stiff service, no table cloths, just modern pub grub and a paired down menu inc asparagus risotto and tiger prawn and crab linguine.

The George, Great Oxenden

A beautiful bucolic gastro pub/restaurant that overlooks a luscious garden and I love that the entire dining area opens up to views of the the green space. Last time I was there, the beer garden was full to the rafters – it’s a bit of a hidden gem mainly frequented by locals but well worth visiting if you’ve never been. Check out my full review here.

Navigation Inn, Barrow upon Soar

The decor has been updated during lockdown, so this delightful riverside pub is raring to welcome you back in. The beer garden enjoys views of the canal where you can watch the boats sailing by and is an ideal place to relax on a hot summers day.

Quorndon Fox, Quorn, Loughborough

If you like your beer gardens spacious, this one has ample of room and a tower at the end of the garden built way back in the 1800s – apparently a lookout so that food could be prepared for approaching guests. Book your table before you arrive and bag one outdoors.

The Badgers Sett, Cropston

A gorgeous gem of a pub with a corker of a garden too. Cosy and rustic inside with oodles of countryside charm and the spacious grounds in the glorious green space outdoors make it a great place to visit post-lockdown. Whoop whoop! Friendly staff and great food means this pub is always at the top of my list.

The Windmill Inn, Wymeswold

A good old fashioned village pub with a contemporary feel – traditional bar area, wooden floors, large terrace and grass beer garden, lounge bar and restaurant, real ales and seasonal British food. Their garden is small compared to others so be quick to grab a spot in the sun.

The Wheatsheaf, Greetham Rutland

The Wheatsheaf Greetham Muddy Stilettos Leicestershire and Rutland

This lovely village local is back in business from Wed 8 July. The beer garden is at the front and is gorgeous, green and really peaceful. Carol will be back in the kitchen cooking up some delightful summer dishes and the new menu will be online from this Friday.

Stag and Hound, Melton Mowbray

Michelin-trained chef, Dominic Clarke can’t wait to welcome customers back to his pub. He’s been running The Stag and Hounds since last year with his wife and before lockdown had already created quite a buzz about the place. They’ve opened up another room in the pub and there’s a garden at the back and to the side which is a great sun-trap. Dom and wife Antonia are pulling out the stops for customers so if you like the sounds of crab crumpets, roast cod, rump of local lamb and decadent chocolate dessert, you know where to go.

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