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that fiery ball that used to be in the sky around this time of year? No, us neither, but trust us, summer used to be sunny. We live in hope that one day we’ll have another warm summer’s evening, the type that just isn’t complete without an ice cold drink and a decent beer garden.

Decent beer gardens be hard to find, so we were very excited to hear that The Living Room had refurbished the outdoor area at it’s branch at St Katherine’s Docks. Right next to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, the bar front overlooks the secluded dock where expensive looking boats are moored, making this feel like anywhere except central London. Marbella, Ibiza, Montenegro, yip you could be anywhere!

The Living Room has branches all over town including Regent Street and Islington and the interior and furnishings are similar as you’d expect for a chain. As with the others, this branch also has a pianist at a white baby grand piano and an extensive list of cocktails. We recommend the Cactus Cooler – tequila, Grand Marnier, apple and pineapple juice – and English Country Garden – Hendricks gin, elderflower liqueur, cucumber, mint and lime.

The food is pretty standard bar food and the basics are done well. Tempura prawns were large and perfectly battered but the chicken skewers were a little bland. Nothing a little chilli jam couldn’t sort though.

The majority of the menu focuses around burgers, steaks and fish but we went off piste to try the steak and ale pie and the smoked salmon and tarragon fishcakes. Both were homemade and hearty, particularly the pie which was a more than hearty portion! We would recommend an extra portion of vegetables on the side too – the bok choi was well cooked, but a little vinegary.

Overall, you can see that a lot of thought has gone into the new outdoor area. Some of the tables are the perfect height to stand at, and some have comfy sofas surrounding them, making you feel as though you’re in a real Living Room. The atmosphere by the water is really pleasant, quiet and removed from the busy streets. Now all we need is for the sun to make an appearance…..

St Katherine’s Docks, E1W