Review: The Magic Garden, Battersea


The pub is popular for its food, music and relaxing outdoor space.


By Jacqueline Fanchini

Let’s be honest, if you’re going to name your pub ‘The Magic Garden’, you’ll have to live up to it.

I’ll say this though, having recently spent over a year in Brighton, it’s as if this pub was plucked right out of the South’s colourful liberal bosom.

The outside walls with painted vines creeping along its sides, trees, and blossoming flowers spattered here and there, resemble the places Brightonians are naturally drawn to.

However it’s not as hippie as its exterior may suggest, though the element is there, mixed in with bohemian opulence and quite a bit of fairy lights.

It’s well sized inside but once you step into the garden the pub’s name hits home.

Pillows galore make up the seating areas, some of which are in the open, others under marquis, and I somehow get the impression that there are nooks and crannies to slip into with each part of the garden forming a little magical bubble of its own.

Inebriation greatly adds to the effect, of course, but even without the alcohol its somewhere you can lay back and relax while letting your eyes stray and enjoy what’s on offer.

What’s really surprising is the food. The menu offers small favourites from around the world including burgers, Japanese gyoza dumplings, nachos, cured ham with roast figs, fried halloumi as well as scallops with caviar and champagne sauce.

The list isn’t much larger, but it seems as if everything is hand picked in a way so that there’s truly something for everyone, and that every dish is refined to offer the best version of itself.

On the other hand, it isn’t even summer yet and there was no chance to get a table outside at 7.30pm, although they did free up later in the evening when the bands came on. 

This Friday we had the pleasure of hearing the fine tunings of The Beatbox Collective followed by some very funky stylings from Sam and the Womp.

The first really engaged with the public by performing requests and generally putting on a good show while the second made people let lose and set them on the path to dance their little hearts out.

There was a great atmosphere and the stage became part of the dance floor as the night went on leading onto a tiny and slightly surreal smoking area once the garden closed.

The mish-mash of decoration further added to the outlandish feel of the place and while the large portrait of Jimmy Hendrix overlooking the DJ set was cool, the one of Mona Lisa where her face is replaced by a vagina was a bit dubious.

At least it was placed in a corner, half obstructed by a plant, so I don’t think too many people’s sensibilities were affected.

All in all, it’s a pretty magical place once you let it take you into it’s warm and fuzzy embrace.

The Magic Garden, 231 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 4LG

Follow us @SW_Londoner

Related Articles