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Now that we’ve had a first glimpse of summer, we’re eager for more! Sunny days see the cobbled streets, bustling harbourside, and bright beachfronts of St Ives come alive with alfresco eating and drinking options.

Some corners have a very Mediterranean feel, with chilled rosé and tapas in ready supply. Elsewhere you’ll find quirky gin palaces, slick cocktail joints, and laid-back bars with local craft beer and small batch cider on tap.

Here’s some of our favourite spots for alfresco drinks in St Ives, Carbis Bay and Lelant. Maybe we’ll bump into you at one this summer!

Grab a table on the terrace or balcony at Hub St Ives, and put the world to rights over a cold pint of local hazy pale ale, or one of their signature Malt Milkshakes. If you love to be right in the heart of the action, Hub is the place for you!

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Malt Milkshakes at Hub St Ives

Birdies in Lelant is a fully-licensed bistro overlooking the Hayle Estuary. It’s a great spot for keen birdwatchers as the mouth of the river is an RSPB reserve. It’s dog-friendly and there’s a terrace and a waterside garden, making this a great spot to enjoy a Tarquin’s G&T at the end of a busy day exploring!

On Carbis Bay’s beachfront, enjoy exquisite cocktails courtesy of the expert mixologists at Walters On The Beach. There are some real stunners to try, but our favourites are the perky summer spritzers.

The terrace at Seven is a hotly contested spot on a sunny summers’ evening. Craft cocktails and champagne is the name of the game in this little corner of St Ives harbourside – perfect for pre or post dinner drinks in an Instagram-worthy location.

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There are worse spots for a drink than one of St Ives’ many beaches!

At the top of the harbour slipway, The Sloop is the oldest pub in St Ives. You’ll find it’s picnic tables a lively drinking spot most of the time, while The Upperdeck is set back a little from the stream of passers-by and feels like a private vantage point on the action.

Walkers and adventurers should head west from St Ives, where dramatic countryside holds rural delights, including the garden at The Tinner’s Arms in Zennor. Surrounded by fields and farms, it’s a lovely place to while away an afternoon after a coastal hike.

Set slightly back from Porthminster Beach Café next to the grassy slope of the putting green, this alfresco gin and cocktail bar has terrace seating and deckchairs where you can relax and soak up the sun. Barbecues and live music make this a popular spot all summer long.

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Porthminster Gin & Cocktail, looking towards Pedn Olva

The Pedn Olva hotel occupies a spectacular vantage point overlooking the harbour in one direction, and Porthminster Beach in the other. The turret-like bar area and various outdoor terraces are natural meeting places for family and friends to congregate when the sun is over the yardarm.

If you’re over at Porthmeor Beach, grab a sundowner at West Beach, where they also knock out great pizza. Cans of sessionable beers by Harbour or St Ives Brewery are our go-to choice.

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Will it be a cocktail, or a cooler?

Two of our favs with great views… Harbour View House is a boutique hotel with a lovely little bar downstairs, which enjoys stunning views over the harbour. You could almost be floating above it!  Meanwhile on the harbour itself, Little Palais may not have outdoor seating but the window table is great for people-watching while you enjoy a glass of natural wine and graze through their small plates menu.

Overindulged, or simply fancy a coffee instead? Read our guide to the best coffee spots in St Ives here.