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Rooftop bars in London: Our 24 favourite terraces for drinks with a view

From verdant retreats to sky-high sun-traps, drink in some of the finest views in the capital

Best Rooftop Bars in London

Enjoying a cocktail with a view has to be one of the loveliest things to do in the capital, and this year socialising in the open air is even more tempting. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil al fresco hideaway for sunny afternoons or a late-night hot spot with impressive views, we’ve rounded up the best rooftop bars in London.

Laurel’s on the Roof, Shoreditch

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

This May, The Mondrian in Shoreditch will open the doors to its brand new rooftop bar, boasting views across the pool (and the hotel’s elegant new pool). Formerly a members-only space in its days as The Curtain, the site’s new bar will be open to all, offering a tempting array of drinks and food to pass away sunny days and warm evenings. Named after Laurel Canyon, the spot’s Los Angeles influence can be felt throughout, from the laid-back elegance of the rattan and cushioned furnishings to the menu, where guests will find California classics from buttermilk pancakes and granola for breakfast, to sea bream tacos and Malibu shrimp cocktail for later bites. Stop by for a Spicy Margarita, Japanese Garibaldi or Canyon Cobblers to whet your appetite, and don’t miss the live DJ sets on the weekend, when Laurel’s on the Roof is sure to turn into a bit of a party spot. 

The Mondrian, 45 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3PT

sbe.com/hotels/mondrian/shoreditch

Sabine, The City of London

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

A secret garden in the heart of The City, Sabine has taken over the former Sky Bar location and transformed it into a verdant rooftop with expansive outdoor terrace and domed glass roof to guard against inclement weather.

Visitors can enjoy classic and inventive cocktails along with small bites of burrata with charred peaches, spring pea and goat cheese arancini and braised short ribs, all while taking in stunning views of St Paul’s and London’s historic centre. On top of seasonal cocktails, the bar offers a curated menu of wines and champagnes, so that you’re covered, whatever the occasion.

10 Godliman Street, The City, London, EC4V 5AJ
sabinelondon.co.uk

The Rooftop at One Hundred Shoreditch

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

A Californian escape in the heart of east London, this Palm Springs-inspired rooftop bar is now open at the top of the cool hotel on Shoreditch High Street. Decked out in an Instagrammable pink colour scheme, the outdoor terrace boasts panoramic views of the city, framed by lush succulents and cacti. Here, Shoreditch locals and co-workers looking to hand out after a long day can sip on classic martinis or their signature margaritas at elegant tables on marble and terrazzo floors. The menu continues the Californian theme, with Mexican-influenced special cocktails and dishes that nod to retro American food — think salmon tostadas with a side of devilled eggs, and crispy chicken with a sweet and sour glaze. With a backdrop of Latin dance music sets, this is sure to be one of the summer’s coolest spots. 

One Hundred Shoreditch, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ
onehundredshoreditch.com

Haugen, Stratford

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

This Alpine-themed restaurant in Stratford received much fanfare when it opened last autumn, thanks to its eye-catching Bauhaus-inspired wood and glass building, which stretches across three floors and can seat more than 500 guests at a time. There’s a café serving fondue and tartiflette, as well as a restaurant centred around dishes like schnitzel, strudel and Schwarzwälder. But the real draw here is the rooftop.

Offering unparalleled views of the city, the rooftop bar has been designed to recreate the après ski atmosphere of bars in the Alps – so you can expect plenty of Glühwein and schnapps as well an array of sophisticated cocktails. Book for their lively Off Piste brunch, which is held every Saturday and features live entertainment and DJ Tom Diesel on the decks. 

9 Endeavour Square, Stratford, London, E20 1JN
haugen-restaurant.com

Pantechnicon Roof Garden, Belgravia

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Even neighbourhood locals are often unaware of this hidden gem, which sits high above Motcomb Street at the top of Pantechnicon’s impressive Grade II-listed building. A lush botanical oasis with a striking glass roof and a terrace overlooking Belgravia, it’s the perfect spot to while away a sunny afternoon.

The kitchen is helmed by head chef Jenny Warner, who has created a new seasonal menu this spring that draws on Nordic influences – think fresh Cornish line-caught fish with sea herbs and smoked cream, and prime cuts of British meat served with foraged berries. Cocktails are created by their resident mixologists and draw heavily on botanicals, mixed with house made infusions. 

19 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, London, SW1X 8LB
pantechnicon.com

The Rooftop at The Standard, King’s Cross

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

You know you’re in for a good time when you’re at The Standard, whether you’re sipping expertly crafted cocktails at their newly opened 10th floor spot, Sweeties, or sinking spicy Margaritas as you admire the view from their rooftop, which is set to reopen for spring on 7 April. 

Covered in cheery green AstroTurf and offering stellar vistas over the neighbouring King’s Cross skyline (the spires of St Pancras Station look particularly spectacular from this viewpoint), this is one of the most popular places in London to come and watch the sunset. New for this season they’re launching their cherry red taco truck, Decimiño, which will be serving up Mexican-Spanish snacks and nachos as you’ve never seen them before. 

10 Argyle Street, King’s Cross, London, WC1H 8EG
standardhotels.com

Madera at Treehouse London, Marylebone

The best rooftop bars in London for high altitude drinking and dining

The rooftop restaurant and bar at boutique eco hotel Treehouse London boasts some of the finest views in the capital. Filled with hanging foliage and featuring floor-to-ceiling windows taking in the city’s skyline, the food at Madera is an elevated take on Mexican cuisine, so you can expect dishes like tequila prawn flatbread, halibut ceviche and shrimp tacos.

Afterwards, head upstairs to the cosy Nest wraparound terrace, where you can sink into a lounger and order a round of Whisky Coladas, made with Glasshouse whisky, pineapple, coconut and citrus.

14-15 Langham Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 2QS
treehousehotels.com

Seabird London, Southwark

The best rooftop bars in London for high altitude drinking and dining

Sitting atop the Hoxton hotel in Southwark, Seabird is one of the city’s most stylish rooftop offerings, all potted palms, bleached wooden floors and rattan furniture. With both indoor and outdoor seating areas, the restaurant really capitalises on its riverside location, making the most of expansive Thames views. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the name, the menu here revolves around seafood and is home to the longest oyster list in London, as well as an impressive marble raw bar dishing up chilled whelks, cockles and razor clams.

The charcoal grill also offers plenty of delights, including whole lobsters and John Dory. There is an excellent selection of biodynamic wines from some of Europe’s best small-scale producers, and the cocktails are fun and fruity, with the Toucan Do It, made with Tapatio Blanco Tequila, mango, cinnamon and aji pepper, served in a bird-shaped glass.

40 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London, SE1 8NY
thehoxton.co

Mercer Roof Terrace, City of London

The best rooftop bars in London for high altitude drinking and dining

Set among the livery halls and guilds of London’s Vintry Ward, and perched on top of the Vintry & Mercer hotel, this is a hidden gem in the heart of the city. Offering panoramic vistas over the capital, including a close-up look at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard, there’s a beautiful outdoor terrace complete with a handsome olive tree as well as an airy indoor restaurant.

Helmed by executive chef Chris Golding, who cut his teeth at Nobu and Zuma, this is British cuisine at its best, with dishes like Devonshire crab with pink peppercorn toast and smoked ham hock terrine with Quail’s egg on the menu. Their cocktails are no less inspiring, made using a range of house-infused spirits.

20 Garlick Hill, City of London, EC4V 2AU
vintryandmercer.com

Aqua Kyoto, Soho

The best rooftop bars in London for high altitude drinking and dining

Despite being right in the middle of Oxford Circus, heading up to Aqua Kyoto on Argyll Street is like entering an oasis of calm that couldn’t feel further removed from the hustle and bustle below. The smart terraces, which flank either side of the building, make the ideal spot for a post-shopping sundowner, with the Golden Hour, made with Roe & Co whiskey, Plum sake, Becherowska and lime, the perfect tipple.

Don’t forget to order some of their Japanese-inspired snacks, which take a nod from the main restaurant inside – their rock shrimp tempura and mushroom and pancetta yakitori are particularly moreish.

240 Regent Street, Soho, London, W1B 3BR
aquakyoto.co.uk

The Boundary, Shoreditch

The best rooftop bars in London for high altitude drinking and dining

This popular Shoreditch spot is an east London go-to whatever the weather, thanks to its heated rooftop orangery, which sits alongside its outdoor terrace. With its trellised canopy, strewn with ivy and fairy lights, and cosy sofas to sink into by the outdoor fire pit, this is the place for lazy lunches that somehow stretch into even longer, lazier dinners.

Graze on Mediterranean-inspired dishes like spiced cod brochettes, zucchini fritti and rosemary and sea salt focaccia while sampling their wide range of seasonal cocktails, which include gin and tonic cups mixed with botanicals and herbs from their garden and punchy Icelandic Mules, made with Reyka vodka, ginger beer, lime, ginger and shiso leaf.

2-4 Boundary Street, Hackney, London, E2 7DD
boundary.london

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Jin Bo Law Skybar, City of London

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Situated on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel in Aldgate and nestled among skyscrapers, Jin Bo Law boasts ones of the finest views in the City, with the Gherkin so close you could almost touch it and the Shard looming impressively behind.

The interiors are no less eye-catching, with its sleek, geometric bar, and the spot has become famous for the giant golden pineapple that adorns the walls and spreads across the ceiling. Their inventive cocktail list is all Asian-inspired, with offerings like the Jin Bo Lada, a mix of Mount Gay dark rum, Kalani Coconut rum, punch purée, rice milk and pineapple juice.

Dorsett City Hotel, 9 Aldgate High Street, City of London, EC3N 1AH
jinbolaw.co.uk

Skylark Roof Garden, Paddington

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

This bar on the banks of Little Venice, which has stellar views over Notting Hill, Hyde Park and the neighbourhood’s dreamy canals, became a firm favourite with west Londoners as soon as it opened a few years ago. There are new events held here every week, from their perennially popular Bubbles in the Sky experience, where you get a glass of Veuve Clicquot with your table reservation, to their Cocktails of the World brunch.

The food menu focuses on Pan-Asian dishes like summer vegetable gyoza and Jingwansa fried chicken, inspired by Adam Owner, who trained at Chelsea’s infamous Eighties hot spot La Tante Claire and Rules Restaurant. Their signature cocktails go down very well on a sunny afternoon, especially their frozen watermelon Daiquiris. The best bit? You can book lavish day beds, all the better for lounging on.

4 Kingdom Street, Paddington, London, W2 6BD
skylarkroofgarden.co.uk

Radio Rooftop Bar, Westminster

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

If you’re after Mediterranean holiday vibes with your sky-high drinking and dining, Radio Rooftop bar is the place to go. With its excellent tapas sharing platters, chic decor and stylish crowd, squint and you could almost pretend you’re in Barcelona (though the terrace is open year-round and is just as lovely in the winter, when you can cosy up in a cute cable car).

Order a round of pan con tomate and grilled octopus before sampling one of their CBD cocktails, like the Herbal Ambition, made with Oto CBD bitters, Seedlip Garden, Everleaf non-alcoholic elderflower cordial and soda – designed to put you in a seriously relaxed frame of mind.

336-337 Strand, Westminster, London, WC2R 1HA
radiorooftop.com

The Oxo Tower, South Bank

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

This iconic tower on the South Bank has long been a fixture on London’s sky-high drinking and dining scene, with the landmark’s prominent OXO logo visible from miles around. Housed in a beautiful wharfside building that dates back to 1900, this is where the famous OXO beef cube was made during the Twenties.

Now it’s home to an award-winning restaurant and bar, perched on the eighth floor and serving up seasonal British food with a side of breath-taking views over the river. Their extensive cocktail list is full of gems, like the South Bank gin cocktail, which is described as a “love letter to the neighbourhood”.

Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH
harveynichols.com

14 Hills at Fenchurch Street

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Tucked away on the 14th floor rooftop of the central London building is an over-the-top, tropical-inspired bar that is an Instagrammer’s dream. Plush furnishings are surrounded by lush greenery and huge palm leaves. Outside, the theme continues, albeit more subdued, as the real star of the show is the 360-degree views of the capital.

The special terrace menu offers a curated pick of the main restaurant’s offerings, all of which combines British cooking with French flare. Pick from starters of gazpacho, grilled prawns or fresh crab, and mains of sirloin steak, risotto or lobster thermador. The drinks menu is equally impressive, with plenty of house signature creations alongside classic staples and alcohol-free options.

14th floor, 120 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 5BA
14hills.co.uk

Bussey Rooftop Bar, Peckham

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Perched on top of the iconic Bussey Building, the Bussey Rooftop Bar is the highest drinking hot spot in Peckham, and transforms the simple space into a colourful escape with flowers and vines.

Visitors can enjoy delicious cocktails and food alongside the impressive views — the wood-fired pizzas are particularly tempting, and there’s an extensive drinks menu with wines, beers, ciders and cocktails to suit every possible mood. Look out for special rooftop events, too, as the spot is set to reopen fully on 14 April.

Block B Rooftop Unit B3.1, The Bussey Building 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4SL
busseyrooftopbar.com

Culpeper Roof Gardens, Spitalfields

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

From the outside, The Culpeper looks like a typical London pub, but don’t be fooled – squirrelled away upstairs is one of the city’s most charming terraces. Filled with plants, this isn’t just a prime drinking spot – it’s also a herb and vegetable garden, complete with mint patches and tomato vines.

Come to try delicious dishes served from the grill and work your way through the excellent wine list, which has a strong focus on English wines, with bottles cherry-picked from vineyards in east Sussex and Kent. Ever resourceful, the staff keep the corks from every bottle for a number of creative purposes, including grinding them down to sprinkle on their plants to help them retain water.

40 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6LP
theculpeper.com

Aviary London, Finsbury

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Perched 10 floors up above Finsbury Square’s Montcalm Hotel, bordering the City and Shoreditch, this spacious terrace offers stunning panoramic views. City boys and girls flock here for post-work drinks before ordering plates of beef tartare and triple cooked chips from the thoroughly British menu – the restaurant sources its produce from small British livestock farmers and the fish is responsibly sourced from south coast day boats wherever possible.

It’s all washed down with a few cocktails from the bird-themed drinks list, where highlights include the Peacock Fizz, made with Chase Rhubarb Vodka, grapefruit and rhubarb cordial, and the Cuckoo’s Nest, with Pisco, charred pineapple and lemon.

Montcalm Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, Finsbury, London, EC2A 1DX
aviarylondon.com

Madison, City of London

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

This award-winning rooftop is one of the most popular spots in the capital, with locals heading there on weekends (and weekdays – the City never sleeps) to soak up the jaw-dropping views – you’ve never seen St Paul’s this close up.

Situated in the penthouse of One New Change, diners start their night at the celebrated Manhattan-style restaurant, which serves grills and burgers from the wood fired oven, before settling in for a night on one of the venue’s many terraces. As soon as the sun goes down it’s time for the music to start, whether it’s the renowned in-house DJs or one of the live acoustic trios.

Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, EC4M 9AF
madisonlondon.net

Coq d’Argent, City of London

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Coq d’Argent has become one of the city’s most legendary drinking and dining spots since opening at the top of No 1 Poultry over 20 years ago. It has an award-winning garden in the sky and a private lift that whizzes you up to the very top of the building, with a Willy Wonka-esque, see-through ceiling to boot.

As impressive as the views up here are, they’re nowhere near as impressive as their extensive wine list, which runs to 54 pages in total. You’re spoiled for choice up here, with four different terraces to choose from as well as their sought-after rooftop garden, filled with lush foliage and flowers.

1 Poultry, City of London, EC2R 8EJ
coqdargent.co.uk

Trafalgar St James, St James’s

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Split into two separate areas – the outdoor Gallery, which offers jaw-dropping views over Trafalgar Square and beyond, and the Deck, a sun-drenched conservatory – this spacious terrace perched at the top of a smart hotel has something for everyone.

The Italian-inspired menu serves delicious morsels of Parmesan and truffle arrancini, while the cocktail list offers a playful nod to its famous location, with the Bye Bye Ben a mix of Plymouth Gin, Grand Marnier, Lillet Blanc and grapefruit bitters.

2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, St. James’s, London, SW1A 2TS
trafalgarstjames.com

Pergola Paddington, Paddington

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

You know it’s summer when Pergola returns to Paddington. The colourful spot, with its turquoise walls and pretty, creeping vines, is spread across two floors, with two huge bars serving up al fresco drinks.

There’s also a rotating roster of cocktails on tap, and some of the capital’s finest street-food stalls – this year you can expect Filth&Co burgers, Kwispy fried chicken and small plates from Yuki by Niji Kitchen. On the weekends you’ll find bottomless brunches and some of London’s finest DJs.

4 Kingdom Street, Paddington, London, W2 6PY
pergolalondon.com

Toy Roof Terrace at The Courthouse, Soho

The best rooftop bars in London for drinks in the sun

Rooftop bars are rare in Soho, making this spot extra special. Tucked away at the top of the Courthouse hotel, a former Magistrates’ Court, the building is steeped in history, counting Mick Jagger, Bob Marley and John Lennon as former inmates and Charles Dickens as an early court reporter.

The bar offers peaceful respite from the bustling streets below, with panoramic views over the West End, chilled music and barbecues on hot days. Kick back with a Green Hornet – Hendrik’s gin, vanilla, lychee and cucumber – and watch the sun set over some of London’s most famous rooftops.

19 – 21 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, London, W1F 7HL
courthouse-hotel.com

 

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