Food & Drink

The Best Rooftop Bar in Every London Neighborhood

Published On 05/23/2016 Published On 05/23/2016
The Roof Gardens London
The Roof Gardens | Virgin Limited Edition
Virgin Limited Edition

Kensington

The Roof Gardens

Address and Info

One hundred feet above the busy streets of Kensington, 1.5 acres of paradise are hidden, yet filled to the brim with exotic plants and trees. Sections are devoted to specific themes, like the Spanish Quarter, the Tudor Garden, and the English Woodland, and the space also houses a flamboyance of flamingos and a flock of ducks who wander the grounds at will. While at night The Roof Gardens turn into a swank members club (which, if you plan ahead, you’ll have no issue getting into), you can rocket up any time, hang out at the bar, and take in the remarkable scenery.

Brixton

Prince of Wales

Address and Info

You would never guess how damn big this place is. Housed atop a regular old KFC, this space features multiple bars and great DJs, and -- best of all -- stays open until 3am. Recently, the guys from Duck Egg Café took over the cooking (mmm, eggs royale), so you can start with an epic brunch and power through all day long. And if you find yourself wanting a taste of something slightly more refined, nip over to hidden cocktail bar Sovereign Loss in the back of the building.

aqua london

Soho

Aqua Kyoto

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Riding high above the insanity of Oxford Street, Aqua is about as swish as it comes, with lots of dark marble, red accents, killer light fixtures, and a massive terrace that feels a million miles away from the bustle below. The people-watching here is pretty top-notch: the glitterati come here to soak up those elusive sunbeams, so grab a drink, and enjoy the show.

Peckham

Frank’s Cafe

Address and Info

What started as a cute little secret bar has turned into the highlight of Peckham, with pop-up cinema, gigs, street food, and plenty of booze, all with the backdrop of one of the best views down south. This spot is worth the trip.

Modrian London

Blackfriars

Rumpus Room

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So this spot may only have a tiny terrace, but the decor inside is just so pretty, and with those floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll soak in all that sunshine and be just fine. With drinks from the internationally award-winning Mr Lyan (aka Ryan Chetiyawardana) and a tendency to get a little debauched, this is one party you’ll want to be involved in.

London Fields

Netil360

Address and Info

What started as a series of pop-up parties has turned into a real-life rooftop scene and co-working space, starting early with coffee and WiFi and evolving into a full-blown bar by the end of the night. Although it closes early (10:30pm at the latest), this place throws some pretty events, and it’s a great space to spend those precious daylight hours.

Radio

The Strand

Radio

Address and Info

Welcome to a world where personal authenticity isn’t especially valued, but the drinks are perfect, the staff genuinely charming, and the view so gorgeous everything else just fades into the background. Take a deep breath, wish you had made a reservation, and just go with it.

Shoreditch

Shoreditch House

Address and Info

This member’s-only club offers the best life around with a rooftop pool, not to mention a huge restaurant with a retractable glass roof, a glorious salad bar, a garden with secluded nooks for hiding, and an entire area covered in beds for catching those much-needed afternoon naps in the sun. Throw in delicious bites, cocktails, and some of the best staff in the business, and you’ll be thinking that membership fee is suddenly totally worth it.

SushiSamba

Liverpool Street

SUSHISAMBA

Address and Info

Sitting high on the 39th floor of the Salesforce building, don’t go expecting any riveting eavesdropping -- it’s a lot of the fake tan/eyelashes/everything else set. But the drinks from cocktail mastermind Rich Woods make the remarkable view that much sweeter. Imagine sipping a Padron pepper caipirinha while staring over the better part of East London. Exactly.

The City

Coq d’Argent

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Find a friend with an expense account and head to this city spot to rub elbows with suits while throwing back some seriously good wine. You’ll get views of all the nameworthy buildings (Cheesegrater, Gherkin, Walkie-Talkie)... not to mention a feeling of smug superiority that’ll last all day.

Flickr/Julian Walker

Dalston

Dalston Roof Park

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Yoga, raves, street food, and garden plots await you on this co-op space in Dalston. There’s always some kind of thing happening here -- plus all the unticketed events are only £3, and when you attend four events, you can swap for a Bootstrap Friendship Card, which gets you in free for the rest of the summer.

Marble Arch

Notch

Address and Info

A cross between an industrial playground and Italian aperitivo bar, this place may look fairly bare-bones, with basic metal and wooden tables and chairs, but the energy here went straight into the drinks: along with a full bar menu, they’re also rocking pre-mixed cocktails served out of little cans. Chef Mark Morrans, previously of Kurobuta and Nobu Melbourne, is cooking drinking bites like sea bass ceviche, fried chicken with kimchee mayo, and anticucho drench short rib with pickled cucumber (yum).

No 32 The Old Town

Clapham

No. 32 The Old Town

Address and Info

It’s a little Yummy Mummy here, but once you’re situated at one of their long tables feeling the sun on your face with a drink in your hand, that’ll all fade into the background. Inspired by long summer days in New England, it's filled its space with weathered wood, olive trees, and festoon lighting.

Hammersmith

The Lyric

Address and Info

This little enchanted garden is a breath of fresh air amongst the industrial business of Hammersmith, populated by artsy types, locals, and the occasional student. Located above the theater, it’s a cosy little space filled with trees, candles, and loads of food and wine... perfect for a casual date night.

Kings Cross

Big Chill House

Address and Info

This place is kind of a dive: you can rock up in non-designer ripped jeans and yesterday’s T-shirt, smash a burger and a whole collection of beers, and then spend the rest of the afternoon hanging out listening to chilled-out tunes with a crowd of friends. It’s all pretty light up here, with cartoon-coloured furniture, easygoing people, and general fun times.
 
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