Food & Drink

21 London Rooftops You Need to Be Drinking on

Published On 05/28/2015 Published On 05/28/2015
Courtesy of OXO Tower Bar, South Bank, London

Drinking on rooftops -- it's the only thing that separates us from the animals. And luckily, our fair capital has a whole bunch of licensed tower-toppers ready for the warm weather. These are the ones you absolutely need to know about...

OXO Tower Bar

Southbank
If you’re looking for some serious river-viewing action, take a quick eight-story trip up to OXO Tower Bar. With AstroTurf flooring outside, floor-to-ceiling windows inside (for when the weather hates you), lots of booze, plus views of St. Paul's and the Thames, this is a no-brainer.

Shoreditch House

Shoreditch House

Shoreditch
There is very little better in life than hanging out in a rooftop pool with a drink in your hand, surrounded by PYTs, and that is exactly what to expect at Shoreditch House. The catch: you have to be a member or a lucky guest of one.

Courtesy of Roofnic

Roofnic

Mayfair
Just opened across from Marble Arch, Roofnic can only be accessed via a nondescript door on Oxford St (between Evans and Crest), but once you’re up there, you’ll find perma-green AstroTurf flooring, wooden furnishings, and a small, cushion-filled herb garden.

OXO Tower Bar

Southbank
If you’re looking for some serious river-viewing action, take a quick eight-story trip up to OXO Tower Bar. With AstroTurf flooring outside, floor-to-ceiling windows inside (for when the weather hates you), lots of booze, plus views of St. Paul's and the Thames, this is a no-brainer.

Flickr/David Terrar

Radio Rooftop Bar

The Strand
Brace yourself for some serious fake tans/hair/eyelashes at your neighbouring tables, but once settled in with a drink in hand and that view in front of you, the happiness will be real enough. Although this place might feel a little VIP, the staff is great and the drinks award-winning.

Courtesy of SushiSamba

SUSHISAMBA

The City
Life is pretty good on the 39th floor of the Heron Tower. Beverage genius Rich Woods has done a serious number on the drinks, so grab a Kobe Cocktail (like a maple and salted caramel Old Fashioned but fat washed with real Kobe beef, obviously) and some Samba rolls and look down on the world busily turning beneath you.

Courtesy of Queen of Hoxton

Queen of Hoxton

Shoreditch
Sitting just at the border of creative haircuts and business suits, the Queen is laid back by day and a party by night. Surrounded by high rises, its terrace is all about deck chairs, BBQ, free Wi-Fi, DJs, boozy slushies, and working on your tan. There's even an all-new Cuban-themed bar called Smokin’ Gracielas rolling out this summer.

Golden Bee

Golden Bee

Shoreditch
Just by Old Street Station, find a rooftop oasis with palm trees, fire pits, and and plenty of room for sunning. It's also started up a Monday night rooftop cinema club with flicks like Top Gun, Slumdog Millionaire, and Birdman. These do sell out, so grab your tickets quick.

Flickr/Herry Lawford

Aqua Kyoto

Soho
After pounding the pavement on Oxford St, head to this massive swank roof terrace just opposite Liberty for a bit of glitz and polish. Get ready for some serious people-watching as the West End set loves this place, but with drinks from Luca Missaglia, it’ll be better than the movies. Trust us.

The Trafalgar Hotel

Vista at the Trafalgar

Trafalgar Square
Down on the square proper, get ready for some body slamming from hoardes of tourists. Up at the Vista, which is quite literally on top of the square, you can laugh at them in the surprisingly roomy bar. London’s best-kept secret, it’s never as busy as you’d expect.

Flickr/J Mark Dodds

Frank’s Cafe & Campari Bar

Peckham
Frank’s has grown over the last couple seasons from a shack on top of a multi-story car park to a full-blown summer experience filled with gigs, food, and lots of Campari. This is where the cool kids hang out, and believe us, it’s actually worth the trip south.

Flickr/Herry Lawford

Coq d'Argent

The City
Find a buddy with an expense account and rub elbows with city boys surrounded by views of the Cheesegrater, Gherkin, and Walkie-Talkie. Get bar snacks, have a picnic on its rooftop green, and just don’t look at the bill.

Flickr/steve_cx

Boundary

Shoreditch
Looking for an all-day rooftop? This is it. Boundary is open from breakfast till 11pm, with a handy glasshouse for when the weather remembers to be British. Start early and camp out with great food, solid drinks, and a ridiculously good view.

The Fox

The Fox

Haggerston
Over cocktails for a bit? Fear not, this place is all about craft beer with nearly 100 to choose from. The Fox is unpretentious and easy, with plenty of great food to choose from -- not to mention an excellent Sunday roast, feel free to try and work your way through its menu.

Flickr/Julian Walker

Dalston Roof Park

Dalston
Run by the guys at the Bootstrap Company, DRP is a community garden, pop-up restaurant, cinema, gig venue, bar, rave hall, and more. Whatever is going down, it’s generally pretty fun and you will want to be involved. Membership is £5 for the whole summer.

Courtesy of Netil360

Netil360

London Fields
After several years of using temporary licenses for hot tub parties, cinema screenings, street food rounds-ups, and dance sessions, this co-working/creative building finally got a permanent one. You know what that means? It can throw crazy events every damn day. Open from 10am, it's got coffee, Wi-Fi, and even yoga sessions, so you can feel you totally deserve booze at the end of a hard day.

South Place Hotel

Angler Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace at the South Place Hotel

The City
Feel at one with nature at this secret sun trap, hidden behind Moorgate. Find yourself surrounded by lavender, olive trees, herb gardens, and oh yeah, two Michelin-starred eateries, if you fancy.

Flickr/Tony Hall

The Roof Gardens

Kensington
This members club is part of the Virgin Group, so you know they went for all the details here. It’s literally an over-the-top garden, complete with trees, flowers and... flamingos. Running with a dress code of “no effort, no entry,” it gives you an idea of what to expect. Beautiful people, a gorgeous bar, and great BBQ parties.

Vintage Salt

Vintage Salt

Marble Arch
Des McDonald is back at the top of Selfridges with a five-month journey to the British seaside. It's got a menu loaded with British classics like Camden Hells fried fish & chips, smoked haddock kedgeree, and Cornish lamb chops, plus a full drinks selection, so you can feel smug above all the shoppers below. A retractable roof makes this the ideal spot for summer, when the weather likes to keep you on your toes.

© Starwood Hotels

Terrace Grill & Bar at Le MĂ©ridien Piccadilly

Piccadilly
Bang in the middle of tourist central, it makes sense that this 107-year-old hotel has a roof terrace. Grab food from its grill or hang out in its gin bar, this classy spot is a perfect escape from the madness outside.

Courtesy of Rumpus Room

Rumpus Room

Southbank
Riding high on the swank Mondrian Hotel, Rumpus boasts massive windows showing off a picturesque view of all the landmarks along the Thames, as well as an outside space. With drinks from the Mr. Lyan crew (White Lyan, Dandelyan), get ready for some mind-blowing twists on drinks you know and love.

Courtesy of The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales

Brixton
Loaded with several bars, a huge terrace, great kitchen, a DJ’s live music, debauched dancing, and a late license, this is your one-stop shop south of the river. Get stuck in for the long haul or sneak off to Sovereign Loss, the new speakeasy hiding upstairs.

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Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. OXO Tower Bar OXO Tower Wharf, , London, SE1 9PH (Southwark)

Located on the 8th floor of the stock-cube citadel, OXO's drinkery features a terrific view via vista-abetting glass walls, a slatted ceiling, and scattered yellow/black leather seats. With astroturf flooring outside, floor-to-ceiling windows inside (for when the weather hates you), lots of booze, plus views of St. Paul's and the Thames, this is a no brainer.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Shoreditch House Ebor St, Shoreditch, E1 6AW (Shoreditch)

Opened in 2007, this East London private members club offers three floors of luxurious amenities, including a rooftop pool.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Radio Rooftop Bar ME London, London, WC2R 1HA

Located on the 10th floor of ME London and accessible via an express elevator, Radio offers breathtaking panoramic views of London’s skyline including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and the Thames.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. SUSHISAMBA 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY (The City)

Life is pretty good on the 39th floor of the Heron Tower. Beverage genius Rich Woods has done a serious number on the drinks, so grab a Kobe Cocktail (like a maple and salted caramel Old Fashioned but fat washed with real Kobe beef, obviously) and some Samba rolls and look down on the world busily turning beneath you.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Queen of Hoxton Rooftop Bar 1-5 Curtain Rd, London, EC2A 3JX (Shoreditch)

This East End bar, club & art collective's panoramic rooftop garden has music from its in-house ukulele band washing over palm trees, scattered giant bean bags, a BBQ, and a rum shack slinging summer 'tails & cider slushies.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Golden Bee Singer St, London, EC1V 9DD (Shoreditch)

Quit worshiping golden calves, and make a pilgrimage to the Golden Bee: a tri-level drinkery in Shoreditch, complete with a wood-decked, sofa-laden rooftop bar; a covered terrace whose colourful graffiti makes it look like a street where people rarely say "terrace"; and, inside, a darker, more serious redoubt with a honeycombed booze station, and a ceiling covered in shot glasses, though after that many shots, maybe it's the floor.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Aqua Kyoto 240 Regent St, Soho, W1B 3BR (Soho)

Head to this massive, swank roof terrace and Japanese resto for a bit of glitz and polish. Get ready for some serious people-watching as the West End set loves this place, but with drinks from Luca Missaglia it’ll be better than the movies. Trust us.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Vista The Trafalgar, 2 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2TS

Vista is a cocktail spot on a roof over Trafalgar Square in London.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Frank’s Cafe & Campari Bar 10th Floor, Multi-Story Carpark, Peckham, SE15 4ST

Frank’s has grown from a shack on top of a multi-story car park to a full-blown summer experience filled with gigs, food, and lots of Campari. This is where the cool kids hang out, and believe us, it’s actually worth the trip south.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Coq d'Argent No. 1 Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ (The City)

Find a buddy with an expense account, make up an excuse for a “business meeting,” and rub elbows with city boys surrounded by views of the Cheesegrater, Gherkin, and Walkie-Talkie. Get bar snacks, have a picnic on its rooftop green, and don’t look at the bill.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Boundary 2-4 Boundary St, Shoreditch, E2 7JE (Shoreditch)

Offering authentic French cuisine and brilliant views, Boundary's a resto and drinkery that also doubles as a boutique hotel.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. The Fox 372 Kingsland Rd, Dalston, E8 4DA

Over cocktails for a bit? Fear not, this place is all about craft beer with nearly 100 to choose from. Unpretentious and easy with plenty of great food to choose from -- not to mention an banging Sunday roast, The Fox is an excellent choice in good weather and feel free to try and work your way through its menu.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Dalston Roof Park 18 Ashwin St, Hackney, E 8 3

Run by the guys at the Bootstrap Company, this place wears many hats. Dalston Roof Park is a community garden, pop-up restaurant, cinema, gig venue, bar, rave hall, and more. Whatever is going down, it’s generally pretty epic and you will want to be involved. For a £12 annual fee, get access to their sky-high garden where they host regularly rotating food residencies in a chill space.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Netil360 1 Westgate St, London, E8 3RL

This rooftop space features a wide array of goings-on like hot tub parties, cinema screenings, and street food fests. Open from 10am, it's got coffee, Wi-Fi, and even yoga sessions so you can feel you totally deserve booze at the end of a hard day.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Angler Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace 3 South Pl, London, EC2M 2AF (The City)

Located on the roof of the South Place Hotel, Angler lets you feel one with nature while getting a terrific meal/drink in the process. Find yourself surrounded by lavender, olive trees, herb gardens, and a relaxing calm.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
16. The Roof Gardens 99 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA (Kensington)

This members club is part of the Virgin Group, so you know it went for all the details here. It’s literally an over-the-top garden, complete with trees, flowers and… flamingos. Running with a dress code of “no effort, no entry,” it gives you an idea of what to expect. Beautiful people, gorgeous bar, and great BBQ parties.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
17. Terrace Grill & Bar 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH

Bang in the middle of tourist central, it makes sense that this 107-year-old hotel has a striking roof terrace. Grab food from its grill or hang out in its gin bar, this classy spot is a perfect escape from the madness outside.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
18. Rumpus Room 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD (South Bank)

As if the Mondrian wasn’t a destination in itself with that epic view and a solid restaurant, things got turned up a notch with Rumpus Room, a snazzy lounge perched high over the hotel complete with rooftop terrace. It is a MUST for enjoying a cocktail when the weather is nice.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
19. The Prince of Wales 467-468 Brixton Rd, Brixton, SW9 8HH (Brixton)

Loaded with a million bars, a huge terrace, great kitchen, DJ's live music, debauched dancing, and a mega late license, this is your one stop shop south of the river. Get stuck in for the long haul or sneak off to Sovereign Loss, the speakeasy hiding upstairs.

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