Food & Drink

21 London Rooftops You Need to Be Drinking on

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
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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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 Méridien 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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