Summertime is here and with it, London's rooftop spaces begin opening for the season. Here we've rounded up some of the best seasonal spaces to enjoy a cracking view of the city. Oh and the chance of a breeze on a sultry summer's day or night too.
Where: 5th Floor 240 Regent Street Entrance 30 Argyll St, W1F 7EB, London W1B 3BR
Tucked away from the shoppers down on pavement level on Regent’s Street, this W1 oasis was always a hard place to get a table at, but now it’s open for reservations for the first time. Sushi and spritzes out in the sun are a hard-to-beat combo.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @aquakyotolondon
Where: Royal London House, 10th Floor Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX
With views over Finsbury Square, this City rooftop spot is perenially popular. And if you’re after some real social distancing, then make a booking for one of their igloos, which are available year-round. Packages include cocktails on arrival and mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes to soak up the booze.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @aviaryldn
Where: Rooftop, Mercury House, 109-117 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8UL
With a range of burgers by Happy Patty and Insta-friendly views over to the London Eye, it's not surprising that this Waterloo rooftop spot's developed a loyal fanbase. Our advice - grab one of those burgers, sort yourself out with some skittles-flavoured vodka shooters and just go with the flow. .
Check Instagram for the latest info: @bar_elba
Where: 257-259 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9NL
Food at this King's Cross rooftop bar is courtesy of residency Chuck Burger. They also do a very popular weekend bottomless brunch and the cocktail list has a distinct summer vibe with spritz sharers and rum punches, Expect DJs at the weekends.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @bigchillbar
Where: 2-4 Boundary St, Hackney, London E2 7DD
The rooftop space here is beautifully done - with flower-strewn trellises which by night are illuminated with thousands of fairy lights. Order a charcuterie platter, get the G&Ts in and settle down for fun in Shoreditch. It’s walk-ins only, but the Orangery is bookable for larger groups.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @boundaryldn
Where: Fifth Floor Roof, Unit B, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST
'Bigger, brighter and contact-frree' are the buzzwords at this Peckham space. This year the food is from feelgood guys Share a Slice (everyone you buy means one is donated to someone in need).
Check Instagram for the latest info: @busseyrooftopbar
Where: Museum Gardens, Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA
If you didn’t spend a sunny day up on the rooftop of this Bethnal Green spot last summer you can rectify that this year. It's open from brunch onwards at the weekends. Enjoy your bar snacks and on a hot day (with a few drinks inside you) you really could be at some beachside bar at the Med or Mexican riviera.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @chiringuito_ldn.
Where: 4a Station Way, Peckham, London SE15 4RX
The Hennessy rooftop bar at this Peckham bar and lounge features live music sessions at the weekends from August and, handily, is weatherproof for the British summer. The food is traditional Caribbean - they do excellent jerk BBQ - and the cocktails are strong.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @theclfartlounge.
Where: 40 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LP
With this rooftop space having moved to table service only, you’d be well advised to book ahead. Enjoy mackerel pate made from fish smoked here on the rooftop, along with merguez sausage rolls and a regularly changing cocktail list.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @theculpeper.
Where: The Horse Hospital, Camden Market, London NW1 8AH
Head up to the roof terrace at this Camden bar for pizzas (gluten-free bases available) and beer. Something the classic combos are the best...
Check Instagram for the latest info: @festcamden
Where: The Rooftop, 133 Rye Ln, Peckham, London SE15 4BQ
This is Forzawine’s first summer, and they’re making the most of it at the highest rooftop space in South London. Food is a range of snacks and small plates - the fontina toastie with hot sauce sounds particularly good. There’s a strong emphasis on Italian wines, with forays into Austria and France.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @forzawine.
Where: The Rooftop, 133 Rye Ln, Peckham, London SE15 4BQ
High on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel, this bar has properly jaw-dropping views over the City of London. It’s all about drinks here - there’s a teeny snacks list - so choose from an interesting cocktail list or they also do a wide selection of whiskies too.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @jinbolaw_skybar.
Where: Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8PS
This hidden rooftop space above Brixton has a retractable roof, DJs and plenty of space. Best of all, you can use a new app to get food sent up to your rooftop table from some of the traders below like Fish, Wings & Tings and Thunderbird Chicken. Cocktails are all about a Latin American vibe.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @lostbrixton.
Where: 14-15 Langham Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 2QS
This is a two-for-one. On the fifteenth floor, you’ll find Madera - a Mexican restaurant and bar with a terrace perfect for enjoying tacos and more on. But head upstairs and there’s another bar, The Nest, which also does weekend brunches.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @maderalondon.
Mercer Roof Terrace (reopens 17 September)
Where: Vintry & Mercer, 19-20 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2AU
This London rooftop space boasts quite the City view, taking in everything from The Shard to St Paul's. With an ex Nobu/Zuma chef in charge, the food here is all about the best meat and fish from the British Isles. Cocktails feature their own house-infused spirits and there's a good value set lunch deal here too.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @vintryandmercer.
Where: 1 Westgate St, Hackney, London E8 3RL
Reduced capacity has meant this Hackney spot has had to introduce an entry fee this summer, but for that, you do get access to this marvellous rooftop guaranteed. Food is courtesy of local pizzeria Venerdi on Chatsworth Road. Drinks-wise, there’s a strong leaning towards local beer and liquor.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @netil360.
Where: 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
This East London rooftop is already selling out at the weekends, so get in fast if the weather forecast is good. Expect Moet slushies, burgers and more
Check Instagram for the latest info: @queenofhoxtonldn.
Where: 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Up on the 10th floor of ME London, you’ll find this chichi rooftop lounge with views across central London including a sliver of the Thames. It’s an all day affair, so particularly good for impressing clients at breakfast lunches or ordering one of their double magnums of rose for summer sundowners.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @radiorooftoplondon.
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London, 7 Pepys Street, London, EC3N 4AF
This city space has not one but two rooftop terraces giving 360-degree views over London. This year there's a Lillet branded bar on offer and their sharing board (Coconut beef short ribs, sliders, fries and more) sound worth trying.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @savagegardenldn.
Where: 14th Floor, 40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8NY
If it wasn’t for the London backdrop, this rooftop terrace looks like a little slice of Miami in the sky. They have some particularly tropical drinks on offer - tequila cocktail in a ceramic toucan, anyone?. And, if you’re into your seafood, London’s longest oyster list is waiting for you to plough through.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @seabirdlondon.
Where: Pennington St. Car Park entrance, Wapping, London E1W 2SF
If you fancy really relaxing on a rooftop then this space at Tobacco Dock has you covered with day-beds and garden booths which you can pre-book - handy if there’s a group of you. The activities (croquet, petanque etc) aren't available at the moment, sadly, but you can take a cocktail masterclass instead.
Check Instagram for the latest info: @skylight_london.
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