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South East London's Best Rooftop Bars & Terraces & Beer Gardens

South east London’s best rooftop bars alfresco terraces and beer gardens for outdoor eating and drinking and summer time vibes...

Lead image: The Bussey Building Rooftop Bar 

1 Nine Lives, London Bridge

Tucked beside London Bridge's arches you'll find Nine Lives, an inviting neighbourhood bar that has transformed its outside seating area into something that is more sunny Cali vibes than grey London town vibes. Dubbed Nine Lives Alley, the bar's outside bit is cobbled and pedestrianised, so head down for cocktails and tacos from the bar's resident street food kitchen Tigre Tacos. 

Address: 8 Holyrood Street, London Bridge SE1 2EL

Website: ninelivesbar.com

2 Peckham Cellars, Peckham

An unfussy and laidback, Peckham Cellars has rows of pavement bench seating for you to enjoy a drop of wine along with some top-notch nosh in the sun. As a wine bar, naturally there is a stack of wines to try by the glass or bottle and many of these are low intervention and natural, but there's also beers and cocktails too. For food, you've got picky bits and small plates that are as considered and worldly as the wine list. Watch out for collabs and event nights. 

Address: 125 Queen's Road, Peckham SE15 2ND

Website: peckhamcellars.co.uk

3 12th Knot Summer Terrace, Bankside

Sea Containers London are celebrating British summertime with impressive views over the city, bespoke summer drinks and decor inspired by the heart of the British countryside. Cocktails are tailored around Grey Goose's newly launched essence flavours, and to further the countryside theme, guests will be treated to an ‘urban picnic’ of delights, including new and unique flavours such as smoked BBQ jackfruit sliders and Guinness flavoured ice cream.

Address: Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground  SE1 9PD

Website: seacontainerslondon.com

4 Forza Wines, Peckham

With indoor seating encased by glass walls, from Forza Wines, you can take in sunsets and views of London even when the weather is miserable. However, when the weather is glorious, soak it up from a spot along the rooftop terrace. There's Mediterranean and southern Italian-vibe small plates, frozen margaritas and a wine list as long as your arm. 

Address: The Rooftop, 133A Rye Lane SE15 4BQ

Website: forzawine.com

5 The Waverley Arms, Nunhead

With a charming courtyard and pavement seating, The Waverley Arms takes great pride in being a community minded boozer. The pubs kitchen plates up classic pub grub and a brunch on Saturdays, and with  burger nights, steak nights and meat-free Monday, there's no shortage of deals. Thursday nights are for quizzes and watch key sports event on the big screen. 

Address: 202 Ivydale Road Nunhead SE15 3BU

Website: waverleyarms.com

6 Pont De La Tour Terrace, Tower Bridge

Stalwart French restaurant, Le Pont de la Tour has partnered with award-winning rosé brand, Maison Mirabeau, to launch a south of France inspired seafood and rosé terrace this summer. With one of the best views of London Bridge there is, feast on gin cocktails and rose, as well as a fresh seafood and seasonal French fare while you overlook the Thames. Open until September. 

Address: 36D Shad Thames,Tower Bridge  SE1 2YE

Website: lepontdelatour.co.uk

7 The Ivy House, Nunhead

Saved by residents in 2013, if you really love your nights at The Ivy House, buy shares. Grade II listed and with a complete 1930 interior, the pub is as lovely on the inside as it is on the pavement seating or recently refurbished beer garden. The Ivy House Pub quiz Wednesday, comedy and theatre on Thursdays, live music on Fridays, Sundays there's roasts and afternoon jazz. Look out for kids events, dance classes and other lovely things to do. A great mix of hipsters, young and old.

Address:40 Stuart Road SE15 3BE

Website: ivyhousenunhead.com

8 Skylight Peckham

Skylight Peckham, sister venue to Skylight Tobacco Dock, boasts an equally impress view of the city and programme of events as it's east London bigger sibling. DJ sessions, co-working spaces, stand up and key sports events on the big screen. There's also bottomless brunches and a Sunday BBQ on the terrace for summer. 

Address: Theatre Walk, 120 Peckham Hill Street SE15 5JT

Website: skylightbars.com

9 The Bussey Building, Peckham

The huge roof terrace of the Bussey Building in Peckham, the scene of many a party, Rooftop Film Club, and even the odd yoga class is always buzzing with something. There's plenty of seating, pretty floral pergolas, sundowner cocktails, pizza and one of south London’s best views. Both covered and uncovered areas are available to book, kids are welcome up until 5pm, and dogs on leads can join in the fun too. 

Address: Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST

Website: busseyrooftopbar.com

10 Frank’s Cafe, Peckham

Housed in a multi-storey car park and with no frills aesthetics, Frank’s Café serves up cocktails, brunch, lunch and dinner and killer views across Peckham. A ephemeral summer time delight, Frank's Café gets pretty busy – the whole of Shoreditch tends to descend on this place so the bar queue is usually huge.

Address: 10th floor, Peckham multi-storey car park, 95a Rye Lane SE15 4ST

Website: frankscafe.org.uk

11 Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden at Southbank Centre

A charming, whimsical little hidey-hole, most South Bank amblers don’t even know the roof garden is there. Yet, designed by the Eden Project and maintained by Grounded Ecotherapy (a social enterprise supporting those who have experienced homelessness, mental health or addiction problems), The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, designed is an excellent find. There's a cafe and bar, greenery, mini allotments and grand riverside views. 

Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX

Website: southbankcentre.co.uk

12 The Railway, Blackheath

Following a huge refurb a while back, The Railway in Blackheath now has slick new interior, a more formal dining area to the rear and a revamped food offering. It’s just what the pub needed, and those alfresco spaces we know and love are still there – just better. There’s the non-smoking garden out back (wonderful for non-smokers and families), plus a roof terrace with heaters and added cushions.

Address: 16 Blackheath Village SE3 9LE

Website: therailwayblackheath.co.uk

13 Craft, Greenwich Peninsula

Craft London has a second floor roof terrace with spectacular views of the O2 Arena and beyond to Canary Wharf. There’s not a lot of seating, but there’s plenty standing room so you can pop an elbow on the balcony railing, sip a cocktail and take it all in (watching people climb over the roof of the O2 is quite mesmerising). Craft London was created in partnership with the Tom Dixon Design Research Studio, so it looks super cool, with a restaurant on the first floor and cafe on the ground floor.

Address: Peninsula Square, Greenwich SE10 0SQ

Website: craft-london.co.uk

14 The Sail Loft, Greenwich

Peaceful waterside dining is a pretty rare find in London, but you’ll find it at The Sail Loft in Greenwich. The Fuller’s pub serves up a brilliant brunch, with the likes of black pudding hash with fried hen’s egg, plus roasted field mushroom, spinach, butternut squash and sourdough on the menu. If the weather turns, head indoors where you can still enjoy a view of the Thames from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Address: 11 Victoria Parade Greenwich SE10 9FR

Website: sailloftgreenwich.co.uk

15 Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich

If you're in Greenwich and you've got a thirst on, do yourself a favour and go here. The Grade II listed building has outdoor seating right on the Thames' banks and its interior and kitchen is unashamedly, very, very British. When the weather turns, enjoy the view from the warmth and the dry bar and dining room.

Address: Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NW

Website: trafalgartavern.co.uk

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