Central London’s best rooftop bars offering sensational views

While most of us think about escaping the city when it’s hot, quaffing a cocktail or two above it is a pretty good alternative – especially when it comes with an impressive view. This summer, rise above the hubbub and soak up London in style at one of these rooftop terraces overlooking the city.

Photo: SushiSamba

1 The Dorchester Rooftop, Mayfair 

The Dorchester launched its first ever alfresco rooftop this year. The exclusive alfresco space makes the most of the longer days and sunsets across Hyde Park with culinary pop-ups overseen by executive chef Mario Perera and featuring The Dorchester’s talented chefs, including Tom Booton and Jean-Philippe Blondet. This summer the team bring Tinseltown’s exclusive Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel to Mayfair, with a two-month pop up featuring live music and a California-inspired menu. Terrace umbrellas, heaters and blankets will be available. Reservations only. 

53 Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1QA; dorchestercollection.com

The Dorchester Rooftop will be transformed into The Polo Lounge this summer

The Dorchester Rooftop will be transformed into The Polo Lounge this summer. Photo: The Dorchester Hotel

2 Aviary, the City 

Aviary has one of the top rooftop drinking spots in the City, with its famous igloos for those looking to indulge in a food and drinks package, and uncovered lounge areas with a more relaxed offering. Aviary’s extensive food menus offer the likes of chorizo and sweetcorn croquettes, steak tartare, oysters and a plant-based roast ironbark pumpkin and wild rice ‘Wellington’. Accompany the cracking views of the City skyline with a botanical cocktail. 

10th Floor Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square EC2A 1DX; aviarylondon.com 

3 The Mercer Terrace at Vintry & Mercer, the City 

Vintry & Mercer, the relatively new new boutique hotel on Garlick Hill in the City, has a lovely terrace with views of London’s dramatic skyline from the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral to the glass tip of The Shard. Dine alfresco or enjoy a drink at the bar, which has floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the city lights. The menu celebrates the best of modern British cooking, showcasing meat and fish from the British Isles, cooked over the charcoal oven. 

19-20 Garlick Hill EC4V 2AU; vintryandmercer.com 

4 14 Hills, the City 

14 Hills has launched a new and rooftop terrace above the restaurant, offering 360 degree views across London’s iconic skyline and tables set among beautiful flowers and trees. Situated on the 15th floor of 120 Fenchurch St, the terrace is open daily from 11am till midnight for all-day drinking and dining in the sun. The terrace menu features dishes focusing on modern British cooking with a touch of French flair, including fruit de mer to share, monkfish tail with prosciutto and Tomahawk steak. 

14th floor, 120 Fenchurch St EC3M 5BA; 14hills.co.uk 

5 SushiSamba, the City 

One of the coolest restaurants in town, SushiSamba offers a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, music and design. Located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower, it has one of the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe, offering unparalleled 360-degree views of the City. The indoor-outdoor elements featured throughout the space, most notably, the designed structural orange tree on the west terrace. 

110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY; sushisamba.com 

6 Sabine, St Pauls 

Named after the bird whose migratory travel is influenced by the seasons, Sabine is London’s hottest new destination in the sky. The seventh-floor botanical rooftop bar has two outside terraces – one with a retractable roof for all-weather drinking and dining – overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral. The verdant venue, full of hanging plants and lush greenery, also offers up cocktails in stylish glassware, as well as seasonally changing bar bites, sharing plates and leisurely weekend lunches. 

7th Floor, Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s, 10 Godliman Street EC4V 5AJ; sabinelondon.co.uk 

The Angler terrace in Moorgate is a great spot for a socially distanced brunch

The Angler terrace in Moorgate is a glorious spot. Photo: The Angler

7 Angler at South Place Hotel, Moorgate 

Michelin-starred restaurant Angler, located at South Place Hotel, not only serves up some of the best seafood in London but also has a lovely, elegant outdoor terrace on the 7th floor. South Place Hotel also likes to transform its Secret Garden for summer, creating a floral suntrap with waterfalls, palm trees and creeping vines. The Secret Garden operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

3 South Place, Moorgate EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com / anglerrestaurant.com