The Resident’s pick of London’s best rooftop bars and terraces for outdoor grazing and cocktails across the City, south London, north London, east and west
Lead image: SushiSamba
The City & central LONDON’S
TOP Rootops & TERRACES
1 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
2 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
3 Ham Yard Hotel Roof Terrace, Soho
Ham Yard Hotel has a great rooftop terrace, which often hosts a fun summer collaboration. This year it’s Zestival, a collab between Sipsmith Gin and Ham Yard, offering an elevated gin-filled experience with a menu using Sipsmith London Dry Gin, as well as their Zesty Orange, Lemon Drizzle and new Limited Edition Strawberry Smash Gin, all served with a food pairing to match. Book a 90-minute session for £22pp or go for the Lazy Sunday Sipping Sessions at £40pp.
1 Ham Yard, Soho W1D 7DT; firmdalehotels.com
4 Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
Dalloway Terrace’s whimsical garden setting and retractable roof and walls offers you a stylish and weather-proof way to catch up with friends. McQueens Flowers is responsible for the latest incarnation of this Bloomsbury hotspot, creating an overgrown English Garden vine with cascading roses, sweet peas and tulips entwined around terracotta pots. Dining is available all day, with afternoon tea is served from 3pm-5pm each day.
16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com
5 Coppa Club Tower Bridge
One of London’s most Instagrammable riverside spots, Coppa Club Tower Bridge never holds back on its alfresco terrace and igloo pods. Seasonally-apt florals and decor always make this one a big draw for those who like to dine in style. The riverside spot offers knock-out views of London’s iconic Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and The Shard, are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Do book ahead as they’re very popular, although a limited number of bookings are held for walk-ins every day.
Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street EC3R 6AH; coppaclub.co.uk
6 The Mandrake Cabanas, Fitzrovia
Last year The Mandrake introduced their new Cabanas; four private dining rooms that can host parties of up to six. This year, Founder Rami Fustok has invited four of his favourite artists to rework each space, giving them the brief of ‘bringing the hotel’s Jurema Terrace inside’. The result is a symphony of colours and textures, each a unique art piece for guests to immerse themselves in while dining on dishes inspired by Head Chef George Scott Toft’s travels through South America.
20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia W1T 1PG; themandrake.com
7 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
8 Coq d’Argent, the City
When work’s out, the City decamps to Coq d’Argent to drink and dine. Most head straight to the rooftop garden for cocktails, where the grass and privet hedges are neatly trimmed, the wisteria blows in the breeze and London’s skyscrapers sprawl before you on the horizon. The grill menu is served at lunch time, while bar snacks are served in the evening. In summer 2020 a new Rose on the Roof brunch was introduced and we hope it sticks around for 2021!
No.1 Poultry EC2R 8EJ; coqdargent.co.uk
9 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
10 Orrery, Marylebone
This luxury French restaurant, part of the D&D London group, is located on the first floor of a converted stable block, overlooking St Marylebone Church gardens. Orrery’s suntrap rooftop terrace is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy street below. The south-facing terrace, lined with delicate lavender and olive trees, is a lovely spot for lunch, dinner or a cocktail.
55 Marylebone High Street W1U 5RB; orrery-restaurant.co.uk
11 Dior at Alto, Selfridges
Dior has taken over Alto on the rooftop at Selfridges, for day-to-night staycation dinging inspired by the French Riviera. The menu features dishes selected by the House, including some of Monsieur Dior’s favourites and drinks that pay tribute to Dior’s history. Plus, from 3 June you can explore the Dioriviera collection of fashion, accessories and even surfboards. Tables are pretty much booked up until mid-summer, but a limited number of walk-in reservations are available each day. Enter via the express lift in Fragrance on G.
400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com
12 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
13 Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Terrace, Knightsbridge
Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Terrace is a great spot for summer drinks and dining. Look out for seasonal transformations, like the MALFY Lemon Grove, a lemon-adorned outdoor terrace bedecked with Amalfi-style tiles serving an Italian-influenced menu (running 12 April-27 June 2021), followed by the Beluga Summer Terrace (28 June-29 August), offering vodka martinis, spritzes and guest chef brunches on the terrace.
14 SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden
SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden has a cute Opera Terrace Balcony overlooking the Covent Garden Piazza on the Royal opera House side. It’s compact, and you’re going to have to book for sure, but it’s oh-so-chic and without a doubt one of central London’s top spots to see and be seen in summer. And should the weather turn, the botanical oasis inside the restaurant is sure to keep your spirits geared towards the tropical.
35 The Market Building, Covent Garden WC2E 8RF; sushisamba.com
15 On The Terrace at Four Seasons London Park Lane
On The Terrace, at one of London’s hottest addresses, provides the ideal backdrop for a leisurely afternoon or relaxed evening spent indulging in hearty modern dishes using the finest local ingredients. Enjoy seasonal dishes from the new All Day Dining menu, created by Executive Chef Henry Brosi. Dishes include Olive Oil Poached Salmon With Hummus, Pepper, Caper Salsa and Pepper Confit, and 32-day aged Rib Eye, Ravioli and Wild Mushrooms. Innovative cocktails by Bar Manager Ivan Arena are also on offer. Open daily until 11.30pm.
Hamilton Place, Park Lane W1J 7DR; fourseasons.com
16 Jin Bo Law, Aldgate
East London hot-spot Jin Bo Law, which has a rooftop bar boasting panoramic views of the London skyline, offers an innovative selection of Asian-inspired cocktails. The stylish bar on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel has aligned its chic collection of tipples with its Chinese heritage and influences, with cocktails such as the Eye of the Buddha (yuzu juice, Prosecco, Bacardi White and Yuzushu sake), Mandariňa (FAIR Kumquat Liqueur, Plum Sake, Lime and Monkey Shoulder Whisky) and, in tribute to its fabulous location, the City Sky Line (Campari, Martini Rubino, Yuzushu Sake and Orange Bitters).
14th Floor Dorsett City, 9 Aldgate High Street EC3N 1AH; jinbolaw.co.uk
17 Savage Garden at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London
This all-day bar and cocktail lounge on the top floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London boasts a brilliant 360-degree vista of the city, taking in the Tower of London, The Shard, The Gherkin and St Paul’s Cathedral. As well as a south-facing gin terrace, there’s an all-seasons terrace with retractable roof. Savage Gardens shakes up some pretty theatrical cocktails and also serves epic weekend brunches.
Floor 12, 7 Pepys Street EC3N 4AF; @savagegardenldn
18 The Somerset House Terrace, the Strand
The Somerset House Terrace is a great spot for alfresco drinks overlooking the Thames. Each summer, a pop-up bar sets up shop offering shelter from the sun (or rain!) and a special drinks partnership. Last year, it was the San Miguel terrace, offering a tapas-style food offering and speciality beers. This year, due to coronavirus, things are a little more pared back and you won’t find a swanky pop-up, but the terrace is open.
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk
19 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
20 The Montague Beach Bar, Bloomsbury
The Montague Beach Bar, located in a cute courtyard to the rear of The Montague on the Gardens hotel, this is Bloomsbury’s version of the Bahamas, complete with real sand, a beach-hut style thatched roof, cocktails and palm trees. There’s also a BBQ, ice cream cones and cocktails served in coconuts. Book a 90-minute slot between 1pm and 5pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with a Montague burger and chips plus three drinks for £29pp. Unlimited drinks packages are also available. Open until late July.
21 Bbar, Westminster
Dine alfresco underneath London’s largest Living Wall directly opposite the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. Bbar recently launched a weekend brunch serving South African dishes like boerewors eggs benedict with chili chutney biltong, buttermilk chicken burger and brioche French toast with banana, coconut bacon and salted caramel sauce. Available Saturday or Sunday from 11am-4pm. Opt for bottomless prosecco for an additional £25pp. Click here to book.
43 Buckingham Palace Road SW1W 0PP; bbarlondon.com
22 Madison, St Paul’s
Madison’s famous rooftop terrace, complete with views of St Pauls’ Cathedral, offers a great escape from the busy streets of the City. Head Chef Mike Denham’s menu of sharing platters and delicious dishes includes a shellfish platter with lobster, coconut fried shrimp, tiger prawns, mussels and crab claws, as well as a British beef Tomahawk, crispy-fried cod tacos and Italian charcuterie boards. Madison also serves a selection of cocktails (try the St Paul Sunset) and look out for the return of lively weekend brunches and DJs playing live sets. Reservations and walk-ins welcome.
Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s EC4M 9AF; madisonlondon.net
23 Radio Rooftop Bar, the Strand
Radio Rooftop’s north-facing and south-facing terraces are an enviable destination all year round, with striking views over central London and space heaters to keep things toasty. Located on the 10th floor of ME London, winter usually means Alpine lodges and boozy hot chocolates, while in summer its sundowner cocktails while taking in views stretching from the Shard and St Paul’s to the London Eye and Big Ben
336-337 Strand WC2R 1HA; radiorooftop.com
WEST CENTRAL & WEST LONDON’S
TOP Rootops & TERRACES
24 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. Terrace umbrellas, heaters and blankets will be available. Reservations only. Minimum spend of £60pp.
53 Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1QA; dorchestercollection.com
25 Pantechnicon, Mayfair
Pantechnicon is an impressive new destination on Motcomb Street with three options for alfresco dining, one being a glorious roof garden. Located on the top floor, the roof garden terrace offers views across the terracotta rooftops of Knightsbridge, with both indoor and outdoor areas. Open every day from 9am for coffee and pastries, the 70-plus cover roof garden serves an all-day menu from downstairs Nordic restaurant Eldr, as well as a weekend brunch and feasting menu.
19 Motcomb Street, Mayfair SW1X 8LB; pantechnicon.com
26 Scott’s, Mayfair
Scott’s, the famed celebrity haunt in Mayfair, has a chic little street-side terrace that’s the perfect to see and be seen. Tucked under the Scott’s awning, which is often draped in wisteria or the floral of the moment, you can take in the comings and goings of Mayfair’s elite, tripping in and out of the likes of Louboutin, Celine and Balenciaga. Be sure to order the lobster.
20 Mount Street, Mayfair W1K 2HE; scotts-restaurant.com
27 Bluebird, Chelsea
Bluebird Chelsea’s iconic terrace is a great spot for coffee, cocktails, brunch, lunch and everything in between. In summer there’s usually a fun takeover by the likes of Nyetimber, where floral installations, special menus and limited-edition drinks take centre stage.
350 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UU; bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
28 The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Chelsea
Since The Ivy Chelsea opened it has become a firm sunny favourite. The beautifully decorated terrace and orangery is as stylish as a garden could get, and being part of The Ivy family, you’re in safe hands when it comes to food and drink. Cocktails and an all-day British menu are available in the alfresco space, which is adorned with fountains, climbing ivy and beautiful antique furniture abound.
197 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5EQ; theivychelseagarden.com
29 Dinings SW3
Chelsea Japanese restaurant Dinings SW3 has a lovely terrace for a tranquil city escape this summer, tucked away with the courtyard walls. Located just minutes from the bustle of Harrods and South Kensington’s museums, it’s a great spot to enjoy the summer incarnation of the restaurant’s elegant take on the Japanese Izakaya.
Lennox Garden Mews, Chelsea SW3 2JH; dinings.co.uk/sw3
30 The Phene, Chelsea
Dating back to 1853, The Phene has a classy interior, which is matched by its beautiful outdoor garden where you can drink and relax all year round. The serene atmosphere is completed by a natural colour scheme, an array of lounge sofas gathered around tables, and a trellis arch with flourishing greenery. This summer, the Phene has teamed up with Edinburgh Gin to create a tropical gin garden where you can enjoy botanical serves among the palms.
9 Phene Street, Chelsea SW3 5NY; thephene.com
31 Stanley’s, Chelsea
Formerly The Chelsea Courtyard, this tranquil oasis, tucked between two beautiful Victorian buildings metres from the King’s Road, has undergone a transformation and reopened as Stanley’s. As well as a large outside courtyard and bar, Hugh Stanley’s first debut restaurant has an orangery style dining area and private dining room. Enter through a floral archway flanked by olive trees and tiered shrub planting into a courtyard area inspired by a traditional English country garden. Open for lunch, dinner, late night drinks and Sunday brunch.
151 Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NT; stanleyschelsea.co.uk
32 Pergola Paddington
Pergola Paddington has returned as a sunny summery paradise. The roof is off, there’s alfresco seating for 850 diners, as well as bookable daybeds and DJs will be playing summer tunes all weekend. There’s a brand-new bottomless brunch on Sundays and four new foodie establishments: Babek Brothers, serving kebabs and halloumi fries; Honi Poké, delivering fresh bowls; spicy wonton dumplings from An Choi; and Smash Patty, a new burger concept from the guys behind Patty & Bun. Open Wednesday to Sunday, the two floors of this vibrant space will be the perfect summer spot.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY; pergolalondon.com
33 Kricket Television Centre, White City
Kricket, the neighbourhood restaurant based in West London’s Television Centre, has launched its large terrace and summer cocktails to welcome in the warmer weather. The garden terrace has a wide view of the studios, while still maintaining a level of privacy for guests to enjoy alfresco dining and cocktails such as the Pink Lady (gin, spiced rhubarb and chilli). Kricket, which rose to fame in Brixton and then Soho for its seasonal, modern Indian plates and drinks, combines British ingredients with the authentic flavours of India.
2 Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane W12 7FR; kricket.co.uk
34 No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, Chiswick
No 197 Chiswick Fire Station is a destination bar that pays homage to the history and community, and also has a lovely walled garden out back. Set well away from the bustle of the Chiswick High Road, the white-washed garden is a lovely serene spot that’s flooded with sunlight by day, making it an ideal for a relaxed weekend brunch, while the early evening lends itself to a chic aperitif.
197 Chiswick High Road W4 2DR; no197chiswickfirestation.com
35 The Darcie & May Green Barges, Paddington
The floating restaurant and bar barges, Darcie & May Green, are right outside Paddington Station on the Grand Union Canal. The floating pieces of art, designed exclusively by the ‘godfather’ of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, provide the perfect setting for canal side dining, serving Aussie brunch, healthy lunch and relaxing dinners. The two boats share a combined 50 metre upper deck overlooking the Grand Union Canal and have been transformed with the addition of rooftops gardens.
Sheldon Square W2 6DS; daisygreenfood.com
36 The Prince, West Brompton
The Prince – part pub, part street-food hub – returns for its second summer season, this time with a retractable roof to create quite the suntrap in its expansive rear pub garden. The venue, which boasts three bars and four pop-up restaurants, has been given a vibrant new English Summer Garden makeover, complete with masses of seasonal flowers and foliage. New to the line-up of independent eateries include Homeslice pizza, and Jefferies fried and grilled chicken, alongside old favourites Patty & Bun and Edu. Every Monday to Friday, from 4pm-7pm, take advantage of 2-for-1 including Gin Botancials, Summer Spritzers, Cocktails and bottled Peroni.
14 Lillie Road, West Brompton SW6 1TT; theprincelondon.com
37 The Waterway, Maida Vale
One of the loveliest terraces in west London for sure, The Waterway’s expansive alfresco space sits right next to the Grand Union Canal, making it the perfect stop-off for summer strollers (it’s just two minutes from Little Venice). A great spot for everything from brunch to Sunday roasts and cocktails, there’s even a specific terrace menu with a selection of gins, summer jugs of Pimm’s and Sangria, as well as tasty dishes like squid, steak and Ceasar salad alongside.
54 Formosa Street W9 2JU; thewaterway.co.uk
38 Skylark Roof Garden, Little Venice
Skylark Roof Garden, located 10 floors up on the banks of Little Venice, is a great rooftop drinking and dining destination with an enviable vista over Notting Hill and the west London skyline and ample space for 180 people. The menu features flavour-packed dishes full of the best seasonal ingredients, such as sauté of mussels, clams and tiger prawns, and the drink of choice is champagne. You can even hire a lavish day beds for sunny weekends, with guest DJs playing late into the evening. Open weekends only.
10th Floor, 4 Kingdom Street W2 6BD; skylarkroofgarden.co.uk
39 Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, Hyde Park
When the sun comes out, Londoners take to the parks. The Serpentine Bar and Kitchen is in the middle of Hyde Park, right next to the Serpentine Lake and the views are spectacular. Not only does it offer clear views the swans and boats, but it is also a great spot for people watching – picnic makers, rollerbladers and dog walkers alike. There’s a Gin Bar, great cocktails a hot dog BBQ, a wood fire pizza oven and a whole range of British classics to tuck into.
Serpentine Road, Hyde Park W2 2UH; benugo.com
40 Bluebird Café, White City
Bluebird, a Chelsea landmark of 20 years on the Kings Road, launched Bluebird Café at Television Centre, the significant new development in White City in April 2018. The regeneration of the area following the BBC’s departure has opened up the location to residents and revellers, and Bluebird Café W12 has a lovely outdoor terrace from which to take it all in. Enjoy coffees, cocktails and the best of British all-day dining menu as you bask in the west London sunshine.
2 Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane W12 7RF; bluebirdcafe.co.uk
The south bank & bankside’s
TOP Rootops & TERRACES
41 Bar Elba, Waterloo
This vast rooftop across from Waterloo Station – reached by climbing one heck of a flight of stairs – added a new mezzanine level last year, boosting its capacity from from 375 people to 600 people and bolstering its panoramic views across London. The vibrant rooftop bar, which takes Napoleon’s hedonistic exile to the Mediterranean island of Elba as its inspiration, is ideal for long evenings of cocktails, with pop-up music, food and drink events. In August, the Havana Slushie is a must-try.
Mercury House Rooftop, 109-117 Waterloo Road SE1 8UL; bar-elba.co.uk
42 The BBQ Club at Southbank Centre
Jimmy Garcia’s acclaimed BBQ Club riverside dining experience is a summer must. The split-level riverside summer eatery features a walk-up BBQ Bar serving grilled halloumi burgers and the like, while the BBQ Club rooftop restaurant featuring an interactive seven-course tasting menu. Open Wednesday to Saturday 7pm-10pm.
78 Waterloo Bridge SE1 9PX; jimmyspopup.com
43 OXO Tower Bar, South Bank
Eight floors up at the OXO Tower Bar is a fantastic 200ft Thames-side terrace serving cocktails and bar snacks. Summertime means sassy collaborations, like last year’s St-Germain Summer in Bloom terrace. This year things are likely to be a little more simple, but this is still a great spot for a cocktail and a bite while overlooking the Thames and the iconic London skyline.
Barge House Street, South Bank SE1 9PH; harveynichols.com
44 The Ivy, Tower Bridge
The Ivy Tower Bridge offers accessible, sophisticated all-day dining with a Parisian-style alfresco terrace that seats 50 and directly overlooks the Thames and Tower Bridge. The modern British menu is all-encompassing including breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, weekend brunch, light snacks, cocktails and dinner. Should the weather turn, you can retreat indoors and still enjoy the same lovely views through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
One Tower Bridge SE1 2AA; theivytowerbridge.com
45 12th Knot at Sea Containers, South Bank
The terrace at 12th Knot doesn’t have a lot of seats, so it can get a little standing-room-only side, but the views are worth it (kudos, if you bag the egg chair). Located on the 12th floor of the Thamesside hotel, the bright, verdant riverside rooftop bar has lush greenery, plush sofas and comfortable lounge spaces indoors and British-American inspired cocktails. Find your way to the rooftop bar via the neon signs. Alternatively, stay at ground level on the pop-up terrace outside Sea Containers Restaurant. In summer there’s usually a rather Instagrammable – and quaffable – partnership with Laurent-Perrier offering fizz and seafood.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PD; seacontainerslondon.com
46 Art Yard Bar & Kitchen, Bankside
Art Yard Bar & Kitchen, the design led all-day dining restaurant and bar in London’s Bankside Hotel, has a great terrace perfect for long, sunny evenings. Launched in partnership with award-winning Hampshire vineyard Hambledon, with its full range of English sparkling wines available by the glass and bottle, the new terrace also serves summer spritzes and bellinis with London Essence Co tonics alongside a menu of light bites and Art Yard’s delicious signature wood-fired pizzette and Hambledon Snow Cones. Open Tues-Sat from 5pm.
Art Yard, 2 Blackfriars Road SE1 9JU; artyardbarandkitchen.com
47 54 Southbank Centre Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
Most South Bank amblers don’t even know it’s there, but The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, designed by the Eden Project and maintained by Grounded EcoTherapy gardeners, is an excellent find. With plenty of leafy greenery including a wildflower meadow, mini allotments, alongside riverside views and a cafe-bar, it’s one a great spot in the sun. The Riverside Terrace outside the Royal Festival Hall is a great summer spot for a quick drink too, but it can be tricky to find a table.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; southbankcentre.co.uk
48 Mezemiso at Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment
Perched on the 15th floor of the Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment and blessed with panoramic views over the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament, Mezemiso opened in January 2019, bringing together Japanese & Lebanese cuisine. Mezemiso’s Cigar and Shisha Terrace occupies one of the most desirable spots in the restaurant. With an extensive cigar and shisha menu to match the unparalleled Westminster view, the 20-seat outdoor terrace is a great spot to try Mezemiso’s signature cocktails.
10-11 Albert Embankment SE1 7TP; crowneplazalondonalbertembankment.co.uk
TOP Rootops & TERRACES
49 Frank’s Cafe, Peckham
Frank’s Café is the hottest spot south of the river come summer. Coming back for summer 2019 on 31 May, its the country’s coolest multi-storey car park with cocktails (make it a Negroni or Aperol Spritz), especially since Peckham Levels sprang to life below, with yet more street food and boozing opportunities. Up top you can still enjoy excellent sharing plates like buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese crème fraiche and smoked paprika and parmesan-roasted corn on the cob while taking in those amazing views over London.
Peckham multi-storey car park, 95a Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST; frankscafe.org.uk
50 The Bussey Building, Peckham
The huge roof terrace of the Bussey Building in Peckham, the scene of many a party and even the odd yoga class, has had another huge makeover for summer 2020. With the Rooftop Film Club unable to set up shop here for 2020, the rooftop bar has doubled in size, with even more 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. Open seven days a week, from Monday to Friday in the evenings and noon till late on weekends.
Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST; busseyrooftopbar.com
51 The Laundry, Brixton
The Laundry, just beyond Brixton Village, has a huge Parisian-style terrace that’s ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails… well, yeah, it’s just ideal. The menu features the likes of Hereford beef tartar with fermented chilli, prawn oil, egg yolk, bonito and triple cooked beef-fat chips and cured day-boat seabass with pickled strawberries, pepper, tarragon and sunflower seeds. There’s a smashing wine list, too.
374 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8PL; thelaundrybrixton.com
52 Pop Brixton
Pop Brixton, south London’s go-to alfresco drinking and dining destination, has an ever-growing selection of street food vendors and bars serving everything from gyoza to jerk chicken, the venue is perfect to while away the summertime. Look out for special events, from yoga brunches to vintage kilo sales, film clubs, family discos and big music nights.
49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton SW9 8PQ; popbrixton.org
53 Lost in Brixton
Lost in Brixton is a concrete jungle with drinks, music, local draft beer and a Latin American-inspired cocktail menu. Tucked behind Brixton Village in a space that’s never been seen by the public, Lost in Brixton has a capacity for 440, a retractable roof to keep you happy whatever the weather, and lots of lush greenery set against the brickwork of Brixton’s railway arches. Order food from the new Tablesnapper app and get it delivered to your table.
Coldharbour Lane SW9 8PS; lostinbrixton.com
54 Craft London, Greenwich Peninsula
Craft is currently closed until further notice
Craft London, just opposite the O2 Arena on Greenwich Peninsula, is a vision of modernity created by chef Stevie Parle in collaboration with Tom Dixon. Craft’s impressive rooftop terrace bar overlooks Peninsula Square and the O2 Arena, and serves up some great cocktails with fresh, homemade ingredients and garnishes foraged by the Craft London team, as well as bar snacks. This one’s perfect pre or post concert.
Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0SQ; craft-london.co.uk
55 London Stock, Wandsworth
London Stock, the smart Ram Quarter restaurant that champions British produce and innovative cooking, has a lovely alfresco dining space in a peaceful courtyard. They also have a cracking Sunday roast menu featuring starters like French onion soup and venison tartare, with mains of roast sirloin of beef and pan-fried gilt-head bream.
2 Bubbling Well Square, Ram Quarter SW18 1UQ; londonstockrestaurant.co.uk
56 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. This 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.
11 Victoria Parade Greenwich SE10 9FR; sailloftgreenwich.co.uk
57 Cinnamon Kitchen, Battersea
Cinnamon Kitchen is bringing fire and spice to Battersea Power Station with minimalist industrial décor and a large outdoor terrace with sweeping views of the Thames. The restaurant serves contemporary Indian dishes, many unique to Battersea, like the Clove smoked Lamb Rump with Fennel and nutmeg sauce. Enjoy imaginative cocktails by award-winning mixologist Tony Conigliaro like The Coconut Kir and Assam Manhattan, and bar bites inspired by the dishes found on the Mumbai Jaipur Pink City Express train route.
Circus West Village, 2 Arches Lane SW11 8AB; cinnamon-kitchen.com
58 No 29 Power Station West, Battersea
No 29 Power Station West, part of the neighbourhood bar group, Darwin & Wallace, has a lovely riverside terrace with a pergola decorated delicately with greenery. Dine on seasonal, locally sourced food, craft beers including Five Points Pale and cocktails including house favourites Pear Bellini and Passionfruit Caipirinha. Breakfast and brunch favourites include sourdough bruschetta with roast tomatoes, spinach, avocado and crispy bacon, or ricotta pancakes with seasonal fruit. Plus, the Battersea Power Station River Bus Pier puts the venue within 15 minutes of Embankment Pier on the Thames Clipper.
29 Circus West, Battersea Power Station SW8 4NN; no29powerstationwest.co.uk
59 The Ship, Wandsworth
Riverside hangout The Ship in Wandsworth is an alfresco institution. Also available for private hire, it has a buzzing atmosphere that lends itself well to sampling beers from Sambrooks, Camden Town and Meantime breweries. They do a great Bloody Mary too, and combined with a blast of fresh air and a rib-eye steak, it’s the perfect hangover cure.
41 Jews Row SW18 1TB; 020 8870 9667; theship.co.uk
60 400 Rabbits at The Lido, Herne Hill
Brockwell Lido is one of south London’s absolute gems with glistening blue waters, art deco surrounds and palm plants giving the place an almost Mediterranean feel. The lovely poolside Lido Cafe was taken over by south east London pizza maestros 400 Rabbits last year, so pizza and a swim is definitely one for those sunny summer days. The menu is conveniently divided into vegan, meaty and cheesy pizzas, and they really are some of the best in south London.
Dulwich Road, Herne Hill SE24 0PA; 020 7737 8183; 400rabbits.co.uk
TOP Rootops & TERRACES
61 Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Skylight at Tobacco Dock became one of London’s most popular and imaginative rooftop destinations after its smashing launch in 2017 and is now a firm fixture on any summer hotlist. Soaring above London’s most unique event venue, Tobacco Dock in Wapping, Skylight boasts three floors of bars, street food, croquet, pétanque, screens, DJs and an unrivalled view of London’s iconic skyline.
Wapping Lane, Wapping E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com
62 Roka, Canary Wharf
Roka Canary Wharf’s tasting menu is the stuff of dreams. As is the à la carte… try one of Roka’s legendary sushi and sashimi platters and hot dishes inspired by Japanese and Asian cuisine. The black miso cod is divine and you simply must sample the wagyu nigiri, it’s to die for. The sake sommelier will make sure you have something suitable to wash it down with. The terrace is a fantastic spot to dine come summer, overlooking Canada Square Park, you take in the bright lights of London’s sleekest office towers while soaking up the sounds of the Canary Wharf Summer Concerts.
4 Park Pavilion, 40 Canada Square E14 5FW; rokarestaurant.com
63 Boundary Rooftop, Shoreditch
The Boundary rooftop combines grape producing vines and wild herbs to create a rooftop garden space that is open all year thanks to the weatherproof pergola and open fire. In terms of eating, you can expect Mediterranean hors-d’oeuvres, bar snacks and steaks off the grill. When the weather’s good there may be a wait on tables, and it doesn’t take bookings on small tables so either get together a group and plan ahead or expect to join the well-dressed queue of punters. The views over the roofs of Shoreditch are worth it, though.
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch E2 7DD; boundary.london
64 The Culpeper, Spitalfields
Having grown most of its own herbs and vegetables on the roof for some time now, Culpeper is no stranger to making the most of its urban environment. This summer its team will be opening their rooftop garden to the public and it is set to be a great spot. Already an excellent place for the list of natural wines and the menu offerings, such as pancetta with snails, wild garlic and Jerusalem artichokes, the fact that you will soon be able to eat and drink these things in a garden above the city only makes things better.
40 Commercial Street E1 6LP; theculpeper.com
65 Dishoom, Shoreditch
The ever-popular Dishoom, modelled on an old Irani café in Bombay, has a great veranda perfect for sunlight, reading a book off the shelves or working your way through the delicious menu. The retractable walls and roof make this area a safe bet all year round and in any weather, but this place is popular so get in early – we suggest going for breakfast, the bacon naans are a favourite.
7 Boundary Street E2 7JE; dishoom.com
66 Trinity Riverside Bar, Trinity Buoy Wharf
This glorious south-facing alfresco terrace by the Thames offers an expansive alfresco terrace with deckchairs and tables overlooking the river Thames and the O2 Arena. There’s an extensive menu of drinks, with beers, spirits, wine, cocktails, prosecco, mocktails, softies and hot drinks, as well as hearty burgers, hot dogs, wraps, nachos, flatbreads, salads and sweets like Belgian waffles and ice cream. There’s also large indoor lounge area, located in the Grade II listed Chainstore building.
64 Orchard Place, Trinity Buoy Wharf E14 0JW; trinitybuoywharf.com
67 TT Liquor, Shoreditch
TT Liquor on Kingsland Road launched a new garden roof terrace with great views over the City skyline this summer. As well as seating among the verdant greenery, there are covered and heated booths from which to enjoy summer spritzes, charcuterie and Neapolitan pizza made on-site by Good Fired Pizza. Created in collaboration between TT and award-winning Finnish landscape designer Taina Suonio, the picturesque TT Liquor rooftop makes for a great escape from the bustle of the streets below.
17 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch E2 8AA; ttliquor.co.uk
68 Upper 5th Shoreditch at Courthouse Hotel
With a panoramic view over the City of London skyline, the Upper 5th Shoreditch is a sweet spot for a sunny summer’s evening. There’s comfy seating with table service, with light bites and a BBQ Menu on selected days (mainly at weekends), with pre-ordered food services also available for larger groups. Walk-ins seated on a first-come-first-served basis. Reservations are recommended for larger groups. You can even hire out the whole space for up to 150 people.
335-337 Old Street, Shoreditch EC1V 9LL; shoreditch.courthouse-hotel.com
69 Boisdale Garden Terrace, Canary Wharf
Boisdale of Canary Wharf usually transforms its popular outdoor space into something fabulous for summer, like a Jamaica Garden Terrace decked out with lush tropical plants and cascading palm trees. Rest assured delicious cocktails, fine wines and plenty of fizz will be available, as well as a seasonally appropriate, and very indulgent, menu.
Cabot Place, Canary Wharf E14 4QT; boisdale.co.uk
70 Dalston Roof Park
Described as an ‘urban utopian oasis’ with views of the London skyline, Dalston Roof Park is Dalston’s only rooftop bar and music venue. Nestled among Hackney’s Victorian buildings and overlooking London’s skyscrapers, it’s a great spot to relax, eat, drink and dance. It’s run by the Bootstrap Charity, where all profits go back into empowering young people and businesses. Walk-ins only – first come, first served (unless there’s a special event on).
The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin Street E8 3DL; bootstrapcharity.com/dalston-roof-park
71 The Merchant, Canary Wharf
The Merchant has established itself as a place to enjoy great fresh food, cask ales, wines, eclectic beers and spirits, and simply unwind. The Merchant makes the most of Canary Wharf’s tranquil dockside terraces with 90 alfresco covers and heated parasols, all overlooking the North Quay. It’s a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Canary Wharf.
25-27 Fisherman’s Walk, Canary Wharf E14 4DH; themerchantcanarywharf.co.uk
72 The Sipping Room, Canary Wharf
The Sipping Room has a very Instagrammable Thames-side terrace – currently rocking the wisteria hysteria look as part of its Tanqueray Gin Garden Escape installation – this summer. A great one for those living and working in Canary Wharf, the expansive terrace is a great spot to soak up the sun and catch major sporting events on its outside TV with a beer or a gin and tonic.
West India Quay, 16 Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf E14 4AX; drakeandmorgan.co.uk
73 Roof East, Stratford
Much more than a rooftop bar, Roof East is London’s biggest outdoor playground at a whopping 30,000sq ft. You can play bowls at the new East London Bowls Club, mini-golf on the new-look Birdies course and practice your swing in the Sluggers Batting Cages. The bar serves wine, craft beers, softies and specially crafted cocktails and there’s street food from the likes of Cheeky Burger, East Side Pizza and Kolkati.
7 & 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Road E15 1BB; roofeast.com
74 The Duke of Richmond, Hackney
The Duke of Richmond a restaurant and pub from former Polpo chef director Tom Oldroyd. The pub will open seven days a week, with reservations taken for the dining room. Both the pub and dining room menus will have a strong French accent, while using the very best of seasonal British produce. With outdoor seating on the terrace, this is sure to an ideal east London summer drinking spot.
316 Queensbridge Road E8 3NH; thedukeofrichmond.com
75 Pub on the Park, London Fields
Pub on the Park has a spacious park-side terrace where you can settle in to drink and dine, or watch the football or rugby on the outdoor TV screens. There are outdoor heaters, too, just in case. Located a three-minute walk from the Hackney Empire, Oslo, MOTH and Hackney Picture House, this one’s a great pre-gig meeting place.
19 Martello Street, Hackney E8 3PE; pubonthepark.com
76 Hackney Bridge
Hackney Bridge is a new canalside cultural destination from the team behind Pop Brixton and Peckham Levels. It’s home to In The Courtyard, an alfresco drinking and dining hotspot for east London with bar and street food traders including The Jewish Deli, STEAKhaus and Da Fish Ting. The Courtyard hosts events throughout the summer, including big sporting events like Wimbledon on a giant 2m by 3.5m outdoor screen.
Units 1-28, Echo Building, East Bay Lane E15 2SJ; hackneybridge.org
TOP Rootops & TERRACES
77 The Lighterman, King’s Cross
The Lighterman is a really lovely spot. It has a wraparound first-floor terrace and a canalside bar for more casual visits, but come for the views and linger for the food because, while at first glance the menu seems fairly standard – fish and chips, rib-eye steak, pan-fried Loch Duart salmon – the calibre of the chefs (exec chef Diego Cardoso worked with Angela Hartnett at The Connaught before bagging a Michelin star at Murano, while head chef Aaron Ashmore made semi-finalist on Masterchef: The Professionals 2012) elevates this food to an artform.
3 Granary Square, King’s Cross N1C 4BH; thelighterman.co.uk
78 The Standard London, King’s Cross
The Standard hotel in Kings Cross is launching an open-air rooftop bar in May 2021, offering a taste of New York’s iconic rooftop bars in London. The Standard Rooftop sits above the hotel’s 10th floor, serving a specially curated menu of cocktails, wine on tap and bottled beers. The hotel also offers a garden terrace at its all-day restaurant, Isla, serving traditional pub classics and NYC dive bar food.
10 Argyle Street WC1H 8EG; standardhotels.com
79 Granary Square Brasserie, King’s Cross
Granary Square Brasserie has a great terrace overlooking – no prizes for guessing here – Granary Square. With over 70 covers, it’s one of London’s biggest terraces, and a great spot to grab a bite while you watch people frolic in the fountains on a hot day or steal yourself for a day exploring this incredibly transformed neighbourhood with its public art, canals and great shops.
Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, King’s Cross N1C 4AB; granarysquarebrasserie.com
80 The Albion, Islington
This Gerogian pub has a quaint walled garden with wisteria spilling down from the trees, foliage-covered back wall, plant pots, hanging baskets and stone pillars. The Albion boasts a classic English menu that has chalked up a number of awards and recognition, including The Observer Food Monthly award for Best Sunday Lunch in 2009, The Independent’s Top 50 Sunday Lunch Venues and The Guardian’s Best Pubs in the UK.
10 Thornhill Road, Islington N1 1HW; the-albion.co.uk
81 The Canonbury Tavern, Islington
Since the early 1700s, Canonbury Tavern has been providing Londoners with the perfect spot to drink, eat and laugh with friends. Even George Orwell once sat writing his book 1984 here. Showcasing classic British pub food, hearty meals from the grill and, of course, a Sunday roast, everything’s a winner on Canonbury Tavern’s menu. No matter when you go, make sure you spend time in the back beer garden, which is one of the largest in London with the room to seat over 200 people.
21 Canonbury Place N1 2NS; thecanonbury.co.uk
82 Smokehouse, Islington
This restaurant looks like a vintage doll’s house. But not only is it truly adorable, Smokehouse has won its fair share of plaudits for its original smoked and grilled food, great beers and small-vineyard wines. The outside space is enclosed by tall green hedges and accessed via a quaint leafy arch, where distressed white metal chairs with heart-shapes backs circle the round tables. A chiminea at the far end keeps any evening chill at bay. There are also comfy cushioned banquets, ideal for enjoying a cold jug of Pimm’s while contemplating the menu of dishes like cous cous with roasted cauliflower, smoked labneh and rose harissa, rare-breed burger with Korean pulled pork and market fish with smoked mussel chowder.
63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington N1 2DG; smokehouseislington.co.uk
83 The Skinny Kitchen, Islington
With branches in Islington, Canterbury and Ibiza (why not?!), The Skinny Kitchen offers all-day dining for the health conscious, with nutritious, healthy meals served up from breakfast through to dinner. There’s also a lively bottomless brunch option at the weekend, complete with Ibiza-style DJs and live entertainment (calorie-counting and Keto diets are replaced with bottomless pornstar martinis or prosecco here, I mean, it is the weekend). Located right by the Business Design Centre, The Skinny Kitchen has a great alfresco terrace, complete with pergola, fairy lights and leafy green plants to add a tropical touch.
52 Upper Street, Angel N1 0QH; theskinnykitchen.co.uk
84 Big Chill, King’s Cross
Kitsch and colourful furniture decks out this rooftop bar, which claims to bring a taste of Shoreditch to King’s Cross. Atop a Victorian pub with a quirky interior, this rooftop bar is an excellent place for an elevated drink. The menu ranges from craft beer, cider and wine to cocktails like the Big Tea Party – Absolut, Beefeater, El Jimador, Appleton white, Triple sec, apple juice, lemon juice, bitters and blackcurrant jam. It does food, too, and brunch for the morning after.
257-259 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross N1 9NL; bigchillbar.com
85 The Lord Palmerston, Tufnell Park
After an extensive renovation, The Lord Palmerston re-opens its doors; with a new look that combines the historic beauty of the pub with fresh and contemporary features. This neighbourhood favourite celebrates the best things in life: hearty British fare and London’s finest craft beer, all enjoyed in a relaxing environment. The traditional pub has been given a new lease of life with an all-weather terrace complete with finer, cosy features. This is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of al fresco dining or relaxed afternoon drinks.
33 Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park NW5 1HU; thelordpalmerston.co.uk
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