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London’s Best Rooftop Bars & Alfresco Terraces

Summer in London is one of those wonderful things – a rare glimpse of the sun and everybody gets alfresco fever! The parks are full, the shorts are on and every pub garden is packed. The Resident has put together a list of 56 of the best rooftop bars and terraces for outdoor grazing and cocktails

Lead image: Tanqueray No. TEN Tea Garden at Yauatcha City

The City & central LONDON’S TOP TERRACES

1 The Happenstance, Paternoster Square
If you’re looking for an Insta-worthy terrace, The Happenstance on Paternoster Square has been transformed from a city terrace into a country-esque floral paradise. In partnership with Silent Pool Gin, Gin Mare and The London Essence Co, the alfresco terrace has come over all botanical, with vibrant floral displays and gin-credible botanical cocktails. Try the Jasmine Blossom, made with Silent Pool Gin, lemon, homemade jasmine syrup and bitter orange and elderflower tonic; or the Brio, made with Gin Mare, grapefruit juice, wildflower honey syrup and grapefruit and rosemary tonic. The terrace has sunny bits and shady bits, so you can duck for cover should this rare bout of dry, sunny weather take its toll!
10 Paternoster Square EC4M 7DX; drakeandmorgan.co.uk

2 The Gardening Society, John Lewis
This year, The Gardening Society at John Lewis has had a music-inspired makeover. The newly landscaped rooftop will play host to a season of sound with immersive studio spaces curated by revered audio heavyweights Sonos, Ruark Audio and Naim, making the roof garden the perfect spot for live gigs, DJ sets and acoustic music. There will also be award-winning food from fried chicken specialists Butchies and drinks courtesy of Fever Tree’s Gin & Tonic Garden and Background Bars.  
300 Oxford Street W1C 1DX; johnlewis.com 

3 Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
Dalloway Terrace has been transformed once again this spring with a bee-inspired interior to highlight the importance of bees. The terrace has been reimagined by master florist Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart, and is adorned with an abundance of wild English flowers creating a kaleidoscope of colour, with oversized bees laced within the blossom. A new Honey Bee-themed afternoon tea is available alongside a new seasonal menu by Executive Head Chef Byron Moussouris. Try the aptly named Bee’s Knees cocktail, with Hayman’s Gin, Fresh Pressed Lemon and London Honey (£12, with £2 being donated to the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust).
16-22 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury WC1B 3NNdallowayterrace.com

4 Coppa Club, Tower Hill
Coppa Club’s famous riverside igloos are out, and tropical new Paradise Pods are in. Each super-Instagrammable pod will be kitted out with palm trees and hanging lanterns, forming part of a tropical beach resort with an outdoor bar that you enter via a bamboo walkway. The pods, which offer knock-out views of London’s iconic Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and The Shard, are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and are perfect for a lazy weekend brunch. Open from 8 May for bookings with a soft launch for walk-ins only over Bank Holiday weekend (4-7 May).
Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street EC3R 6AH; coppaclub.co.uk

5 aqua kyoto & aqua nueva, Soho
Sitting side-by-side just off Oxford Street, aqua kyoto and aqua nueva offer you two different glorious rooftop terrace options this summer. Contemporary Spanish restaurant aqua nueva is collaborating with Veuve Clicquot Champagne this summer to create the Colour Terrace, decked out with papel picado (colourful traditional Spanish festival flags), summer flowers and colour-inspired cocktails. aqua kyoto has collaborated with Tanqueray Lovage – a new limited edition savoury gin, inspired by an original recipe by Charles Tanqueray found in his notes from 1839 – to create a rooftop terrace that blends elements of Japanese and English gardens, complete with hanging foliage and a tranquil water feature.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street) W1B 3BR; aquanueva.co.uk / aquakyoto.co.uk

6 The Peroni Ambra Somerset House Terrace  
The terrace at Somerset House is in a great spot for alfresco drinks overlooking the Thames, especially since it’s undergone it’s summer 2018 Peroni Ambra makeover. The latest in aperitivos, Peroni Ambra served over ice is perfect on a hot summer’s day (Peroni cut with the bitter-sweet sharpness of Italian chinotto citrus fruit). The terrace transports you to the rural Chinotto groves of Liguria, filled with branches and trees, hints of copper, blue and light wood. Sharing style plates are the focus of the menu, alongside nibbles like olives and almonds, plus sourdough pizzas and fresh salads.
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk

7 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

8 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

9 Spritz & Giggles, Broadgate Circle
Spritz & Giggles, dedicated to London’s favourite apéritif, the Aperol Spritz, is set to be London’s hottest pop up this summer. Running till early August, the Broadgate Circle pop-up is a colourful beach bar-inspired venue serving up cocktails, entertainment and sport screenings. Located in Broadgate Circle by Liverpool Street, Spritz & Giggles combines lush foliage with quirky Aperol-orange touches, table tennis and foosball tables. Soak up the sun and sip an eclectic array of cocktails from Aperol Spritz to Peroni Ambra Spritz as well as frozen cocktails, beer, wine and champagne. Bookings for groups large or small are available.
37 Broadgate Circle EC2M 2QS; spritzandgiggles.co.uk

10 Coq d’Argent, the City
When work’s out, the City decamps to Coq d’Argent to drink and/or 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. There grill menu is served at lunch time (everything from oysters to sirloin steak from 11.30am-3pm), while bar snacks are served in the evening (everything from calamari to charcuterie from 5.30pm-11pm).
No.1 Poultry EC2R 8EJ; coqdargent.co.uk

11 Tanqueray No. TEN Tea Garden at Yauatcha City
Inspired by a Chinese tea garden, Yauatcha and Tanqueray No. TEN have transformed the east terrace of Yauatcha City into a lush floral garden surrounded by a canopy of green and vibrant foliage with red lanterns and glowing candles. Hakkasan Group Head of Bar, Eder Neto, and World Class bartender Ali Reynolds have created a bespoke cocktail menu of Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and Teas exclusive to Yauatcha City, including Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and Jasmine tea and Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and Classical Beauty blue tea (£12). A new menu of dim sum and snacks will also be available to enjoy outside in the garden, featuring the likes of golden truffle croquette, Berkshire pork belly mantou and salt and pepper anchovy.
Broadgate Circle EC2M 2QS; yauatcha.com

12 alto by San Carlo & the Peroni Ambra Roof Terrace at Selfridges
Last year it was Il Tetto Restaurant & Bar at Selfridges’ Roof Deck, and this year it’ll be alto by San Carlo, bringing their world-renowned Italian style to the roof. The eagerly anticipated alto by San Carlo will offer a day-to-night menu of seasonal Italian dishes made using only the finest ingredients. Expect spectacular seafood and an expertly curated wine list in a stunning Italian garden setting. If you just fancy a drink, check out the Selfridges Peroni Ambra Roof Terrace with the new aperitivo of the moment… Peroni Ambra, inspired by the classic Italian aperitivo, combines crisp and refreshing Peroni Nastro Azzurro and the sharpness of Italian Chinotto – a rare Italian citrus fruit grown in North West Italy. Enter via the express lift in Fragrance on G.
400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com

13 The Terrace Grill & Bar at Le Meridien Piccadilly
The Terrace Grill & Bar at Le Meridien Piccadilly has both indoor and terrace seating – one of the only outdoor spaces on Piccadilly. Last summer, Le Meridien Piccadilly partnered with its sister hotel Le Meirdien Nice to create a French Riviera pop-up bar inspired by the 70s, decked out with a promenade lined with parasols, palm trees and deck chairs, as well as a traditional village square complete with petanque. Let’s hope it makes a return.
21 Piccadilly W1J 0BH; terracegrillandbar.com

14 The Botanist Greenhouse at Rosewood London, Holborn
New for summer 2018, the Rosewood London has collaborated with The Botanist gin to create a beautiful summer greenhouse in the middle of the hotel’s famous courtyard. Complete with luscious foliage, hanging terrariums and refreshing cocktails, The Botanist Greenhouse at Rosewood London is the perfect alfresco suntrap. Holborn Dining Room houses over 530 gins, so the team knows a thing or two about gin cocktails. Served exclusively in The Botanist Greenhouse, the drinks have been mixed to complement the complex flavours of The Botanist. Try the Loch Indaal, a remake of the classic Dry Martini cocktail using The Botanist gin, Octomore Whisky and salt solution. Non gin cocktails are also available! Open till 29 September.
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com

15 Trishna, Marylebone
Trishna launched its summer terrace in collaboration with Tanqueray Gin and non-alcoholic botanical spirit Seedlip in June. The exclusive new cocktail menu features both of the spirits, with creations including The Falooda Spritz (Tanqueray 10, rose, wild strawberry puree, prosecco and lemon sorbet) and the Verandah Sour (Seedlip Garden, lemon, chamomile, sorrel, lemongrass vinegar and burnt milk). The terrace runs through summer until September, and Trishna has also teamed up with local Marylebone florist Jane Packer who will host a series of half-day Indian Summer workshops at their shop on George Street, where you can create a beautiful hand-tied bouquet before enjoying a three-course lunch at Trishna.
15-17 Blandford Street, Marylebone W1U 3DG; trishnalondon.com


WEST LONDON’S TOP TERRACES

16 Pergola Paddington
Pergola Paddington returns as a sunny summery paradise – a secret hideaway in the heart of West London’s busiest business district. Adorned with heavy green foliage, set against the backdrop of Paddington’s urban surrounds, the two floors of this vibrant space will be carefully curated for summer, creating a botanical alfresco dining destination like no other. Open Wednesday to Sunday until there will be no excuse not to soak up Pergola Paddington’s relaxed festival feel. Lounge around on one of their giant day beds, sip on bespoke cocktails or eat from one of the best independent eateries. This summer, the food line-up will see the return of burger legends Patty & Bun and Mexican fast food specialists DF Mexico, as well as new additions including shredded duck restaurant Canard and Vietnamese barbecue masters MAM. Open from 26 April 2018 until 1 October 2018.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY; pergolalondon.com  

17 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, this the kind of place you will want to spend several hours.
197 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5EQ; theivychelseagarden.com

18 No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, Chiswick
No 197 Chiswick Fire Station is a destination bar that pays homage to the history and community at the centre of the building and a bar that aims to feel like a home to the locals. Enjoy the courtyard with friends and let the lovely weather provide the perfect backdrop for relaxed eating and drinking.
197 Chiswick High Road W4 2DR; no197chiswickfirestation.com

19 The Darcie & May Green Barges, Paddington
The Darcie & May Green barges has been transformed with the addition of rooftops gardens. 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.
Sheldon Square W2 6DS; daisygreenfood.com

20 FEAST Bar & Kitchen, White City
FEAST Bar & Kitchen in White City has expanded to also offer an alfresco bar and terrace, new for summer ’18. There’s seating for 100 people, a 360-degree serving space and Hackney comfort food kings Morty & Bob. Morty & Bob’s all-day menu has undergone a summer revamp to offer wholesome ‘bar fare’, such as burrata with pea shoots, soy beans and sourdough; calamari with saffron aioli and Parmesan truffle fries, alongside their classic grilled cheese sandwiches and Bob’s Burger. This restaurant/bar hybrid is open for summer from Monday to Friday.
201 Wood Lane, White City Place, Shepherds Bush W12 7TU; feastbarandkitchen.com 

21 The Terrace at Lowndes Bar & Kitchen, Belgravia
The Lowndes Bar & Kitchen Terrace at Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in Belgravia is celebrating the opening of the Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up exhibition at the V&A this summer terrace season. In addition to the popular BBQ-style menu, a separate Mexican-themed food and cocktail section will be offered to guests as an ode to Frida. Dishes include fish tacos in soft corn tortillas with crumbed fillet of lemon sole, avocado and lime cilantro cream, as well as Mexican-inspired chicken egg rolls with jalapeno tomato sauce.
21 Lowndes Street, Belgravia SW1X 9ESlowndesdining.co.uk


The south bank, bankside
& albert embankment’s TOP TERRACES

22 The BBQ Club at Southbank Centre 
After the sell-out success of last year, Jimmy Garcia’s BBQ Club has doubled in capacity for its latest summer residency. Perched on the water’s edge at London’s south bank, this is the place to be if you want six dreamy courses of BBQ fare, chilled drinks and those sweeping riverside views. Sample plates include lamb kebabs with flatbread, miso-glazed aubergine and charred squid, with at least one element of each plate cooked up on the Big Green Egg grill right in front of your eyes. A real winner for those hazy summer evenings, there’s also a fully-retractable roof if the weather decides to be difficult. There’s also a bar at the river’s edge serving up a selection of G&Ts, beers and ciders, so you can still get involved if you’re not dining.
78 Waterloo Bridge SE1 9PX; thebbqclub.com

23 The Terrace at OXO Tower Bar, South Bank
Eight floors up at the OXO Tower Bar is a fantastic Thames-side terrace serving cocktails and bar snacks. Summertime means sassy collaborations, and this year 1800 Tequila, the world’s first super premium tequila, has launched the 1800 Terrace, where you can sip on 1800 cocktails while taking in the panoramic London skyline views. With interior design by West Elm, delicious 1800 Tequila twists on classic cocktails, from Espresso Martinis to Margaritas and the Negroni, as well as a weekend Mexican Brunch Menu, the The 1800 Terrace a great early summer hangout. Open till 4 June.
Barge House Street, South Bank SE1 9PH; harveynichols.com 

24 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

25 Rumpus Room, South Bank
The terrace at the Rumpus Room at Mondrian London 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). Should your legs tire, head indoors and check out the beautiful inky blue and violet interiors, which have been revamped for summer 2018. 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  to be enjoyed wherever you fancy. There’s live music on Wednesdays and DJs Thursday to Saturday. Find your way to the rooftop bar via the neon signs. Open till 1am Tues-Weds and 2am Thurs-Sat.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PD; rumpusroomlondon.com

26 Midsummer Terrace at Sea Containers
Sea Containers restaurant at Mondrian London has collaborated with Champagne Laurent-Perrier for this year’s Midsummer Terrace pop-up. The floral, Thamesside terrace, with views over the river to St Pauls, is adorned with soft pink wildflowers and dusky pink furnishings. Alongside the relaxed drinking and dining area, the terrace will also host a separate Laurent-Perrier Champagne Bar, celebrating 50 years of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé with a predominantly seafood menu themed around the iconic rosé Champagne. In the evening, the terrace will be illuminated with candles and heated lamps, with Laurent-Perrier throws to keep you warm. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday till late September for lunch and dinner.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PD; seacontainersrestaurant.com

27 Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment
There’s a new luxury hotel opening in June on the Albert Embankment, Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment. But what we are excited about is the 14th floor rooftop bar under a glistening atrium roof with soft blue and copper hues and a show-stopping bar as the centrepiece. The riverside terrace is a great spot for alfresco dining with an exciting international food concept served up with a side of inspiring panoramic views of the River Thames.
10-11 Albert Embankment SE1 7TP; ihg.com


SOUTH LONDON’S TOP TERRACES

28 Frank’s Cafe, Peckham
Frank’s Café is the hottest spot south of the river come summer. Coming back for summer 2018, 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, and now they have a brunch menu too (served 11am-3pm Sat-Sun). The whole of Shoreditch tends to descend on this place so the bar queue is usually huge.
Peckham multi-storey car park, 95a Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST; frankscafe.org.uk

29 Street Feast at Hawker House, Canada Water
Street Feast has been keeping the population of East London fed and watered for a few years now with Dinorama in Shoreditch and Dalston Yard. The opening of the Model Market at Lewisham sent south-east Londoners into raptures, and then along came Hawker House in Canada Water and the Giant Robot at Canary Wharf. Originally opened as a warehouse venue to get us through the dark, dreary winter months, in 2016 it expanded into the great outdoors, and is now home to a huge courtyard festival of food and craft beer for those in striking distance of Canada Water station on the Overground or Jubilee.
Canada Street, Canada Water SE16 7PJ; streetfeast.com

30 Pop Brixton
Pop Brixton has shed its winter roof ready for the summer season. 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

31 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 and a woodland garden, alongside awesome riverside views and a cafe bar run by Company of Cooks, it’s one a great spot to catch up with family and friends. Open until late September from 10am-10pm daily, depending on the weather. The terrace outside the Royal Festival Hall is a great summer spot for a quick drink too, with a pop-up bar serving the basics. It gets pretty crowded though.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; southbankcentre.co.uk

32 Craft London, Greenwich Peninsula
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. This summer, Oxley Gin, the cold-distilled London gin brand has taken over Craft’s impressive rooftop terrace bar, offering a range of bespoke gin serves over ice with fresh, homemade ingredients and garnishes foraged by the Craft London team from their neighbouring garden. Ours is the Oxley Spritz, made with Oxley Gin, Rouge, Honey Syrup and Prosecco. All priced at £10, the drinks will be served alongside bar snacks from Craft London’s renowned all-British menu.
Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0SQ; craft-london.co.uk

33 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

34 Rivington Botanical Gin Garden, Greenwich
The Rivington’s Gin Garden has gone from summer staple to year-round winner, but each season brings with it a transformation. This summer it brings a burst of colour, fragrance and greenery to the terrace, transforming it into a botanical gin garden. The space is covered by a beautiful tree canopy, filled with hanging vines and warm lighting, making it the ideal location to try out one of the 220 different varieties of gin behind the bar. Alongside the extensive gin menu, there are also plenty of expertly mixed cocktails.
178 Greenwich High Road SE10 8NN; rivingtongreenwich.co.uk

35 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

36 No 29 Power Station West, Battersea
Go explore Battersea’s new neighbourhood at Circus West Village, by the iconic Battersea Power Station. And while you’re there, be sure to make a stop at No 29 Power Station West, part of the neighbourhood bar group, Darwin & Wallace. The riverside terrace is sporting a new pergola, decorated delicately with the green buds of spring. 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 new 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

37 The Lido Café, Herne Hill
The Lido Café in Brockwell Park is one of our favourite spots in south London when the sun is out. A good-sized terrace faces the swimmers and the park’s leafy trees beyond, transporting you away from London and into a more rural environment. Modern-British food is served all-day, making this a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as well as a morning coffee and a few glasses of wine come the evening (or afternoon).
Dulwich Road, Brockwell Lido, Herne Hill SE24 0PA; thelidocafe.co.uk


EAST LONDON’S TOP TERRACES

38 Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Skylight at Tobacco Dock will be kicking off another spectacular sun-filled season on 3rd May 2018. Skylight 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. This year sees the return of Skylight’s urban lawn club setting and with it, a whole host of new additions, improvements and surprises. Soaring above London’s most unique event venue, Tobacco Dock in Wapping, Skylight boasts three floors of bars, street food, live entertainment, croquet, pétanque, screens, DJs and an unrivalled view of London’s iconic skyline. Whether battling it out on the croquet lawn, cheering on a World Cup game or Wimbledon match on the big screen, chilling with a post-work spritz or soaking up a no-filter sunset, Skylight has a summer experience for everyone. Thu-Fri 5pm–11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm–11pm.
Wapping Lane, Wapping E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com

39 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 

40 The Water Poet, Shoreditch
We’re not the only ones to think that The Water Poet’s beer garden is among the best in London, and with ivy-covered walls, weathered benches and a buzzing atmosphere it’s easy to see why. And we haven’t even mentioned the menu and drinks list yet! This quirky pub has something for everyone – just make sure you don’t get lost wandering through all their many rooms trying to find the deck.
9-11 Folgate Street E1 6BXwaterpoet.co.uk

41 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 7DDtheboundary.co.uk

42 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 6LPtheculpeper.com

43 Dishoom, Shoreditch
The ever-popular Dishoom, modelled on an old Irani café in Bombay, has a great verandah area 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 7JEdishoom.com

44 Angler, Moorgate
Michelin-starred restaurant Angler, in the South Place Hotel, not only serves up some of the best seafood in London but also has a lovely, elegant outdoor terrace. Rattan chairs and green shrubs create a Provençal style in the middle of the city, so with a setting like that, it only seems right to crack into the rosé.
South Place Hotel, 3 South Place EC2M 2AF; anglerrestaurant.com

45 Coq d’Argent, Bank
One of the most infamous rooftops in the City, Coq d’Argent’s covered and heated terrace takes many guises throughout the year, from winter wonderland with fur rugs and mugs of steaming cider to sun trap, where icy cocktails cool wound-up workers.
No.1 Poultry EC2R 8EJ; coqdargent.co.uk

46 Dalston Roof Park 
Described as an ‘urban utopian oasis’ with views of the London skyline, we are excited for its re-opening this summer. Membership for the season is £5, which grants you unlimited entry into the Roof Park’s events – film screenings, music, street food and more. Its Facebook page will keep you up to date with what it’s got planned.
The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin Street E8 3DL; bootstrapcompany.co.uk

47 Boisdale Garden Terrace, Canary Wharf
Last summer, Boisdale of Canary Wharf transformed its popular outdoor space into a 130-metre Jamaica Garden Terrace. Sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and Grace Foods, the Boisdale Jamaica Garden Terrace was decked out as rain-forest fringed shores of the famous parish of Portland, Jamaica, with lush tropical plants and cascading palm trees. Imbibe the Jamaican rum punch was specially created for the occasion by Boisdale. The Jamaica Garden Terrace was also home to a rich, tasty selection of meats from the Jamaican Jerk BBQ grill including pork, chicken and specials such as lobster and shrimp. We are eager to see what this summer will bring for Boisdale of Canary Wharf.
Cabot Place, Canary Wharf E14 4QT; boisdale.co.uk

48 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; teamerchantcanarywharf.co.uk 

49 Pitch, Stratford
Stratford is cool now. The Olympics have packed up and moved on, the sporting legacy is questionable, but the canals and outdoor spaces speak for themselves. Pitch on Bridge Terrace off Stratford High Street has just opened ready for the Easter weekend, offering some of London’s best street food (gourmet hot dogs, souvlaki, Venezuelan food, vegan dishes), colourful, design-led (and weather-proofed!) spaces to hang out in, a craft-focused bar, Sunday DJ brunches, plus a schedule of activities and events from themed outdoor film screenings to evening classes and party nights. It’ll be a great spot to watch the World Cup, too. Open from Fri-Sun in April, Thu-Sun in May and every day in June and July. Open till autumn.
2 Bridge Terrace, Stratford E15 3FF; pitchstratford.com

50 The Duke of Richmond, Hackney
This summer Tom Oldroyd is opening The Duke of Richmond a restaurant and pub. 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, whilst using the very best of seasonal British produce. With outdoor seating on the terrace, this is sure to be the ideal East London summer drinking spot.
316 Queensbridge Road E8 3NH; thedukeofrichmond.com

51 Savage Garden at DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London
Savage Garden is a new dramatic sky-high destination bar opening in the City in June. Sitting 12 storeys above the city below, the all-day bar and cocktail lounge, located atop the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London, boasts 360-degree views over the City of London, taking in The Shard, Tower of London, The Gherkin and St Paul’s Cathedral. Inside, the interiors are brutal yet sultry with savaged surfaces contrasting with plush velvet finishes. Outside, a large all-weather north-facing terrace is set-up for all seasons, from lunching alfresco and sundowner cocktails in the summer to hot toddies and fireworks come autumn, courtesy of Savage Garden’s retractable roof. A second south gin terrace is the perfect place to while away warmer days. Hard liquor meets savage tinctures in captivating cocktails, as well as a menu of small plates for lunch and dinner.
7 Pepys Street EC3N 4AF; doubletree3.hilton.com


NORTH LONDON’s TOP TERRACES

52 Granary Square Brasserie, King’s Cross
Granary Square Brasserie has partnered with Fever-Tree to transform its terrace into a Physic Garden this summer. The installation takes inspiration from traditional physic gardens, and the practices of growing and blending herbs, to combine delicate botanicals with gin to create innovative new G&T serves for visitors to try this summer. And with over 70 covers, it’s one of London’s biggest terraces, and what’s more, the gin dream team will be hosting an event series in the restaurant’s private dining room. Guests at the House of Apothecary will blend their own gin to take home from a range of aromatic distillates in homage to the apothecaries of old, while enjoying a three-course dinner.
Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, King’s Cross N1C 4AB; granarysquarebrasserie.com

53 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

54 The Castle, Islington
This gastro-pub at the top of Pentonville Road offers a great menu and drinks list to be enjoyed on its spacious roof terrace – possibly the finest roof terrace in all of Angel. A relaxing retreat in trendy, bustling Islington, The Castle is great come rain or shine, with comfy sofas indoors, real ales, great beers, a good wine list (chosen by their master of wine, no less). There’s sport on the tele, a daily changing specials menu and a pub quiz on Tuesdays, which is only £2 entry.
54 Pentonville Road, Islington N1 9HF; geronimo-inns.co.uk

55 The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell
This Clerkenwell staple has something for just about any time of the day – a healthy breakfast, a decadent brunch, lunch with friends, afternoon tea, dinner, or a bite to eat after the theatre. The Modern Pantry’s alfresco terrace in St John’s Square seats 32 people and is a great place to watch the world go by. There’s also a small bar serving an eclectic selection of wines and unusual cocktails to accompany your food.
47-48 Saint John’s Square, Clerkenwell EC1V 4JJthemodernpantry.co.uk

56 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



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