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. But where to make the most of it? The Resident has picked out 71 of London’s best rooftop bars and terraces for outdoor grazing and cocktails…
Lead image: Pergola Paddington
The City & central LONDON’S TOP TERRACES
1 SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden
One of the hottest dining spots to open last year, SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden has now launched its 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 this 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
2 Roof Fest London at The Gardening Society, John Lewis
Capitalising on our love of a good festival, John Lewis & Partners is championing live entertainment, music, comedy, street food, cocktails and more up on its popular rooftop terrace this summer. Roof Fest London is Oxford Street’s first festival in the sky – an immersive world of boho chic with live music on the Caravan stage (yes, it’s an actual caravan!), Filipino food from Bong Bongs Manila Kanteen (formerly BBQ Dreamz), and summer cocktails from Background Bars. Groups of up to 10 can book one of the three intimate dens.
300 Oxford Street W1C 1DX; johnlewis.com
3 Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
Dalloway Terrace is rocking a tropical paradise vibe this year, adorned with the unique flora of Sri Lanka. Taking inspiration from The Village in the Jungle, a novel by Leonard Woolf, the idyllic space is a wild jungle oasis of silk foliage stems, tropical ferns, orchids, passion flower and the giant iconic leaves of the banana plant. The menu features a smoked jackfruit salad and Sri Lankan tofu curry, as well as an afternoon tea with a Sri Lankan twist, plus a breakfast and weekend brunch offering.
16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com
4 Sky Pod Bar at Sky Garden, the City
It’s not alfresco, but the naturally ventilated Sky Pod Bar feels alfresco! Located 35-floors up at Sky Garden, it’s a great spot to take in the city from upon high, with views on one side the lush greenery of the impressive indoor gardens on the other. Bookings are recommended to visit Sky Pod Bar but walk-ins are welcome from 6.15pm on weekdays and 9.15pm on weekends, space allowing. Note that Sky Garden is a naturally-ventilated space, so you’re advised to wrap up on chillier days.
1 Garden Walk EC3M 8AF; skygarden.london
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 pods. This year its a Surfers Paradise complete with a pop-up bar masquerading as a classic VW van, tropical plants, a surfboard swing perfect for selfies and, of course, the famous igloos-cum-pods that have transformed into laid-back Surfer Shacks with candles, boho cushions and climbing plants weaving their way up the wooden structure. The Surfer Shacks, which offer 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 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 (Citrussy spring flavours featuring yuzu juice, Prosecco, Bacardi White and Yuzushu sake), Mandariňa (a fruity burst of flavours, with 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
7 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. As well as epic weekend brunches, Savage Gardens shakes up some pretty theatrical cocktails, fiercely executed by mixologist Andre Cavalheiro (formerly of Caprice Holdings) and served up in intriguing glassware. The Flambard Colada (Havana Club 3YORum, pineapple, cucumber and champagne) comes with our seal of approval, and the Punk Rock Fashioned will knock your socks off.
Floor 12, 7 Pepys Street EC3N 4AF; savagegarden.co.uk
8 The Somerset House Terrace with San Miguel, the Strand
The Somerset House Terrace with San Miguel is a great spot for alfresco drinks overlooking the Thames. Spacious and sheltered, it’s a great one for those who love the outdoors, but not the sunburn. The terrace offers a tapas-style food offering, speciality beers like San Miguel Selecta and San Miguel Gluten Free, plus live music. You can also check out the exclusive San Miguel Tap Station, a unique innovation serving five blended specialty beers inspired by the brand’s journey around the world, from the floral hops of Hong Kong to the caramel notes of Munich.
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk
9 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 for summer. Contemporary Spanish restaurant aqua nueva is celebrating London’s vibrant art scene in partnership with The National Gallery, taking inspiration from the gallery’s major Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light exhibition. As well as an afternoon tea menu inspired by Sorolla, you can also take part in a series of watercolour art classes on the terrace with a cocktail or two. Last year, aqua kyoto collaborated with Tanqueray Lovage to create a rooftop terrace that blended elements of Japanese and English gardens – we’ll update you on the 2019 collaboration as soon as we have news!
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street) W1B 3BR; aquanueva.co.uk / aquakyoto.co.uk
10 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
11 Yauatcha, the City
Overlooking Broadgate Circle, Yauatcha’s two terraces, with powder blue seating and blooming pink cherry blossom trees, are the perfect post-work hangout. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, City Nights will celebrate the warmer weather with cocktails, wine and complimentary dim sum served from 5.30pm until 7.30pm and a DJ playing throughout the evening and into the night. An exclusive summer tasting menu is also available on the terrace or in the restaurant, offering a glass of wine or a cocktail, steamed and fried dim sum and a wok dish, followed by Yauatcha’s signature macarons (£34).
Broadgate Circle EC2M 2QS; yauatcha.com
12 Sanderson’s Veuve Clicquot Rosé Courtyard Garden, Fitzrovia
The Long Bar at Sanderson hotel has transformed its Courtyard Garden into a tropical summertime oasis in partnership with Veuve Clicquot Rosé for summer. Tropical flowers, banana leaves and palm plants climbing up the onyx bar and tumble from the floral ceiling, while parrots and butterflies perch among the foliage, softly lit by an atmospheric pink glow. Wheelbarrows brim with plants, ivy cascades down the parasols, moss-covered living walls burst with tropical evergreens and there are colourful splashes of deep purple bougainvillea. The hotel’s famed swinging chair has been decked for summer with flowers, ferns, and yellow butterflies – an essential photo op for Instagram – and tropical bar snacks include seared tuna with wasabi mayo and caviar, and scallop veviche with papaya salsa and yuzu.
50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia W1T 3NG; morganshotelgroup.com
13 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. The 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). At weekends, try Le Grand Déjeuner Menu, available every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm.
No.1 Poultry EC2R 8EJ; coqdargent.co.uk
14 Alto by San Carlo & the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Garden at Selfridges
Alto by San Carlo on the rooftop at Selfridges offers a day-to-night menu of seasonal Italian dishes made using only the finest ingredients. Expect spectacular seafood, pasta, grilled specialties, authentic gelato desserts and an expertly curated wine list in a beautiful Italian garden setting. The alfresco rooftop next door has been transformed into the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Garden for summer 2019, pairing Piper-Heidsieck’s multi award-winning champagnes with Alto by San Carlo’s Italian menu. Open Mon-Weds 11.30am-11pm, Thurs-Sat 9.30am-11pm & Sun 9.30am–10.30pm. Enter via the express lift in Fragrance on G.
400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com
15 The Nyetimber Secret Garden at Rosewood London, Holborn
From 31 May 2019, The Terrace at Rosewood London’s iconic courtyard will be transformed by award-winning landscape designer Luciano Giubbilei into The Nyetimber Secret Garden at Rosewood London. In partnership with pioneering English sparkling wine producers, Nyetimber, the immersive experience will allow you to spend the summer sipping sparkling wine beneath colourful wisteria while dining alfresco with seasonal lunch and dinner menus created by Executive Head Chef Calum Franklin. Running from 31 May until 29 September from 10am-11pm daily.
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com
16 The Terrace on Piccadilly at Le Meridien Piccadilly
The Terrace on Piccadilly at Le Méridien Piccadilly, one of the only outdoor spaces on Piccadilly, is reinventing itself this summer as the Au Soleil Balcony – French for ‘under-the-sun’ – complete with lemon blossom-inspired floral backdrops, chic panama hats and retro beach umbrellas, in a quaint homage to the glamorous summers of 60s Côte d’Azur. Launching in early June, The Au Soleil Balcony will serve Mirabeau en Provence’s finest crafted rosé alongside the new Forever Summer, a vegan-friendly, low alcohol wine, refreshing Frosé popsicles, new Prêt-à-Porter cans of Rosé to Go and all-day alfresco food.
21 Piccadilly W1J 0BH; terraceonpiccadilly.com
17 The Den at St Martins Lane Hotel, Covent Garden
St Martins Lane hotel in Covent Garden has transformed The Den and its outdoor terrace into a tropical jungle oasis in partnership with Veuve Clicquot’s much-loved Yellow Label, and artisan ice cream creators Ruby Violet. The Den itself is a palm-filled, sunny paradise is overflowing with foliage and butterflies, but to reach the hidden terrace, you have to make your way through the jungle walkway. Outside, the secluded garden is lit by hanging lights, with floras taking centre stage and a basket of summery props to aid the perfect selfie. Chilled Veuve Clicquot will be served by the glass and by the bottle, and do make use of the Ruby Violet ice cream freezer on the terrace.
45 St Martin’s Lane, Covent Gardnen WC2N 4HX; morganshotelgroup.com
18 The Scott’s x Christian Louboutin Terrace, Mayfair
Scott’s, the famed celebrity haunt in Mayfair, has partnered with Christian Louboutin to design its 2019 summer terrace, bringing the eponymous designer’s signature vision to the restaurant’s Mount Street façade. Landscape design is one of Christian Louboutin’s little-known private passions, and the Scott’s x Christian Louboutin terrace takes inspiration directly from his 13th century Chateau in Champgillon, featuring a canopy of lilac Chinese and Japanese Wisteria, pops of yellow Osteospermum flowers and pots of irises. The Scott’s bar will also offer an exclusive cocktail, the Champgillon, made with Koniks Tail, Raspberry Syrup, Orgeat and a dash of lemon juice, topped with champagne and mint leaves.
20 Mount Street, Mayfair W1K 2HE; scotts-restaurant.com
19 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 rooftop terrace, a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy street below, is partnering with Moët & Chandon and L’Artisan Parfumeur to launch its Provence-style summer rooftop terrace. The south-facing terrace, lined with delicate lavender and olive trees, will evoke sunny gardens in Provence, inviting guests to take advantage of the suntrap with a cocktail in hand and a curated menu of small seasonal plates, all inspired by the southern European region.
55 Marylebone High Street W1U 5RB; orrery-restaurant.co.uk
20 The Mercer Terrace at Vintry & Mercer, the City
Vintry & Mercer, the new boutique hotel on Garlick Hill, a quaint cobbled street in the heart of 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. Till the end of August, you can enjoy 25% off your bill every Saturday and Sunday lunch time (max 10 people per booking).
19-20 Garlick Hill EC4V 2AU; vintryandmercer.com
21 The Terrace at The Four Seasons London Park Lane
Park Lane is a difficult address to beat in London, and The Four Seasons is keeping things fresh on this exclusive strip with the launch of its summer terrace, dubbed The Art of Apericena, a combination of the Italian Aperitivo and Cena (dinner). The Terrace is an exclusive hideaway split over two levels, located just steps from Park Lane and Piccadilly, and will showcase a new Apericena featuring more substantial dishes than those traditionally eaten for Aperitivo. Bar Manager Ivan Arena has also curated a special cocktail list, including the likes of Rhubarb Americano and the Stretto Giro Martini.
Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair W1J 7DR; fourseasons.com
22 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 9ES; lowndesdining.co.uk
CHELSEA & WEST LONDON’S TOP TERRACES
23 The Nyetimber English Garden at Bluebird, Chelsea
The Nyetimber English Garden terrace takes over Bluebird Chelsea for the summer, complete with a human-sized birdcage with a round table and banquet seating, an abundance of entwined florals and a dedicated Nyetimber menu showcasing the estate’s sparkling wines. Enter Chelsea’s iconic terrace via a flowery arch installation and enjoy a choice of six sparkling wines from Nyetimber including the signature Classic Cuvee Multi-Vintage, Rosé Multi-Vintage, or England’s first Prestigue Cuvee, Nyetimber 1086, accompanied by the likes of truffle fries with parmesan and sea salt, halloumi fritter with spiced ketchup, or buttermilk fried chicken with lime and fermented chilli mayo. The birdcage is available to book for drinks, nibbles and afternoon tea. Open until October.
350 King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 5UU; bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
24 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
25 Dinings SW3 Summer Rosé Ruinart Garden
Chelsea Japanese restaurant Dinings SW3 has teamed up with the first established Champagne house to transform the restaurant’s terrace into a tranquil city escape this summer. The Instagram-worthy Summer Rosé Garden, inspired by the summer bloom in Japan, bedecked with pink foliage, delicately weaved around the courtyard walls, complete with a striking cherry blossom tree. 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
26 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
27 The Chelsea Courtyard, Chelsea
Tucked between two beautiful Victorian buildings, metres from the King’s Road, The Chelsea Courtyard Bistro and Bar is a tranquil oasis offering alfresco drinking and dining. A showcase for The Chelsea Gardener flagship store, the courtyard is a lush, botanical escape, brimming with plants and foliage, providing both sunny spots and cool shady areas to relax. Do try the cocktails, which have a particular focus on botanical ingredients.
151 Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NT; thechelseacourtyard.com
28 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
29 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
30 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
31 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
32 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
33 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
34 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
35 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 revelers, 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
& albert embankment’s TOP TERRACES
36 Bar Elba, Waterloo
This vast rooftop across from Waterloo Station – reached by climbing one heck of a flight of stairs, has added a new mezzanine level for summer 2019, 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
37 The BBQ Club at Southbank Centre
Jimmy Garcia’s acclaimed BBQ Club riverside dining experience returns this summer with a new concept – Patch & Picnic. Soak-up the rays in your own riverside patch by the Southbank Centre, playing classic British outdoor games such as croquet and mini-golf, while indulging in a special BBQ Club hamper packed with alfresco goodies. 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.
78 Waterloo Bridge SE1 9PX; jimmyspopup.com
38 St-Germain Summer in Bloom 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 its the St-Germain Summer in Bloom terrace. Discover the elegant world of the French spritz through an exclusive cocktail menu created by St-Germain – the world’s first French elderflower liqueur – alongside three new cocktail creations from Paulius Patumsis, Head Bartender at OXO Tower Bar, and enjoy on the flower-festooned rooftop terrace overlooking the Thames and the iconic London skyline. Running till 30 June 2019.
Barge House Street, South Bank SE1 9PH; harveynichols.com
39 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
40 12th Knot at Sea Containers, South Bank
The terrace at 12th Knot, formerly Rumpus Room, 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. 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. 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; seacontainerslondon.com
41 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
42 Laurent-Perrier Sea Containers Terrace, South Bank
Sea Containers Restaurant, the Thameside restaurant within Sea Containers London, has launched its Laurent-Perrier Sea Containers Terrace in collaboration with the famed Champagne house. Popping up for the duration of the summer, the vibrant terrace will wrap around Sea Containers Restaurant, offer a relaxed dining area with views across the Thames to St Paul’s Cathedral. The terrace menu features dishes themed around seafood, such as the seafood platter of ceviche, oysters, prawns, crab and octopus with a shallot and Bloody Mary dressing, alongside a full range of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée champagne and cocktails.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PD; seacontainerslondon.com
43 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
SOUTH LONDON’S TOP TERRACES
44 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, 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
45 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
46 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
47 Lost in Brixton
Launching on 1 August, Lost in Brixton is a concrete jungle with drinks, music, local draft beer and a Latin American-inspired cocktail menu. And the best bit? You can order food from the new Tablesnapper app and get it delivered to your table. Neat, huh? Tucked behind Brixton Village in a space that’s never been seen by the public, Lost in Brixton will have a capacity for 440 and a retractable roof to keep you happy whatever the weather. Jungle greenery set against the brickwork of Brixton’s railway arches will set the scene for those idyllic long summer evenings.
Coldharbour Lane SW9 8PS; lostinbrixton.com
48 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
49 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
50 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
51 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
52 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
53 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
54 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
55 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
56 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
57 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 6BX; waterpoet.co.uk
58 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
59 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
60 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 7JE; dishoom.com
61 Angler & the Secret Garden 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. Partnering with award-winning gin producers Cambridge Distillery, Angler will bring a dash of Cambridge countryside charm to the city this summer, offering refreshing gin cocktails – like the Thyme & Sage Sour and the Cambridge Collins – amidst a haven of summer foliage and nostalgic English bar snacks like cuttlefish fritters with chip shop curry sauce and crispy pork brawn. South Place Hotel has also transformed its Secret Garden for summer, creating a floral suntrap with waterfalls, palm trees and creeping vines in partnership with Minuty, a French family-run winery. The Secret Garden operates on a first-come, first-serve basis – email ChopHouse@SouthPlaceHotel.com to check availability or Events@SouthPlaceHotel.com for exclusive hire.
3 South Place, Moorgate EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com / anglerrestaurant.com
62 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
63 Dalston Roof Park
Described as an ‘urban utopian oasis’ with views of the London skyline, Dalston Roof Park has paired with French cider brand Maison SASSY to redefine the way we drink cider. Try a range of cool cocktails such as The Golden Poire (made with chamomile cordial, cardamom, chamomile flowers and SASSY Cidre Poiré), the Summer SASS (Grey Goose La Vanille, Melonade, soda water and SASSY Cidre Brut) and Pomme de Replay (Patron, 30&40 Double Jus, agave, lime juice, grapefruit juice and SASSY Cidre Rosé). Nestled among Hackney’s Victorian buildings and overlooking London’s skyscrapers, Dalston’s only rooftop space is a great spot to relax, eat, drink and dance.
The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin Street E8 3DL; facebook.com/dalstonroofpark
64 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
65 Pitch, Stratford
Stratford is cool now. The Olympics are long gone, but the canals and outdoor spaces speak for themselves. Pitch on Bridge Terrace off Stratford High Street, which launched last year, is back with a new look, inspired by a Moroccan riad, complete with a pale blue and purple colour palette, woven lanterns, festoon lighting and plenty of greenery. There are wooden Moroccan-inspired dining booths with table service designed for group bookings, alongside a green for outdoor games and a 196” HD screen for cinema and sport screenings. Two permanent street food options are on offer, including Pakistani street-food and experimental supper-club specialists Empress Market, plus one rotating guest street food truck that will be on social media. There’s entertainment too: on Wednesdays its cinema night, Fridays mean live music and DJs, and on weekends there are ticketed music acts. Open daily 4pm-11pm week nights and 12pm-11pm on weekends until late September.
2 Bridge Street, Stratford E15 3FF; pitchstratford.com
66 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
NORTH LONDON’s TOP TERRACES
67 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
68 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
69 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
70 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 4JJ; themodernpantry.co.uk
71 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