23 Of London's Best Outdoor Bars

From quirky rooftop bars to chic outdoor terraces, there’s nothing like an al fresco drink in the sun – and this summer, it feels more important than ever. From cabanas to daybeds, here are 23 of the best outdoor spaces across the capital….

Mama Shelter’s Garden Bar

Newcomer Mama Shelter’s outdoor bar offers a sun-filled spot for drinkers and diners. In the centre of the hotel, the space comprises an open roof and terrace-style seating that is well suited to social distancing. Created by exec chef Ian Daw, a refreshed food menu includes a selection of kebabs, including a chicken za’atar kebab with harissa yoghurt, pickled cucumber and pistachio; a spiced falafel kebab with coconut tzatziki, sundried tomato hummus and pickled radish; and a lamb kofta kebab with guindilla peppers, red cabbage, parsley and tahini sauce. A new cocktail collection includes ‘Jungle Juice’, a blend of East London Liquor Company gin, thai basil, triple sec, orgeat, Pernod and pineapple.

437 Hackney Road, Hackney, E2 8PP

Visit MamaShelter.com

Lina In Piazza, King’s Cross

Lina Stores has opened an outdoor restaurant on Lewis Cubitt Square. The 85-cover terrace will be partially covered to protect from the elements and adhere to the latest social-distancing advice with one-way entry and exit. Diners can feast on new dishes of maltagliati verdi with spring mushroom ragu; and crab linguine with lemon, chilli and garlic; as well as Lina Stores favourites tagliolini with summer truffle and parmigiano; and veal ravioli with salsa verde. A vintage Italian gelato cart will be perched on the corner of the square from August, dishing up gelato and sorbetto in a cone or cup to enjoy on the terrace or on the go.
 
20-21 Stable Street, King’s Cross, N1C 4DR
 
Visit LinaStores.co.uk

The Nest, Marylebone

The treehouse craze has come to the capital in the form of this recent hotel opening in Marylebone. The Nest is a spacious and open rooftop terrace, with uninterrupted skyline views and ample space, making it well suited to social-distancing measures. Now open to the public, it’s serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and weekend brunch for the first time. Dishes include wild mushroom frittata; waffles with berries and cream; and stone-baked flatbreads. When it comes to drinks, a range of cocktails – such as ‘Avocado Bellini’, ‘Whisky Colada’ and ‘Coconut Manhattan’ – are accompanied by alcoholic slushies and sharers.
 
14-15 Langham Place, Marylebone, W1B 2QS

Visit TreehouseHotels.com

Sabor Al Fresco, Soho

Nieves Barragan Mohacho and Jose Etura have launched Sabor Al Fresco. An entirely outdoor dining experience reminiscent of Spanish market bars, the space opens up onto Heddon Street, with seating for up to 28. Guests order and collect from the outdoor bar and grill, with dishes also available to take away. Cocktails such as house sangria and fino negroni will be served alongside beer on tap, cava and Spanish wines. Sabor al Fresco will run for five weeks, at which point both the Counter at Sabor and the Asador will reopen with exciting menu changes and safety measures in place. 
 
35-37 Heddon Street, Soho, W1B 4BR

Visit SaborRestaurants.co.uk

The Standard, King’s Cross

The Standard’s beautiful sun-soaked garden terrace is now open, alongside the reopening of ground floor bar, Double Standard. One of the largest in the neighbourhood, the terrace is tucked behind the hotel and is now taking reservations indoors and outdoors. The space offers Aperol slushies, a Moët Minis vending machine and a choice of dishes from chef Adam Rawson's dive bar menu.

10 Argyle Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8EG

Visit StandardHotels.com

The Lighterman, King’s Cross

Located between Granary Square and Regent’s Canal, the three-floor Lighterman offers great views of the square or tranquil waterfront, depending on where you sit. On the lower ground floor, the canal-side bar and terrace offer extensive outdoor seating. Kitted out with wooden furniture, parasols and beautiful planters, the terrace is perfect for al fresco dining. We’re a fan of its courgette, mint and ricotta flatbread. The spot is also taking part in the government’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

3 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH

Visit TheLighterman.co.uk

Vinegar Yard, London Bridge

Vinegar Yard – the London Bridge eating, drinking, shopping and art space – opened last summer. Located under the direct gaze of The Shard, the market comprises art installations, container pop-up shops, bars, street-food traders and a huge open-air garden area with outdoor seating. Open seven days a week from early until late, at the weekend guests can also pick up a one-of-a-kind item at Flea London, a vintage and makers market. All visitors must obtain a free track-and-trace ticket to enter the space.

St Thomas Street, London Bridge, SE1 3QU

Visit VinegarYard.London

Neverland, Fulham

Who says you need to travel out of London in search of golden sands? Fulham’s first Thameside beach spot will play host to sun seekers over the summer. As well as sand and palm trees, there are beach huts, cabanas and day beds available to rent with optional butler service – they’ll bring bespoke cocktails from the mixology trolley, so you won’t even have to leave your bed.

Albert Wharf, Fulham, SW6 2TY

Visit NeverlandLondon.com

Pergola Paddington, Paddington

Following a successful two-year run at the Television Centre, Pergola on the Roof relocated to Paddington in 2018. Now named Pergola Paddington, the hidden al fresco garden offers a good spot for drinking and dining in west London, and with room for 850 guests, there’s plenty of space to spread out. The colourful venue holds plenty of banquet-style dining tables for guests to feast on food from the likes of Babek Brothers, Temaki Bros, Thunderbird and Salt Shed who will be barbecuing and grilling the finest British produce.

5 Kingdom Street, Paddington, W2 6PY

Visit PergolaLondon.com

Skylight Rooftop, Wapping

Skylight London at Tobacco Dock has reopened for the summer season. Tables are now all bookable, with reservations from £10 per table, and guests need to have secured a booking in advance in order to enter the venue, ensuring controlled numbers. Full table service for all guests is a new feature while distancing measures are in place, with drinks collection points located at the end of each table with contactless payment throughout the venue. For now, Skylight has temporarily paused bookings for its rooftop lawn games to allow further flexibility across its seating area for greater physical distancing.

Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2SF

Visit SkylightLondon.com

Roof East, Stratford

Roof East has opened for the summer season complete with a new look, fresh games and different street-food vendors. This adult playground invites guests to grab a drink, friend and scorecard. Featuring six action-packed gaming lanes, players can curl, bowl or shuffle to victory. Five free games include cornhole, Jenga, table tennis, foosball and table-top curling, while more extreme events include Sluggers, London’s only batting cages, Birdies crazy golf and Sliders curling.

7 & 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Road, Stratford, E15 1BB

Visit SFGClub.com

Dalloway Terrace, Fitzrovia

The new season means it’s time for Dalloway Terrace to sport a new outfit. Thanks to the restaurant’s indoor/outdoor concept with retractable roof and walls, guests can enjoy the new summer menu come rain or shine. This year, the heated terrace has been transformed into a whimsical overgrown greenhouse, complete with cascading roses, sweet peas and tulips to create a serene English garden feel, courtesy of McQueens Flowers. Alongside the floral display, Dalloway Terrace has relaunched with an all-day dining menu, which includes its most popular dishes – think  wild mushroom and mozzarella arancini; grilled tiger prawns with green mango and chilli; and vanilla crème brûlée with English strawberries.

16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia, WC1B 3NN

Visit DallowayTerrace.com

Jurema at YOPO, Fitzrovia 

Jurema is the rooftop terrace space at Fitzrovia’s The Mandrake hotel. This summer, it’s unveiled its Mandrake Cabanas, exclusive private drinking and dining spaces that open onto the hotel's terrace. Each of the ten cabanas are available for reservation throughout the day and night and a table service menu is available, serving South American-inspired dishes from YOPO and cocktails from Waeska bar. Dishes will include grilled lamb shoulder tacos with raw pea, jalapeno and tomatillo salsa; courgette flowers and smoked cheese quesadillas.

20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1PG

Visit TheMandrake.com

The Prince, West Brompton

The Prince in West Brompton has been drawing locals and young Londoners alike since it opened in late 2017. Transformed with greenery and foliage, this season half the venue’s roof been raised and replaced with a retractable roof – perfect for when the weather really ramps up. Guests can dine picnic style from the comfort of The Prince’s garden, where the resident vendors will be serving up fresh street food for al fresco dining. Diners can choose from homely comfort dishes such as mac & cheese from Wildcard, knock-out burgers at Patty&Bun, or fresh waffles from Utter Waffle.

14 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1TT

Visit ThePrinceLondon.com

Savage Garden, Tower Hill

Savage Garden is a dramatic sky-high destination bar located in the City. This all-day bar and cocktail lounge offers 360° vistas that take in some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks. These views are best seen from its Wildside terrace, which comes with a retractable roof. Innovative cocktails include the likes of ‘Devil’s Advocate’; a twisted take on a margarita, made with tequila, grapefruit juice, crème de cassis, lemon and sugar, finished with sage leaves and a drop of ‘Savage Hot Stuff’.

7 Pepys Street, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AF

Visit SavageGarden.co.uk

Petersham Nurseries, Covent Garden

The restaurant where renowned chef Skye Gyngell made her name has a second multi-purpose dining destination in Covent Garden. Housed within the aptly named Floral Court, the standout spot is the rustic, flower-filled courtyard, where al fresco dining is an option. Drinking botanical cocktails in the secret garden-like courtyard, which combines a traditional country garden with Italian elegance, on a warm summer evening, it’s hard to imagine that the usual bustle of Covent Garden is just moments away.

27-31 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JB

Visit PetershamNurseries.com

Sky Garden, Moorgate

We’re becoming ever-more enamoured with the restaurants and bars atop the Sky Garden. That might have something to do with the fact all the plants and trees planted in 2014 are gradually growing and blooming. Darwin Brasserie is our pick of the bunch when it comes to views over the urban garden itself, whereas the 36th-floor City Garden Bar is an all-day drinking and dining spot that looks down on the capital. In line with government restrictions please note that face masks are now mandatory at Sky Garden. 

20 Fenchurch Street, Moorgate, EC3M 8AF

Visit SkyGarden.London

South Place Hotel, Moorgate

There’s not one but two pretty terraces within this City hotel. The first is part of its Michelin-starred seafood restaurant Angler, where pre-dinner G&Ts are a must (a retractable roof and blankets make an appearance if the weather turns). In the very centre of the hotel, you’ll find its secret courtyard. The surprise oasis is filled with waterfalls and palm trees, and specialises in champagne, cocktails and cigars.

3 South Place, Moorgate, EC2M 2AF; reopens 1st September 

Visit SouthPlaceHotel.com

Bar Elba, Waterloo

A sister site to nearby hotspot Tonight Josephine, this cool new bar resides atop Mercury House in Waterloo. Survive the six flights of stairs, and you’ll be treated to an extensive range of cocktails and plenty of Insta-ready vistas. Its motto is ‘Liberté, Egalité, Rosé’. We can get on board with that.

109-117 Waterloo Road, Waterloo, SE1 8UL

Visit Bar-Elba.co.uk

The Boundary, Shoreditch

Head to the trend set’s favourite al fresco hangout at the Boundary Hotel’s rooftop bar and grill. The terrace basks in the Shoreditch sun by day, but evening is when the rooftop really comes to life, with blankets, log burners and fairy lights twinkling above.

2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DD

Visit Boundary.London

Aviary, City

With unparalleled views stretching right across the city, Aviary’s swanky City roof terrace is a must for cocktails in the sun. If you’re after something private, guests can hire the private 20-capacity Palm Terrace, which offers views over the city skyline.

22-25 Finsbury Square, City, EC2A 1DX 

Visit AviaryLondon.com

Lost In Brixton, Brixton

Lost in Brixton is back for a second summer session. With a little imagination and a lot of love, this hidden corner of Brixton has been turned into a secret rooftop terrace. Take a staircase from a quiet corner of Brixton Market up to the rooftop spot above, packed with exotic flowers and vibrant wall murals. The drinks menu features summer spritzes and classic cocktails, as well as extra fresh beer pumped straight from Brixton Brewery, located around the corner. 

Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PS

Visit LostInBrixton.com

Mr Fogg’s X Moët & Chandon, Covent Garden

Mr Fogg’s has unveiled an elegant new al fresco drinking experience in collaboration with Moët & Chandon. Bedecked with elegant parasols, planters and nautical touches, the terrace is the perfect spot to make the most of the elongated summer evenings. For those who enjoy an iconic champagne, it doesn’t get much better than Moët Impérial, while rosé lovers will be drawn to the Moët Rosé Impérial, which combines a lively, intense bouquet of red berry flavours and floral nuances of rose. Both are available to enjoy by the glass and bottle and will arrive at your table in hand-woven wicker baskets.

58 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4EA

Visit Mr-Foggs.com 

INSPIRATION CREDITS: Petersham NurseriesThe Standard; Lost In Brixton; Mama Shelter
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