London's Best Rooftop Bars & Outdoor Terraces
UPDATED APRIL 2019
Rosewood London, Holborn
This summer, Rosewood London has teamed up with Nyetimber to create a secret garden in the middle of its Edwardian courtyard. Floral archways will adorn the entrance and inside the terrace will be transformed into a verdant garden serving Nyetimber's range of English sparkling wine. Holborn Dining Room's Calum Franklin has created a special menu that pairs perfectly with the fizz, and breakfast will be served on the terrace for the first time.
252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN; 31st May-29th September
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.
3 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH
B&H Garden, Covent Garden
B&H Garden Room is a restaurant and bar from the team behind the perennially popular B&H Buildings in Clerkenwell. Located next to the National Portrait Gallery, the venue mixes picture-perfect interiors, seasonal food and the brand’s signature cocktails with 180-degree views of London from the top floor, where floor-to-ceiling windows frame the room. As per its Clerkenwell offering, the whole venue is filled with plants, from fully-grown trees to trailing creepers and statement plants, bringing a little slice of summer inside during the chillier months.
27-31 Charing Cross Road, Covent Garden, WC2H 0LS
Market Halls Victoria, Victoria
Market Halls Victoria has opened a roof terrace. With outdoor seating for 150 customers, a bar championing British-made beers, independent spirits and soft drinks and a new ‘Summer Spritz’ menu, visitors can head upstairs for a day in the sunshine with a never-before-seen view over Victoria. Open from early morning until late evening, guests will be able to enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks in the space, which is filled with comfortable banquets, plenty of greenery and cosy tables.
191 Victoria Street, Victoria, SW1E 5NE
Vinegar Yard, London Bridge
Vinegar Yard is a brand-new eating, drinking, shopping and art space. Located under the direct gaze of The Shard, Vinegar Yard comprises art installations, container pop-up shops, bars, street-food traders and a huge open-air garden area with outdoor seating for hundreds of people. Open seven days a week from early until late, we imagine the venue will be filled with after-work drinkers and weekend fun-seekers come summer. At the weekend guests can also pick up a one-of-a-kind item at Flea London, a vintage and makers market.
St Thomas Street, London Bridge, SE1 3QU
Roof Fest London, Oxford Circus
John Lewis & Partners has announced the launch of its festival-themed summer rooftop. The summer-long celebration draws inspiration from hazy festival days, elevating guests into an immersive world of ‘boho chic’. Hosting an eclectic range of acts and activities – from energetic live musical performances to extravagant dining experiences, masterclasses and cinema screenings – the rooftop will offer an escape from the busy streets below.
Oxford Street, Oxford Circus, W1C 1DX
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’s an 18-seat feasting table available, plus 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. Shuffleboard, table tennis (with optional beer pong) and mini-golf are all on hand to keep the festivities lively.
Albert Wharf, Fulham, SW6 2TY
Pergola Paddington, Paddington
Following a successful two-year run at the Television Centre, Pergola on the Roof relocated to Paddington last year. Now named Pergola Paddington, the hidden al fresco garden offers a fun party spot for drinking and dining in west London, and with room for 850 guests, it's a great spot for groups. Drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean’s laid-back coastline, this summer Pergola Paddington is taking off the roof on the top deck and adding daybeds and DJs. Decorated in the same verdant style, the colourful venue holds plenty of banquet-style dining tables for guests to feast on food from the likes of Babek Brothers, Honi Poké, An Choi and Smash Patty.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington, W2 6PY; opens 2nd May
Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
This summer, Queen of Hoxton invites guests to join them for a long hot summer of tacos, tequila and giant frozen margaritas on its rooftop bar. Inspired by the vibrant town of San Cristóbal in Mexico, the venue will pay homage to luchadoras: Mexican female wrestlers. There’ll be something for everyone across the summer, from Trump-themed pinata-making classes to feminist embroidery workshops inspired by Frida Kahlo, arm wrestling, plus mezcal and insect tasting.
1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3JX; from 2nd May
Skylight London, Wapping
Skylight London at Tobacco Dock returns in May for the summer season. Skylight’s raised platform bar on level 12 has undergone an upgrade for 2019, welcoming all-new day beds and private garden booths as well as added greenery. Green croquet lawns will be returning to the rooftop, as well as pétanque lanes and table tennis. Elsewhere, three bars will serve a variety of seasonal cocktails such as ‘Raspberry Rum Margheritas’ and Pimms in pitchers – perfect for groups.
Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2SF; opens 2nd May
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 newcomer House of Foos, a VR mix of traditional football and table foosball.
7 & 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Road, Stratford, E15 1BB
Dalloway Terrace, Fitzrovia
The new season means it’s time for Dalloway Terrace to sport a new outfit. The Bloomsbury restaurant has been transformed into a tropical paradise adorned with the unique flora of Sri Lanka, resplendent in silk foliage stems, tropical ferns and palms, and bright bursts of fuchsia provided by orchids and passion flower. Guests will be able to enjoy the floral installation with a tipple from a new list of botanical cocktails inspired by the flavours of Sri Lanka: highlights include a ‘Tropical Negroni’, a delicious twist on a classic made with Mór Pineapple gin, Belsazar Dry, cinnamon tincture, pink grapefruit and kumquat shrub.
16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia, WC1B 3NN
Jurema at YOPO, Fitzrovia
Jurema is a new rooftop terrace space at Fitzrovia’s The Mandrake hotel. Opening in May, the terrace will serve a South American-influenced bar menu from in-house restaurant YOPO. Food will be served on small plates with sharing options including dishes such as Iberico pork pressa and roast pineapple salsa; kale chicharrones, chilli and lime salt; grilled lobster and mango tostada; and seabass, avocado and raspberry ceviche. Summer on a plate.
20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1PG; opens May 2019
Chiringuito, Bethnal Green
Chiringuito opened in Bethnal Green during the long hot summer of 2018 and is set to return for another season of laid-back weekend brunches and sunset cocktails. Framed by the surrounding trees, with rooftop views across the church and park below, Chiringuito offers a Latin-American and Hispanic-inspired menu. The bar offers an extensive range of Spanish gins and wines, while the cocktail menu puts Latino twists on classics: think the ‘Mezcaloni’, a Mexican take on the negroni.
Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA
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 brand-new retractable roof – perfect for when the weather really ramps up. Expect seasonal drinks, plus food from the likes of Patty & Bun, Homeslice, Jefferies and newcomer Edu. Keep an eye out for The Tudor Room, a new snug spot that’s available to hire for parties.
14 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1TT
The Coach, Clerkenwell
Established in 1790, this longstanding neighbourhood pub continues to be a cornerstone of Clerkenwell. Restored last year, The Coach has been taken over by ex-Racine chef Henry Harris and his partner James McCulloch. Now, it’s an upscale boozer that focuses on food. A pretty garden hits the mark once the sun comes out to play, and the bar’s homemade sausage rolls are an event in themselves.
26-28 Ray Street, Clerkenwell, EC1R 3DJ
Savage Garden, Tower Hill
Opened last summer, Savage Garden is a dramatic sky-high destination bar located in the City. This all-day bar and cocktail lounge offers 360-degree 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
Pomona’s, Notting Hill
A hidden sun trap in Notting Hill, Pomona’s features a summer terrace, complete with a dedicated gin and oyster bar. Guests can enjoy a plate of Maldon oysters, freshly sourced from Goldhanger Creek and River Blackwater in Essex, and settle down under a canopy of wisteria with one of the bar’s gin specials: classics include south sides (gin-based mojitos), negronis and Pomona’s take on the G&T; made with elderflower tonic, strawberry and black pepper.
47 Hereford Road, Notting Hill, W2 5AH
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 alfresco 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
Churchill Bar & Terrace, Marylebone
Inspired by Sir Winston Churchill’s travels to Cuba, this award-winning al fresco terrace that bears his name has transformed into 'Casa de Cuba', a vibrant Cuban sanctuary where guests can explore a new cocktail menu from head bartender Daniele Bresciani and his team, as well as Cuban food specialties including a classic 'cubanito' sandwich, fried plantain and huevo habanero.
30 Portman Square, Marylebone, W1H 7BH
Aqua Nueva, Soho
This May, contemporary Spanish restaurant Aqua Nueva will open its summer terrace, which will celebrate London's vibrant art scene. Following the restaurant's recent successful partnership with The National Gallery and its menu inspired by the Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light exhibition, guests will be able to take part in a series of watercolour art classes held on the terrace throughout the summer, to be enjoyed with a cocktail or two while soaking up views of the city skyline.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), Soho, W1B 3BR
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.
20 Fenchurch Street, Moorgate, EC3M 8AF
12th Knot, South Bank
We reckon this spot has got the best views in London – down onto the Thames and across to St Paul’s Cathedral, the City, Royal Festival Hall and Tate Modern. And while the verdant spot is great during the day, it really comes to life at night. Expect British-American inspired cocktails and food, live music on Wednesdays and DJs Thursday to Saturday.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PD
Ham Yard Hotel, Soho
On the fourth floor of this cool Soho hotel, there’s a large, leafy rooftop garden with sweeping views over the London skyline. The garden is also home to two beehives, tended to by its dedicated beekeeper, Camilla. Expect a lounge area scattered with Whitman benches and upholstered seating, and a bar with plenty of hanging plants and lanterns.
1 Ham Yard, Soho, W1D 7DT
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
Bluebird White City, White City
Last year’s newbie from D&D London is one to get excited about. We recommend heading to Bluebird’s second outpost for brunch on the terrace. Expect eggs any style, breakfast bowls, bottomless bubbles and lobster rolls. From 11am a DJ will be on hand to kick things off.
Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, W12 7FR
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
The Boundary, Shoreditch
Head to the trend set’s favourite al fresco hangout at the Boundary Hotel’s rooftop terrace. 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
With unparalleled views stretching right across the city, Aviary’s swanky City roof terrace is a must for after work cocktails in the sun. Feeling virtuous? The bar has partnered with Seedlip to create a range of high-quality non-alcoholic options. Got a party in mind? Guests can hire the private 20-capacity Palm Terrace, which offers views over the city skyline.
22-25 Finsbury Square, City, EC2A 1DX
Art Yard Terrace, Bankside
Art Yard Bar & Kitchen, the design-led all-day dining restaurant and bar in Bankside Hotel, will launch its brand-new summer terrace this May. Offering views across the river to St Paul’s, the terrace is launching in partnership with Hambledon, the award-winning Hampshire vineyard. Alongside a full range of English sparkling wines available by the glass and bottle, an evolving drinks list will also feature summer spritzes. Light bites and wood-fired pizzette will be delivered to your table or you can cool off with Hambledon ‘Snow Cones’.
Art Yard, 2 Blackfriars Road, Bankside, SE1 9JU; opens 1st May