Lifestyle

36 Ravishing Rooftop Bars In London For The Bank Holiday Weekend

August Bank Holiday weekend isn’t quite complete if you can’t pair a drink with some pretty intoxicating views of the city. Luckily for us, our beloved capital is full to the brim with rooftop spots where you can enjoy a pint or cocktail while surveying the city’s skyscrapers. Here’s our rundown of 35 of the best rooftop bars in London to drink this bank holiday weekend – we’ll cheers to that.

Best rooftop bars in Central London

1. Savage Garden, City

Savage Garden Rooftop Bar

This glossy rooftop bar opened in 2018, twelve floors above the Hilton DoubleTree hotel in Tower Hill, and offers views of Tower Bridge from their fine terrace. Expect ‘savagely Portuguese’ wines, top-flight nibbles and a price point to match at Savage Garden – you are in the City after all darling.

You’ll find Savage Garden on the 12th Floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London, 7 Pepys Street, EC3N 4AF. Nearest station is Tower Hill. 

2. One New Change at Madisons, St Pauls

madison-rooftop

Soaring above the stylish shopping centre is this terrace bar, which makes its way onto our rooftop bars roundup by virtue of Madison’s, the adjoining restaurant and bar. The ace in the hole at One New Change is so obvious that we really don’t need to say it. Do we? (Hint: check the photo background for a clue).

You’ll find One New Change at Rooftop Terrace One, St Paul’s, EC4M 9AF. Nearest stations are St Paul’s and Mansion House.

3. Coq D’Argent, Bank

Immaculately manicured lawns, cute hedges, wisteria draped across the terraces...the next addition to this roundup of rooftop bars in London makes a serious claim to be the most beautiful of them all. Feast on views of the City of London as you feast on their delicious food at Coq D’Argent, hot off the grill.

You’ll find Coq D’Argent at 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ. Nearest station is Bank.

4. Aviary, Finsbury Square

A vast expanse of comfy sofas make this an attractive option any time of day. However, Aviary comes into its own when the sun goes down and the lights of the London go on, and the warm summer breeze makes those sofas look suspiciously like beds… Their Summer igloos are pretty nifty, too.

You’ll find Aviary at Montcalm Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX. Nearest station is Moorgate.

5. Alto at Selfridges, Oxford Street

Never one to be outdone, Selfridges hosts a well-regarded rooftop restaurant, with a lovely al fresco bar area called Alto right on the corner of the building. There’s even a retractable roof for days when the British summer lets us down. Let’s hope 2022 doesn’t so you can enjoy the views of Soho and Central London.

You’ll find Alto at 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB. Nearest station is Bond Street. 

6. Radio Rooftop, Strand

The beautiful Radio Rooftop Bar in Central London
Photo: @radiorooftoplondon

This radio won’t play the latest beats, but it will bring you cocktails, nibbles, and views of Somerset House and the river… for a hefty per-person minimum spend. Booking was essential even before the COVID-19 pandemic, so you can rest assured it’s extremely necessary now at Radio Rooftop.

You’ll find Radio Rooftop at ME London, 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA. Nearest station is Temple.

7. The Rooftop, Trafalgar Square

Rooftop Bar SW1 LONDON

We were never going to declare any of these champion of rooftop bars, so we’d usually be irked by a place anointing itself ‘The Rooftop‘. But when it overlooks Trafalgar Square and looks stunning at night, we’re prepared to forgive this one.

You’ll find The Rooftop on the 7th Floor, 2 Spring Gardens, St. James’s, SW1A 2TS. Nearest station is Charing Cross. 

8. The Rooftop, Leicester Square

Also billed as ‘The Rooftop‘, this swanky spot sits above the Hippodrome Casino smack dab in the middle of Leicester Square, so if you’d like to sup libations in the beating heart of the West End, here’s your chance.

You’ll find The Rooftop at Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 7JH. Nearest station is Leicester Square.

9. Sabine, St Paul’s

Sabine will put you tantalisingly close to the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, and we’re extremely excited to pop down for a visit. Perched on the seventh floor of the Leonardo Royal Hotel, Sabine’s retractable roof will unfurl on summer days to catch the sunlight glinting off the dome of St Paul’s. Not that the interior views are to be sniffed at, mind you: hanging baskets and artfully draped plants provide a botanical interior accented by wood and tiles.

10 Godliman Street, EC4V 5AJ. Nearest station is St Paul’s. 

10. Garden Rooftop, Leicester Square

Plant-lovers with a penchant for cocktails should make this the first spot on their list. Billed as a ‘Living Bar’, the Garden Rooftop takes plenty of inspiration from the natural world for their cocktails, even going so far as inviting you to hand-pick herbs and botanicals that the Garden Rooftop’s bartenders will then use to infuse and garnish your cocktails.

. Nearest station is Leicester Square.

11. Willows On The Roof, Oxford Street

Up above the John Lewis department store, a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus, sits the bucolic Willows On The Roof. Tinie Tempah’s RAPS will take over the food side of things here, with Hackney favourites Night Tales sorting out the tunes for the occasions.

You’ll find Willows On The Roof at John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, W1C 1DX. Nearest Station is Oxford Circus. 

Best rooftop bars in North London

12. The Standard Rooftop, King’s Cross St Pancras

Situated on the 11th floor of The Standard hotel, above Decimo restaurant, The Standard Rooftop aims to bring ‘the vibe of New York’s iconic rooftop bars to London’. While you may not get to bump heads with the Empire State Building as you look out, you will get a beautiful view of our iconic city, including a pretty spectacular backdrop of the city’s famous St Pancras Clock Tower.

You’ll find The Standard Rooftop at 10 Argyle Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8EG. Nearest station is King’s Cross St Pancras.

13. Near & Far, Camden

Taking the Palm Springs concept to the next level, the Camden offshoot of Near & Far is set over four floors and includes a gorgeous covered roof terrace with views over the famous Camden Market. The whole venue is filled with pastel colours, hot pink lighting, palm trees and cacti, and there’s a banging cocktail list to boot too.

You’ll find Near & Far at 48 Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, NW1 8AJ. Nearest stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm.

Best rooftop bars in East London

14. Roof East, Stratford

Roof East

An expansive space in Stratford, Roof East’s playground for adults offers exactly that: lawn bowls, baseball batting cages, karaoke and crazy golf are all popping up there this summer, along with q whole array of delicious street food to gorge yourself silly on. They’ve also partnered with Choose Love this year, allowing guests to make optional donations or purchase a special cocktail that raises money for refugees, as if you needed another reason to visit.

You’ll find Roof East at Stratford Multi-Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, E15 1XE. Nearest station is Stratford. 

15. Netil360, Hackney

Charmingly rustic, and all the more popular for it, this is one of East London’s favourite rooftop bars, offering panoramic views of Shoreditch, Aldgate and beyond. A great list of craft beers (from East London to boot) adds to the laidback atmosphere of Netil 360, which also boasts a cafe, gallery, and a workspace too – after work pint anyone?

You’ll find Netil 360 at 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL. Nearest station is London Fields. 

16. Skylight, Wapping

Summer pop-ups

Officially the only addition on this roundup of the best rooftop bars in London to offer a croquet course, Skylight sits above Tobacco Dock, and it also opens during the winter season with an adorable rooftop ice rink. There’s also another Skylight south of the river too.

You’ll find Skylight at Pennington Street, E1W 2SF. Nearest station is Shadwell. 

17. The Boundary, Shoreditch

The beautiful Boundary Rooftop Bar in Shoreditch, London
Photo: @boundaryldn

Mediterranean vibes abound in Summer at the rooftop bar of swanky Shoreditch hotel The Boundary. The rosé will be chilled, so fingers crossed the weather will be warm, although if it isn’t head to the basement where a new brasserie and bar are opening soon. (See the best restaurants in Shoreditch for even more dining inspo.)

You’ll find The Boundary at 2-4 Redchurch Street, E2 7DD. Nearest station is Shoreditch High Street.

18. Jin Bo Law, Aldgate

Asian-inspired cocktails are the order of the day at this swanky Aldgate hangout, atop the Dorsett Hotel. They’ll also throw views of London’s skyscrapers into the bargain, courtesy of the14th-floor roof terrace at Jin Bo Law. We’ll cheers to that.

You’ll find Dorsett City Hotel, 9 Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AH. Nearest station is Aldgate East.

19. Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch

Queen of Hoxton, everyone’s favourite Shoreditch rooftop bar, usually delivers the goods with their summer and winter pop-ups. Previously themes have included the ‘Wizard of Oz‘, Mexican female wrestling, and a dystopian Las Vegas – plans for this year are still under wraps, but they are planning an ‘immersive experience where your imagination can run wild‘. Sounds good to us!

You’ll find the Queen of Hoxton at 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX. Nearest station is Liverpool Street, Old Street or Shoreditch High Street. 

20. The Culpeper, Aldgate

Part bar, part urban garden, you won’t find many rooftop bars like this in London. Especially ones with panoramic views of the City. The roof terrace of lovely East London boozer The Culpeper is an utterly charming collision of modern and rustic. Bonus points if you can find the bar’s giant light-up cucumber.

You’ll find The Culpeper at 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP. Nearest station is Aldgate East.

21. SUSHISAMBA, Liverpool Street

The incredible views from SUSHISAMBA in London's Salesforce Tower
Photo: @sushisamba_ldn

Rooftop bars in London don’t come much higher than this. Spanning the 38th and 39th floors of the Salesforce Tower, the Japanese-Brazilian fusion restaurant SUSHISAMBA serves cocktails with dramatic views of the city skyline and beyond. Imagine the Insta-appeal of their foliage-filled sister restaurant and bar in Covent Garden, and you’ll have some idea of what this London rooftop bar is like.

22. Bokan, Canary Wharf

Got a real head for heights? This Canary Wharf rooftop bar is perched way up high on the 39th floor, and also offer a specialist gin bar, daybeds and Sunday jazz sessions. They’ve also got a high-end restaurant and another bar at Bokan too.

You’ll find Bokan at 40 Marsh Wall, E14 9TP. Nearest station is Canary Wharf. 

23. Pergola on the Wharf, Canary Wharf

The next arrival from London’s fab Pergola group sees them perched off the ground (at least, enough to sneak in as a rooftop bar) at Crossrail Place Roof Garden. Taking over the space that used to be street food hub Giant Robot, this foliage-filled street food and cocktail hub is billed as a ‘botanical waterside Eden‘ – more than enough to pique our interest!

You’ll find Pergola on the Wharf at Crossrail Place, E14 5AR. Nearest stations are Canary Wharf and Poplar.

Best rooftop bars in South London

24. Bar Elba, Waterloo

A wonderful themed offering amongst these London rooftop bars, Bar Elba is the companion bar of the ultra-glam Tonight Josephine. Honouring Napoleon’s exile on his party isle of Elba, you won’t need 600 mates and a horse to enjoy this place. Unless, you know, you want to. This summer, their Ibiza-themed bottomless brunch is guaranteed to drum up a lot of excitement and some excellent beats too.

You’ll find Bar Elba at 109-117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL. Nearest station is Waterloo.

25. Prince of Wales, Brixton

A multi-storey pub-meets-club, the Prince of Wales rooftop bar in Brixton offers a rum shack, live music and DJ sets across a terrific two-tier terrace. Bounce and get down to hot beats at one of South London’s best rooftop bars with a pint in hand this summer.

You’ll find the Prince of Wales at 467-469 Brixton Road, SW9 8HH. Nearest station is Brixton.

26. Bussey Rooftop Bar, Peckham

Peckham really is blessed with some of the best rooftop bars in London, and this one sits across the Overground tracks from the famous Frank’s Cafe. Whilst the views at the Bussey Rooftop Bar are special, don’t let them distract you from your mission: sampling the best frozen fruity cocktails south of the river.

You’ll find the Bussey Rooftop Bar at Roof B, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST. Nearest station is Peckham Rye.

27. Lost In Brixton, Brixton

The most recent venture from the team behind The Prince, Pergola Paddington and Pergola Olympia, this hidden space had never been seen or used by the public before its opening in 2019. You’ll access Lost In Brixton via a secret staircase in a corner of the market. At the top of the stairs you’ll discover a 440 capacity venue decked out with jungle greenery and a Brit-friendly retractable roof, and with a strong emphasis on tropical cocktails.

You’ll find Lost In Brixton at Brixton Village, SW9 8PS. Nearest station is Brixton.

28. Forza Wine, Peckham

There are only two words you need to know about Forza Wine, my friends: frozen Negronis. The ‘taller sibling’ of Peckham Italian joint Forza Win, Forza Wine sits on yet another Peckham rooftop (add on Frank’s Cafe and the Bussey Building up for an epic local rooftop bar crawl), and pairs their grown-up slushies with a menu of rustic Italian indulgence.

You’ll find Forza Wine at 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST. Nearest station is Peckham Rye.

29. Seabird, Southwark

Cue Nelly Furtado’s ‘I’m Like A Bird‘, because this dreamy rooftop bar will make you feel like soaring. As a restaurant, it boasts London’s largest oyster menu, but simply visiting Seabird for drinks is an excellent decision – just sip on a biodynamic wine and relax amongst the lush Mediterranean decor… See more here.

You’ll find Seabird at 40 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8PB. Nearest station is Southwark. 

30. London Bridge Rooftop, London Bridge

No real style points for the name, but a plum spot between the Thames and The Shard is plenty good enough for us! Transformed with fairy lights and lush foliage, the London Bridge Rooftop is an excellent spot to catch up with friends over burgers and pints.

You’ll find London Bridge Rooftop at Colechurch House, Tooley Street, SE1 2SS. Nearest station is London Bridge.

31. Frank’s Cafe, Peckham

A classic amongst London rooftop bars. Frank’s Cafe has served Campari-based cocktails and outstanding cooking for years now, and it’s only been enhanced by the creation of Peckham Levels. The drinks here face a fight for supremacy with the lush views, and the insanely Instagrammable bubblegum pink stairs. Opening around the end of May, their winning mix of Negronis and art installations are back with a vengeance.

You’ll find Frank’s Cafe on the Top Floor of 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST. Nearest station is Peckham Rye.

32. 12th Knot, South Bank

Not content with one world-class cocktail bar on the ground floor, the Sea Containers hotel has another on the rooftop called 12th Knot. A narrow outdoor terrace offers iconic views across the river, and yet the interior is almost as mouthwatering as the London skyline. The perfect spot to celebrate any special occasion we say.

You’ll find 12th knot at 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD. Nearest station is Southwark or Blackfriars.  

33. Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, Southbank

Neatly located in the middle of the Southbank, this is a slice of the countryside on a central London rooftop. Wildflowers, allotments, and lawns cover the whole space, as you’d expect from the team who also created Cornwall’s Eden Project. The bar brings the drinks, all you need to bring is a sunny disposition when you’re visiting the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden.

You’ll find the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth, SE1 8XX. Nearest station is Waterloo.

Best rooftop bars in West London

34. Pergola Paddington, Paddington

Taking a cue from picturesque tropical coasts, Pergola Paddington is elegantly draped in foliage and (hopefully) drenched in sun. The fully alfresco upper deck is a bustling place, thrumming to the sounds of cocktail bars and street food vendors hard at work. This Summer they’ve also had a Mexican-inspired takeover – designed to look like the beaches of the Yucatán.

You’ll find Pergola Paddington at 5 Kingdom Street, W2 6PY. Nearest station is Paddington.

35. Skylark Roof Garden, Little Venice

Skylark Roof Garden

A new arrival in summer 2019, Skylark Roof Garden is back for their fourth summer season. Cocktails such as the White Chocolate Martini made it a firm favourite, and the return of their lavish day beds will allow for sunshine reclining. Plus, views of Notting Hill, Hyde Park, and Regents Park provide the cherry on top of this sundae.

You’ll find Skylark Roof Garden at 4 Kingdom Street, W2 6BD. Nearest stations are Royal Oak and Paddington.

36. Lyric Bar and Grill, Hammersmith

If you’re the kind of person who’d like to combine your love of theatre with your zest for rooftop bars, this is the place for you. It’s the restaurant and roof garden of the Lyric Hammersmith, so you’ll get the full package of dinner, drinks, and a show here. Now that sounds like a fine evening to us.

You’ll find the Lyric Bar and Grill at The Lyric Centre, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Nearest station is Hammersmith.

So there you have it – a roundup of the best rooftop bars in London. So when the sun is beaming this bank holiday weekend, why not grab your mates, dates or colleagues and get the pints on in? Cheers!



Also published on Medium.