10 rooftop bars in London to hit up this summer
Frank's Cafe / Ania Mendrek (creative commons)
Glorious pictures of epic skylines, stylish interiors and flamingo fun at these summer drinking spots across the capital
The weather is getting warmer, which means it's time to crawl out of the basement bars which have shielded us from winter; grab your pals, some sunnies and rediscover London's glorious skyline at these rooftop bars across the city. From quirky pop-ups serving themed cocktails to gardens filled with flamingos and giant chess boards, there's plenty of drinking to be done before winter creeps up on us once more.
Kensington Roof Gardens
The Roof Gardens (@theroofgardens) on Instagram: "Our resident flamingos add a splash of colour to the gardens! 💕🌳 #theroofgardens #sundayvibes…"
Sitting on top of the former Derry and Toms department store, these roof gardens date back to 1936 and offer brilliant panoramic views of the city. The space is split into a Spanish garden, a Tudor garden and an English woodland where the flamingos tend to hang out.
Drink: House of Cardamoms – Chase vodka, raspberry liqueur, pear purée, fresh raspberries, apple juice and cardamom over crushed ice.
Kensington High Street (access via Derry Street), open all year
Georgia Hinchliffe (@georgiahinchliffe) on Instagram: "🌃"
Open year round, Madison is the bar to admire views of St Paul's Cathedral. Perched on the Penthouse of the One New Change shopping centre, the terrace serves a tapas style menu and DJs play from Thu to Sat.
Drink: Sex on the roof – Kettle One vodka, orange liqueur and guava juice
One New Change, St Paul's, open all year
Pergola on the Roof
Where 2 Eat (@wr2eat) on Instagram: "Seasons restaurants#pergolaontheroof"
If drinking on a rooftop bar in London isn't good enough for you, head to Pergola on the roof where their Hamptons themed summer bar will leave you feeling like a New Yorker on vacay in no time. Their second venue in Paddington also opens this summer.
Drink: A Long Island Iced Tea, surely?
Television Centre, Wood Lane, open until Sun 1 Oct
Queen of Hoxton
Queen of Hoxton (@queenofhoxtonldn) on Instagram: "Our #rooftop is open and the sun is out 😎 Thank you @rosybarra26 for the snap 📷 #queenofhoxton…"
This edgy Shoreditch drinking spot transforms their rooftop twice a year, themed to match the seasons. This summer's theme is Bangarang – a Neverland hideout with a mermaid lagoon, a Lost Boy's bar and general mischievous behaviour.
Drink: Tootle's Tipple – Monkey Shoulder, Solerno blood orange liqueur, orange juice, creole bitters, egg white, a Pernod Absinthe mist, peach bitters and lemon juice.
Curtain Road, Shoreditch, open until October
EAST LONDON'S ROOFTOP (@netil360) on Instagram: "#shotby campaign @netil360 no.4 photo credit @kenjryan #netil360shotby #photooftheday #blueskies…"
Hackney's open-air bar, garden, cafe and workspace is a hub for creative start-ups and hosts regular events throughout the summer months. In previous years, there's been a communal hot tub, yoga sessions and various workshops.
Westgate Street, Hackney, open all year
Franks Peckham (@frankspeckham) on Instagram: "Happy first day of summer! We're here all week ☀️🍹 #britishsummertime #peckham"
Perched on top of a multistorey car park, Frank's is part of Peckham's Bold Tendencies Sculpture Project which helps showcase work newly commissioned installations. Soak up London's skyline with a Campari based cocktail in hand.
Drink: Moscow Mule (if Campari doesn't appeal)
10th Floor, Peckham Multistorey Carpark, Rye Lane, open until Sep
V (@victoriakamin) on Instagram: "🍣 #sushisamba @sushisamba"
Admire the views on the 38th floor at the Brazilian and Japanese inspired Tree Bar terrace (named after the elegant tree at the centre of the bar). Prices are a little steep, but the city views from up there are worth it.
Drink: Samba Sour – Pisco brandy, maraschino liqueur shaken with yuzu, egg white and a turmeric infusion
Heron Tower, Bishopsgate, open all year
Mark A Izatt 🇬🇧✈️🇺🇸 (@markaizatt) on Instagram: "After awesome #rumpusroom #cocktails the rain has stopped and the #cityoflondon #skyline never…"
With stylish purple egg chairs, floor to ceiling windows and mirrored tables, the Rumpus Room should be saved for a special occasion. Visit on a Wednesday for their live music night.
Drink: Away from the Craze – Hayman sloe gin, Jensen's Old Tom gin, Lavendar port wine, cacao and citrus
Mondrian at Sea Containers, Southbank, open all year
Sisu (@sisu.london) on Instagram: "🎉 Open today 🎉 Introducing Sisu: a patch of Nordic-inspired nature on Oxford Street, come and join…"
Roughly translated as strength of will, determination and perseverance, Sisu is a new Scandinavian themed pop-up bar on Oxford Street. Think wood, foliage, a Negroni machine and heated concrete seats, for that extra hygge factor.
Drink: Mamba – Bulldog gin with pear and rhubarb juice
Oxford Street, open until 2018
Culpeper Roof Garden
The Culpeper (@theculpeper) on Instagram: "Ello sunshine 🌞 #culpeperroofgarden #theculpeper #spitalfields #greenhouse #interior…"
This quirky rooftop space is used to grow veggies and herbs for the gastropub below and puts on a cracking BBQ. Cocktails are served from the greenhouse bar and are garnished with the surrounding herbs.
Drink: any of their herby concoctions
Commercial Street, Whitechapel, open all year