The Dorchester Rooftop

London’s Best Rooftop Bars & Terraces

Food & Drink /


A guide to drinking up in the clouds

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London’s rooftop bar offering is unrivalled. You’ll find sky-high spots scattered across the city, offering a buzzy atmosphere and panoramic views – from glitzy hotel bars to trendy hangouts atop car parks. We’ve rounded up the city’s highest bars and rooftop terraces. Where will be your celebration spot of choice?

Best Rooftop Bars and Terraces in London

 

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Food at Sloane Club Roof Terrace

The Roof Terrace at The Sloane

Reopening on 9 May, The Roof Terrace at The Sloane should be your go-to for rooftop cocktails and bites in Chelsea. Part of private members’ club The Sloane Club, it’s a plant-filled, stylish space complete with both canopies and heaters to ensure maximum comfort whatever the weather. A new menu celebrates British summer flavours – think Thai green papaya salad, English green asparagus ceviche and wild garlic burgers, to be enjoyed alongside a glass of crisp rosé. Head there on a Friday evening to hear live music. sloaneclub.co.uk

The Culpeper

The Culpeper

The Culpeper’s rooftop is a botanical oasis, where the venue’s culinary team grow ingredients for the kitchen. This year, regenerative agriculture is the focus, with a special menu designed to showcase the work of farmers and suppliers who put health front and centre. Guests can enjoy a lunch of grilled Colchester oysters, beef kofta with mint yoghurt, and rhubarb panna cotta, alongside biodynamic wines. From the afternoon onwards, the space will be open to walk-ins for drinks and nibbles – all while soaking up beautiful city views. theculpeper.com

Shima Garden Night Restaurants Bars

8 at The Londoner

One of the capital’s buzziest new hotels is The Londoner: a 16-storeyed venue located right on Leicester Square. Naturally, there’s a rooftop bar: 8 at the Londoner, an izakaya lounge that reimagines the traditional Japanese style of dining and drinking. There’s both an indoor restaurant and a covered garden space, with striking interiors by Yabu Pushelburg set against the London skyline. In the outdoor area, a sculptural rope installation suspended above a contemporary fireplace forms the centrepiece. Here you can enjoy a small dining menu of light bites – think grilled Padron peppers with miso, wagyu gyoza tacos and sea bass carpaccio – alongside a wide selection of champagne, sake, Japanese whisky and cocktails. Expect Japanese twists on classics: the Jasmine & Yuzu Margarita is flavoured with yuzu kosho and timur pepper syrup; while the Sakura Royale is mixed with Roku gin and Sencha green tea cordial. 8atthelondoner.co.uk

The Dorchester rooftop

The Dorchester Rooftop

Following a successful launch last year, The Dorchester Rooftop returns this spring. This year, the pop-up bar will have a speakeasy feel, run in collaboration with Cognac House, Couvoisier. Guests can enjoy seasonal cocktails – each inspired by a legendary masterpiece – alongside live music and sky-high views of Hyde Park below. dorchestercollection.com  

Gold

Gold

As if Nick House’s Notting Hill restaurant couldn’t get any cooler, it’s gone and opened a stylish new roof terrace. Seating just 20 diners, the space is decked out with plants, ferns and candlelit lanterns, offering views of the garden squares of West London as well as the spire of St Peter’s Church on Kensington Park Road. From here, guests can enjoy European small plates and seasonal cocktails while soaking up the buzz of the neighbourhood. goldnottinghill.com

The Botanist Gin at Sabine

Sabine

The latest addition to the city’s rooftop bar offering is Sabine, perched on the seventh floor of the Leonardo Royal Hotel. Lots of sky-high bars have stellar views – but Sabine’s USP is its proximity to St Paul’s, which feels so close you could almost touch it. The lush, plant-filled terrace is idyllic on a summer’s evening – though if it’s a bit chilly, the inside-outside conservatory makes a good compromise, complete with a retractable roof. Inside is equally pretty too, with tropical greenery and living walls continuing the botanical theme. Cocktails are seasonal, which means the current menu is filled with light summer tipples, like the Sabine Garden: gin mixed with rose liquor, pressed cucumber juice and elderflower cordial. Partial to a Pornstar Martini? The City Tropic is Sabine’s version, made with Eminete Rum and fig liquor. On the food side, the menu offers a mix of small and larger plates, with influence from a range of different cuisines. Think goat’s cheese arancini, miso mushroom skewers, baked focaccia and braised short ribs. sabinelondon.co.uk

Trafalgar St James

The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St James

Tucked away beside Trafalgar Square, you can’t beat this rooftop on location. Big Ben, The Shard and The London Eye are all in view from its glamorous sky-high terrace, which sits on the seventh floor of the hotel. From here you can enjoy Asian-inspired dishes, small plates and cocktails. Naturally, it’s idyllic in the sunshine – but blankets and heaters ensure you stay cosy on cooler days too. trafalgarstjames.com

14 Hills

14 Hills

Enjoy views of The Shard, Tower Bridge and the River Thames at 14 Hills’ new terrace, situated on the 15th floor of 120 Fenchurch St. Open daily from 11am until midnight, it’s set to be the perfect spot for all-day drinking and dining in the city this summer. Enjoy seasonal cocktails and French-inspired dishes like monkfish tail with prosciutto, charcuterie and seafood platters. 14hills.co.uk

The Standard Rooftop

The Standard Rooftop

Pretend you’re in New York at The Standard Rooftop, situated above the hotel’s 10th floor. The rooftop bar features a variety of bars offering cocktails on tap alongside a relaxed, buzzy festival atmosphere. No reservations are required, so just rock up ready to party. standardhotels.com

Bussey Rooftop Bar

Bussey Rooftop Bar

With 360 degree views across London, Bussey building’s rooftop bar is rather spectacular come sunset. It’s one of Peckham’s buzziest venues throughout the summer, especially on weekends when the party continues late into the night. busseyrooftopbar.com

Aviary Igloos

Aviary

As its name might suggest, Aviary bar is bird-themed, but you won’t need wings to see the London skyline here as iconic buildings such as The Gherkin and The Cheese Grater are within sight from their amazing roof terrace. aviarylondon.com

Madison

Madison

Enjoy magnificent views of St Paul’s Cathedral at Madison, a glitzy bar and restaurant in the Penthouse spot of One New Change. Drawing inspiration from the sky-high bars of Manhattan, Madison hosts parties all day long at weekends, from brunch to late. madisonlondon.net

Savage Garden

Savage Garden

Spread across the 12th floor of The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel is London’s ‘wildest rooftop’, Savage Garden. Young and fun city workers flock here for after work drinks on a Friday, and birthday parties are celebrated with wines, cocktails and beer in the restaurant. The rooftop, which protrudes out from the bar area, is long and pretty in pink with places for sitting or standing, mingling and moving. With dark modern interiors and effervescently friendly waiters, Savage Garden is another welcome addition to London’s rooftop bar scene, overlooking the Tower of London and far beyond. savagegarden.co.uk

Lost in Brixton

Lost In Brixton

Brixton’s jungle-inspired rooftop hangout brings all the party vibes with Latin American-inspired cocktails and market food. Tucked away behind Brixton Village, Lost In Brixton will be the first of its kind to offer food deliveries from the market below, alongside freshly brewed beer from the nearby Brixton Brewery. With traders including Franco Manca, Jalisco and Thunderbird Fried Chicken, you’ll be spoilt for choice. lostinbrixton.com

Buck Street Market

Buck Street Market

Buck Street Market was only open for ten days before the pandemic meant it had to close – but it’s back. Boasting the title of Camden’s largest rooftop, the space has reopened with two new rooftop bars, alongside a wide selection of food outlets and retail traders. Think sustainable pallet sofas, living moss walls and a pink terrace – millennial heaven. buckstreet.market

SUSHISAMBA City

SUSHISAMBA City

Like its taller sister Duck & Waffle, the spectacle of the iconic SUSHISAMBA Liverpool Street begins from the panoramic glass lifts, which whisk you up to the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower. It boasts one of the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe, but during the winter months you can admire the views from indoors thanks to the restaurant’s three glass walls. A glamorous New York City import, the menu fuses together Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisines, and you can guarantee great sushi, cracking cocktails and a buzzing atmosphere. sushisamba.com

Skylark Roof Garden

Skylark Roof Garden

A newer addition to London’s rooftop scene is Skylark Roof Garden, perched over Notting Hill with views of the West London skyline. Settle into one of the day beds with a sundowner – their frozen cocktails will go down a treat on hot summer days. skylarkroofgarden.co.uk

Radio Rooftop

Radio Rooftop

Perched atop ME London on The Strand, the Radio Rooftop is one of London’s most glamorous rooftop spots. In normal times, it’s open year-round: a magical winter terrace in the cooler months, an Ibiza-style hangout in summer. Spectacular views justify the high drinks price. melondonhotel.com

Market Hall Victoria

Market Hall Victoria

Spicing up London’s rooftop bar scene is Market Hall Victoria, perched at the top of the three-storey food market – formerly the Edwardian arcades of Terminus Place. An ideal central location for meeting friends after work, the sun-trap spot serves up British beers, independent spirits and cocktails – and when you get hungry, just head downstairs for a bite to eat from one of the many food stalls. markethalls.co.uk

Angler Roof Terrace

Angler

Angler, South Place Hotel’s Michelin-starred seafood restaurant, boasts a lovely roof terrace, open for cocktails and snacks during the evenings. anglerrestaurant.com

Sky Garden

Sky Garden

As the highest rooftop gardens in London, Sky Garden is an oasis of green calm with unparalleled views across the capital, and the perfect spot to get away from the heat this summer. Entry to the gardens is free (though you should book well in advance), and while there you can enjoy breakfast, a light snack, an aperitif or one of their fabulous cocktails inside the glass pod or on the outdoor terrace. Spread over the top three floors of the skyscraper there are various dining choices including the Darwin Brasserie and Fenchurch Restaurant, while you should keep an eye out for special activities taking place year-round, from early morning yoga with a view to live music sessions. Top tip: try the delicious freshly-made mixed berries smoothie in the bar. skygarden.london

Bokan

Bōkan

London’s buzziest sky-high restaurant, bar and terrace in Canary Wharf is Bōkan, spread over three floors with floor-to-ceiling glass to ensure that no matter where you sit, you’ll be able to enjoy the panoramic view of London’s skyline. The 39th floor boasts an all-weather, all-occasion open-air terrace where you can relax with a cocktail, listen to lounge music and kick back on the daybeds. It’s a surprise there aren’t more rooftop hangouts on this side of town, as the vantage point is particularly good. bokanlondon.co.uk

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight’s popular rooftop bar has been transformed from a sunny haven into a magical igloo forest this winter with heated igloo-bubbles, cosy blankets and spectacular views. Hide from the cold in one of the venue’s igloos and enjoy food from a range of street traders. tobaccodocklondon.com

12th Knot

12th Knot

Formerly Rumpus Room, 12th Knot is the rooftop bar sitting atop chic hotel Sea Containers London. Although the outdoor space is smaller than some of the city’s sky-high terraces, its prime position on the River Thames means iconic views of the city – also visible from the plush indoor seats. There’s always a buzzing atmosphere, and cocktail offerings are impressive. seacontainerslondon.com

 

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