Here are our tips on the best rooftop bars in London, so that you’re ready when the sun finally does shine through. You may also want to check out our guide to the best outdoor restaurants in London.
Radio Bar at ME London
On the 10th floor of the ME London hotel in Aldwych, radio has sublime views of London from all directions.
When you exit the lift, you are greeted by floor to ceiling windows with London’s famous sights within touching distance.
With a terrace that wraps around on both sides, Tower Bridge, The Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Thames are all to see, giving you wonderful views of the city.
The Rumpus Room at Mondrian London
On the top floor of the old Sea Containers’ building in the new Mondrian London that opened at the end of 2014, The Rumpus Room is sure to be a summer hit.
Not only does it have a Thames-side location with gorgeous views of St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge, the bar serves excellent cocktails with a great line-up of DJs.
Perfect for a sun-downer cocktail with sky high views.
With a stunning copper tree design in the middle of the bar, the rooftop terrace at Sushisamba in Heron Tower in The City is a huge attraction in the summer.
Come early to secure your place as this is hot property in The City!
Rooftop at the Boundary
From Prescott & Conran, the rooftop restaurant at The Boundary, a 48-seat grill, has 360° views of London and includes a designer garden, a large bar, an open fireplace and luxury blankets for the chilly evenings.
The Rooftop at the Boundary is our pick of one of the best rooftop bars in London.
Japanese restaurant aqua kyoto has launched its new terrace in partnership with Tanqueray Lovage – a new limited edition savoury gin.
Decorated with hanging foliage and a tranquil water feature, the aqua kyoto terrace offers a much needed respite overlooking the busy shopping streets around Regent Street.
Visit on a weekend to try the Ukiyo brunch menu with unlimited champagne.
Kensington Roof Gardens
Located one hundred feet above Kensington High Street in central London, The Roof Gardens and Babylon restaurant are truly spectacular.
There are three themed gardens, with over 70 full size trees, a flowing stream stocked with fish and the resident flamingos.
The Rooftop at The Trafalgar
The rooftop of The Trafalgar Hotel is now open throughout the year with glorious views of London’s landmarks and statues, with Nelson’s Column almost at eye level.
For a special occasion, you can hire ROOM – a glass enclosed private dining room with space for 14.
With such a central location and views of iconic landmarks, this is one of of the best rooftop bars in London.
One of London’s newest rooftop bars, Aviary is on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Hotel on Finsbury Square.
The alfresco bar, decorated with sink-in sofas, vintage lampshades, fire pits lit at night, is both glamorous and comfortable and offers breathtaking views of London’s skyline.
With excellent cocktails and a list of internationally renowned DJs, Aviary’s vibe is more Café Del Mar than City of London.
Frank’s Café is a pop up rooftop bar, café and art space on the 10th floor of a multi-story car in Peckham.
Open every summer since 2008, the bar attracts a cool, artistic crowd to its music festival type space. Campari are sponsoring this year’s bar so expect plenty of Campari-based cocktails on the menu.
Frank’s Café is a great place to while away sunny days in a laid back atmosphere, admiring views of Central London.
Ham Yard Roof Terrace
The rooftop terrace at the Ham Yard Hotel is a large, leafy garden with sweeping views over London.
It is a tranquil and peaceful terrace that is exclusively available to hotel guests, but it can also be hired for private events.
The eighth-floor rooftop bar at The Ned is reserved for members and hotel guests and is home to a 10-metre lap pool lined with Italian marble. Views stretch from St Paul’s Cathedral to the Gherkin.
There is also a restaurant and bar with a retractable glass roof and two domes – named Poultry and Prince’s Street, after the hotel’s location – which house cosy bars.
Situated in the heart of the Square Mile, Coq d’Argent has an outdoor terrace and a large and rather beautiful garden terrace, with great views of some of London’s most well known landmarks, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
The restaurant serves modern French cuisine while the brasserie and terrace serve a lighter menu with more of a modern European hint.
Get there early during the week and be prepared to queue for the glass lift as it’s a very popular destination with City workers, or visit for a more relaxed Sunday lunch on the weekend.
As well as having one of the best rooftop bars in London, Coq d’Argent is also one of the best outdoor restaurants in London.
Shoreditch Sky Terrace
The Shoreditch Sky Terrace sits on the roof of the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch, which used to be Shoreditch’s magistrates’ building.
Cocktails are named in honour of the building’s past (Cocktails called Reprieve and Convicted, for example) and there’s a BBQ kitchen during the summer.
Queen of Hoxton
Based in Shoreditch, the Queen of Hoxton is a haven for music fans,
Queen of Hoxton’s 2018 summer terrace takes on the theme of “Lost Vegas” – set in a futuristic Las Vegas. There’s a wedding chapel, an abandoned yellow school bus and Elvis might even make an appearance.
Paradise by way of Kensal Green
Paradise by way of Kensal Green is a mix of gastropub, restaurant, cabaret venue and karaoke room with a rustic chic design and welcoming and cosy vibe in Kensal Green in West London.
The intimate roof terrace is a perfect spot to spend the afternoon or for a sundowner cocktail after a lingering lunch in the restaurant
Perched on top of One New Change, Madison is where you go for cocktails when you want to directly overlook St Paul’s Cathedral.
The restaurant serves food from a wood fired Josper oven, but the outside space and the view is what brings the crowds in the summer.
Bird of Smithfield
The intimate basement bar at Bird of Smithfield, known as The Birdcage is available for private hire for birthdays, engagements and work socials, but in the summer you’ll want to make your way straight to the roof.
Jin Bo Law Skybar
Located on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel in Aldgate, Jin Bo Law gives you views of all the iconic City building: The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, the Walkie Talkie and The Shard are all in view.
Summer of Sound on the Roof at John Lewis
This year the John Lewis rooftop laucnhes as ‘Summer of Sound On The Roof’, focusing on music with live gigs, DJ sets and acoustic music sets throughout the summer.
On the food front, Shoredtich restaurant Butchies will bring their buttermilk chicken sandwiches to the roof. I’ll have mine with a side of the Buffalo Halloumi fries, served with chilli infused honey.
The Best Rooftop Bars in London
Subscribe to the Bon Vivant Journal here.