As the mercury finally climbs higher this summer, so can you! We’ve found the best rooftop bars in London where you can enjoy drinks, a bit of dinner and a bird’s eye view of the city.
Some are only open during the summer months, so make the most of the high life before we’re all back to worrying about woolly jumpers.
The one on top of a car park
Getting stuck in a car park is often the stuff of nightmares, but Frank’s – which sits on top of a multi-storey in Peckham – is a dream come true. The annual summer pop-up offers signature Campari cocktails, hot snacks and spectacular views of the skyline. Bag yourself spot early to watch the sun go down with London’s coolest crowd.
The one at the old BBC
If you spent your childhood watching pop stars messing about outside the BBC TV Centre in White City, now’s your chance to join them. Although the Beeb has since departed, Pergola on the Roof has taken up summer residency on the, err, roof. Enjoy excellent food from four restaurants, quality drinks and enough space for everyone to kick back under the vine-clad pergolas.
The one on Instagram
Filters at the ready – Boundary in Shoreditch is all wicker chairs and white cushions. The whole building (including restaurant and rooms) was recently renovated by Terence Conran, so the vibe is grown-up Ibiza. Indulge in a few GnTs – with Boundary’s own-label gin – or even a cheeky cigar. In winter, snuggle up around the open-pit fireplace or enjoy a hot Negroni.
The one on Trafalgar Square
A rooftop bar on Trafalgar Square? Who knew?! But you do pay for the privilege at Vista. Sadly, there’s an entrance fee of £5 but this only applies after 4pm, so get in early and enjoy a few (expensive, sorry) cocktails. However, the view is priceless – you can almost go eye-to-eye with Nelson, while Big Ben and the London Eye are ridiculously close.
The one hidden in the concrete
The South Bank is bursting with theatres, art galleries and some heavy-duty architecture, but those in the know round off their visit with a trip to Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden. Follow the yellow staircase up to the Eden-project designed oasis of a wildflower meadow, allotment boxes, a woodland garden and tunnel of scented flowers. Picnics are welcome or share a jug of Pimm’s as you survey the city.
The one with flamingos
Kensington Roof Gardens is one of the oldest – and most well loved – rooftop bars in London. Seven floors up above the chic High Street is not one, but three immaculate gardens with resident flamingos to boot! Perfect for birthdays or a hen-do, you can sip cocktails on the terrace, enjoy a meal at Babylon restaurant or simply soak up the bizarrely British surroundings while the sun sets.
Save yourself a bit of money for the cocktail budget when you travel to London on our sleeper service. With comfy bunks, complimentary breakfast and free WiFi (for uploading all those rooftop shots), MegabusGold is the perfect start – and finish – to your trip.
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