London's Best Roof Terraces for Summer Drinking

Ain’t nobody who doesn’t love cocktails with a side of vertigo

Rooftop raving is the dizziest way to soak up the heady heights of London’s skyline.  

EAST LONDON

The one with all the pop ups:

Queen of Hoxton  This killer rooftop transforms itself twice a year with a new awesome theme each time.   They've shaken off their winter coats and transformed their rooftop into LAS MEXICANAS, inspired by the vibrant town of San Cristóbal in Mexico AKA the secret hang out of the Luchadoras, the baddest babes of Mexican female wrestling. Expect all fiesta and no siesta, where it's gloriously colourful and hot as a habanero. Between cocktails, learn some kick-ass moves in the wrestling ring. Work up a sweat (and a thirst) and head to their back-street bar, where the tacos are dirty and the tequila smarts like Tijuana saddle-burn.

1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX

 

The one that's got it all:

Sushisamba  A high glamour affair smack bang in the centre of the business district. You’d be silly to expect anything other than chinos, spray tans and Ralph - no judgement from us, any friend of the bartenders at Sushisamba are a friend of ours. Situated on the 39th floor an uplit tree marks the spot. Eat Sushi, schmooze and try not to puke in the lift on the way down. This rooftop is open all year round, but we reckon it's killer in the Summer. 

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY 

 

Credit cards at the ready:

Coq D’Argent This is the perfect place to drag out a lunch meeting. Expect awesome views and be warned, it’s easy to do some damage to your credit card and your liver here. Get into the spirit of it and drink their Champagne Cocktail, a fancy ass blend of Hennessey VS, Sugar, Bitters and Blanquette de Limoux. If you go midweek you’ll be mingling with cigar drinking business people on Dom P - but everyone’s in a good mood on a roof terrace, so just enjoy.

16 Kirby Street, London, EC1N 8TS  

 

Rooftop pool baby:

Shoreditch House Pack your trunks and kiss a member to get in. This is converted East London warehouse is the ultimate daytime party place, but if you’re not a member you’ll need to play it cool (if in doubt, wear your sunglasses and keep them on). We drink the Dillionaire, because we like saying it, and like to eat at the outdoor BBQ. See you by the heated pool.

Ebor Street, London, E1 6AY 

 

Start drinking at breakfast:

The Boundary   Now this place is really, really cool. Bag yourself a sofa beneath the fairy lights and take in the ridiculous 360 degree views of London. Eat if you wanna, or just get hammered on Martini’s. The only, and we mean only, thing wrong with this place is that it shuts early (11pm) but the roof terrace is open all year round so it only serves as an excuse to start drinking at breakfast - that’s when you’ll find BarChick here. Spend the day getting your tan on and saunter off to another bar in Shoreditch come nightfall.

Redchurch Street 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London, E2 7DD  

The one that always has something going on:

Dalston Roof Park BarChick went to a kick-ass rave up here once...there’s always something going on at Dalston Roof Park, whether it’s a party, free film night or a pop-up restaurant. It's a £3 walk-in fee, but that grants you membership for the whole summer with free film screenings, music events and even street food stalls. Talk about value for money!

Print House, 8 Ashwin St, E8 3DL

 

This roof knows how to throw a party:

Netil 360 This rooftop is all about banging events and parties, so fill up your diary in advance and remember to buy a ticket first. It’s open from 10am, too, and in true East  London style, the building also has ‘office and social space’, which translates to us as an opportunity to work our way through a pile of magazines, spritzer in hand. Now the venue’s got a permanent licence, so let’s celebrate.

Netil House, London, E8 3RL 

 

Chic City sun trap:

South Place Hotel – Angler Rooftop Terrace  Hidden away in Moorgate’s South Place Hotel is the city’s secret sun trap. Order a No.69 cocktail - tequila, lime, agave and avocado straight up, then grab some terrace food bar snacks like the devilled whitebait and calamari. It’s attached to the Michelin star Angler restaurant but no worries, everyone’s welcome here.

3 South Place, London EC2M 2AF  

 

Smack bang in Shoreditch:

Golden Bee You can't argue with a rooftop in the middle of Shoreditch that has a fire pit. Rooftop open: Year-round The Gun This pub is the stuff of legends. Kick back on a deckchair, grab a bev and check out that Thames view (it's not quite the white sandy beaches of Rio, but it'll do). 

Singer St, Old Street, London EC1V 9DD

 

After work al fresco drinks nailed

Chiringuito opened in Bethnal Green during the long hot summer of 2018, and its got another steamin' season of super chill weekend brunches on the terrace and sunset cocktails on the rooftop lined up. For cocktails and dinner under the stars with your bevvy, these guys have nailed the al fresco summer scene.

Museum Gardens, Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA

 

For beats on top of views

Upper 5th Shoreditch If you're looking for a spot to get that next killer profile pic, this rooftop gives you the perfect backdrop. And the cocktails aren't bad either. Keep your fingers crossed for another scorcher of a summer cos this place rocks out with a killer music system and a steamin' BBQ menu when the sun is shining. 

Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch, 335-337 Old St, London EC1V 9LL

 

CENTRAL LONDON

Killer cocktails and two terraces:

Aqua Ok, so the entrance to the Aqua building is shiny, but if Picklebacks taught us anything it’s that we should never judge a book by its cover. Keep your eye on the prize and catch the lift straight up to the fifth floor. If you’re looking for seats head through to doors and turn left past the black bull statue. Order a cocktail and chill in the heaven above the hectic buzz of Regent Street.

5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, London, Entrance on 30 Argyll Street, London, W1B 3BR

 

Date spot:

The Rooftop Bar at the Trafalgar  This terrace is open all year round (British weather permitting) which makes it perfect for a date, because everyone knows two tipsy people plus a blanket equals a good time. Order a bunch of cocktails from the rooftop bar, watch tourists fail to climb on the lions (actually hilarious) and remember, this place is a suntrap so wear as little as possible on sunny days. Best of all? It’s rarely as busy as it should be.

2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1A 2TS

 

Glam vibes and a 180 degree view:

Radio Make sure you wear something sparkly here - not only will you fit in with the glam crowd, but it’ll distract from the uncontrollable “OMFG!” reaction you’ll involuntarily experience when you see the 180 degree view.  From sunrise to sunset, you and your crew can enjoy the changing views of capital stretching from the Shard and St Paul’s downstream, to the London Eye and Big Ben in the west. Epic!

336-337 Strand, London, WC2R 0EZ  

 

The one with all the gin:

Le Meridien, Piccadilly  It isn’t exactly blessed with space, but The Terrace Bar & Grill at Meridien Hotel is the perfect spot to grab something to eat before chilling with a cocktail. It’s smack-bang in the middle of Piccadilly, so the view at this place is like a tourist’s wet dream. 

21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH  

 

For Woodstock rooftop vibes:

Didn't get Glasto tickets this year? No probs - John Lewis Rooftop on Oxford Street has you covered with their epic festival theme for the summer. Check out the live music stage fashioned from a vintage caravan. There are cocktails and street food courtesy of My Million Pound Menu winners Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen (we all love TV famous grub). Get yourself organised and reserve one of the and cosy flower-filled huts and rattan ‘wigwams’ for you and your crew. And unlike Glasto, the bogs here are fixed and you can go home and sleep in a bed at closing time.

5th Floor, John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, W1C 1DX

For garden chilling 10 storeys up:

Bourne & Hollingsworth Garden Room Just when you thought Bourne & Hollingsworth couldn't get more instagrammable if they tried, they went and opened a killer roof bar right in the middle of the West End with an insane panoramic view of London - from the Eye to St Pauls. Every table has a view, and there's a small terrace outside for you to sip your light n fresh cocktails on when its a scorcher. 

10th floor, above Assembly Hotel, 31 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0LS

 

WEST LONDON 

Sexy Med-style terrace:

Pergola On The Roof at Olympia Pergola on the Roof is back for good with a brand new high up in the sky Pergola rooftop location, in an incredible new venue! Olympia London never had a venue built on its roof, until NOW.... This botanical bolthole sees overgrown ivy and botanical planters mixed with a sh*t loada exposed brickwork and rustic furniture - it's an evergreen terrace of sexy summer fun. 

Level Five Rooftop, Olympia Car Park, Olympia Way, Kensington, W14 8UX 

 

The enchanted garden:

Lyric This place is covered in greenery, so it feels like you’re getting fresh air in an enchanted garden when infact you’re above a theatre in Hammersmith. Get lost between trees and find a hidden table in a romantically lit corner. It’s all very charming until you find the pizzeria, then there’s no going back. 

Kings Mall, Lyric Square (just off King Street), London W6 0QL  

 

Cocktails on a cigar terrace:

Broadway House This place has two roof terraces, a rooftop bar, cocktail bar, outdoor cinema, BBQ, restaurant AND cigar terrace. Get obsessed with Toffee Champagne, work your way down the cigar menu and find a member to give you a guided tour of the place - seriously, if they let us live here we would.

474 – 476 Fulham Road, London, SW6 1BY

  

SOUTH 

The really f*cking cool one:

Frank’s Cafe  We’re yet to hear what’s in store for this unique multi-storey carpark bar, but judging by our experience last year it’s safe to say we’re pretty excited about heading back to Frank’s this summer. See ya’ll there. 

95A Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST 

 

Where the sexy people hang:

12th Knot (formerly Rumpus Room) A rooftop bar with a terrace and a kick-ass view of the river? You had us at hello. OK the terrace is teeny but it’s ON The Thames so well worth squeezing on to.  This sky high joint at Seacontainers is giving us another reason to hit Southbank for a drink (Lyaness had already stolen our hearts). 

20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD  

 

The one with the cinema:

The Bussey Building Didn't get into Frank's? Don't sweat it, this place is just round the corner. You'll have to climb what feels like a thousand flights of stairs but it's worth it for the view. When you get in grab a table to your left - that's where the sights north of the river are at, and the skyline's beautiful.  

133 Rye Lane, Peckham, London, SE15 4ST

 

The daytime hangout:

No32 The Old Town They love a long table on the terrace at this place, so take your time and make sure you squeeze in next to a hottie. It’s in Clapham, so your cocktails will probably arrive with a side of toddler screams, but the staff have put effort into their drinks menu which features house syrups, sherberts and craft beer. Try everything and the daycare vibe won’t bother you.

32 The Pavement, SW4 0JE

 

The party on a roof:

The Prince of Wales The POW is a local Brixton classic - you’ll get great tunes, good people and you won’t have to queue long for a drink because this place has all the bars - the terrace alone has three.  This one’s also special because it’s a two storey situ, so you can have fun running up and down the place like it’s a playground for p*ssheads. There are different rooms blasting the bass - get lost all night and dress casual, you won’t stop dancing from the minute you get there.

469 Brixton Rd, London,  SW9 8HH  

 

The riverside one:

Queen Elizabeth Roof Gardens It’s easy to miss this gem of a terrace among the street performers and crowds of tourists that congregate along the Southbank, but once it’s on your radar you’re guna feel really smug. This place is mainly about grabbing a few bottles of wine at the outdoor bar and arranging chairs in a semicircle with your mates so you can enjoy that riverside view, but they’ve got Pimms if you’re feeling patriotic. Expect to see couples snogging behind fruit trees and big groups of people taking to the floor when the chairs run out in the evenings.  

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX  

 

The one you can take your mum to:

Oxo Tower Brasserie The South Bank is having its moment. Hit the Oxo Tower early to bag a seat on the terrace - we’re talking all the epic food served in the restaurant, killer cocktails and views straight out at that river. Come at night - we all know London’s at its best when lit up.

OXO Tower Wharf, Bargehouse St, London, SE1 9PH  

 

The one worth the climb:

Bar Elba - Better get working on your cardio, cos this place is several storeys up and there's no lift. But it's worth it for the killer cocktails and epic view at the top. Setting itself apart from other rooftop bars, Elba (named after the island that Napoleon was exiled to, of course) serves some of the best frozé in London. They make theirs with vodka, rosé, strawberry purée, grapefruit, and agave nectar and on a hot evening, it's all you need. 

Mercury House 109-117 Waterloo Road SE1 8UL

 

An exclusive kinda rooftop:

Upstairs at The Department Store You need friends in high places to get into this... high place. This Brixton members club is super chill, with wicked views over this South London neighbourhood served up with cocktails and a hella creative food menu. Members can take 3 of their crew up for drinks, so time to buddy up with someone on the inside... 

Entrance at 10 Stockwell Avenue, London, SW9 8BQ

The balcony bar with all the extras:

The Exhibit has pretty much everything you want - bar, restaurant, cinema, dance floor, gallery and of course, a terrace. It’s small, but hey! Size doesn't matter, amirite ladies? And if it gets too busy, you can head down here to their al fresco garden instead.

12 Balham Station Rd, Balham, London SW12 9SG

NORTH 

The secret Italian one:

Vivo Drink award winning Italian cocktails and eat super fresh pastries, lasagne and mega salads galore while sitting on a hidden roof terrace just off the high street in Angel. Expect a vibrant, italian atmosphere with super stylish people. Pep up on some fresh coffee if the sun gets a bit much.

57/58 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0NY

The tapas terrace:

Alfie's Rooftop Kitchen  This hidden roof terrace lurks above London’s largest indoor market. Get spendy downstairs before heading up the Art Deco building for a bottle of wine in the sun. Foodwise, expect everything at this contemporary cafe from a full English to a selection of tapas. A seriously cool daytime hangout.

Alfies Antiques Market, 13-25 Church Street, London NW8 8DT

 

All day hanging out on top of a pub:

The Driver This huge 5-storey pub is a great place to take a bunch of mates, although the terrace itself is a little on the cosy side. Cocktails at the boutique bar will make you feel classy and if you’re getting peckish you can head downstairs to the basement’s gastro kitchen, or stay upstairs and get fed by the resident BBQ chef. You can smoke on the roof, too, so everyone’s guna be happy.  

2-4 Wharfdale Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9RY  

 

The one with beers, burgers and beats:

The Big Chill House  You don’t have to dress up for The Big Chill because, as far as terraces go, it’s kind of a dive, but hey who cares when all you’re after is some beers, a burger and chilled out times? Sit back on the brightly coloured garden furniture and enjoy the beats. There’s a cool crowd up here, and you could easily stay all afternoon.

257-259 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, London, N1 9NL