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. Now they’re allowed to welcome visitors again, we’ve rounded up the city’s best. Where will be your celebration spot of choice?

Best Rooftop Bars and Terraces in London

 

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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

Tavolino Terrace

Capri by the River at Tavolino

Tavolino has teamed up with with award-winning modern Italian Aperitivo ITALICUS to launch its summer terrace. The space itself has been transformed into an Italian grove, with dishes and drinks inspired by Capri and the wider Italian coast. Guests can lounge and relax on the terrace, sip on ITALICUS cocktails and enjoy views of the river and Tower Bridge. tavolino.co.uk

Beluga Harvey Nichols

Beluga Summer Terrace at Harvey Nichols

The latest pop-up at Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor Terrace comes from Beluga Vodka, with nine signature serves available for rooftop sipping. This includes everything from Espresso Martinis to refreshing summer spritzes, such as ‘My Sweet Pea’, Beluga Noble Vodka mixed with a homemade garden pea cordial and cucumber soda. harveynichols.com

The Dorchester, London

The Dorchester Rooftop

For the first time in its 90-year history, The Dorchester has launched a rooftop restaurant – complete with spectacular views across Hyde Park. Over the summer the glamorous spot will play host to a series of al fresco culinary pop-ups overseen by executive chef Mario Perera. Now running: an appearance from famed LA restaurant The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel, offering a taste of California in London. Think candy striped decor, pink bougainvillea flowers and classic dishes from the restaurant including the famous McCarthy Salad. dorchestercollection.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

Dior Alto

Alto, Selfridges

Selfridges’ fifth floor restaurant has been taken over by Dior for the summer in celebration of the fashion house’s new collection, Dioriviera. Offering a slice of the Med on Oxford Street, the space has been adorned with Toile de Jouy in blue, raspberry and chartreuse, complete with parasols, deck chairs and cushions. Amid this idyllic setting, diners can enjoy a selection of Dior-inspired dishes, including some favourites from Christian Dior himself – think lobster rolls, tagliolini with Sicilian prawns and beetroot carpaccio, alongside special cocktails. sancarlo.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

Pergola

Pergola on the Wharf

Pergola is going east with its latest launch, popping up on the Crossrail Place Roof Garden this June. The terrace will boast panoramic views of the city, alongside three bars, multiple food pop-ups and a private party space. A rotating series of guest chefs, meanwhile, will showcase innovative dishes from some of the capital’s best street food traders. There will be an exciting line-up of parties to kick things off – expect live music perfromances, brunch parties and more. pergolacanarywharf.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. Opening in May, the rooftop bar will feature 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 summer 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 returning this summer. 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 from the Summer Spritz menu – 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 sun-trap roof terrace, open for cocktails and snacks during summer 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, Canary Wharf

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

The rooftop terrace known for its panoramic views of the city skyline, Skylight is back for the summer season. Think tropical beer terraces, cushioned seating areas, cosy garden booths and pop-up bars selling pints of ice cold lager. What more could you need? tobaccodocklondon.com

Queen of Hoxton

Queen of Hoxton

Go East for the annual summer oasis created on Queen of Hoxton‘s Shoreditch roof terrace. Last year’s theme was ‘Las Mexicanas’, inspired by the colourful town of San Cristóbal in Mexico, featuring tacos, tequila, and giant frozen margaritas. We’re looking forward to seeing what they have in store for 2021. queenofhoxton.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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