During the sunnier months, nothing beats an aperitif in the sun in one of London’s best terraces. Here are the city’s best roof terraces to enjoy the sunshine outdoors…
Have a taste of la dolce vita at Belgravia hotel The Berkeley’s lemon-tree lined roof terrace, complete with its own outdoor pool. It’s a dreamy setting inspired by the hotels of Italy, with yellow and white striped sunbeds alongside lemon and olive trees. Though usually reserved for hotel guests, this summer all sunseekers are welcome to drop by for a sunbathe and aperitif. Launching 1 June, book in advance. Wilton Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL.
Perched atop ME London on The Strand, the Spirit of Summer Terraces at Radio Rooftop is made up of two spaces. Choose between tequila cocktails in the Mexican Hacienda, complete with woven seats and Latin American snacks, or Bombay Sapphire G&Ts in the pretty English Botanical Garden. 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA.
A new addition to London’s rooftop bar scene has opened at Market Hall Victoria, perched atop 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.
Standing at 155 metres above the city, the Sky Garden on top of 20 Fenchurch Street is one of London’s best-kept secrets. 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. Open 7 days a week; 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF.
Fighting your way through throngs of shoppers on Oxford Street, you’ve surely thought how great it would be if you could stop for a breather somewhere to get away from it all? Well, now you can! John Lewis’ rooftop is open for the summer, a unique space in central London offering delicious food and drinks way up above the crowds. With a line-up of music performances and fitness classes, new bookable flower-adorned dens and one of the biggest rooftop spaces in London, it really is as idyllic as it sounds, and the view over London’s not bad either. The Rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, London W1C 1DX.
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. Novotel Canary Wharf, 40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP.
Open now for the summer season, Skylight is a roof terrace bar at Tobacco Dock. Returning for its third year, with views over the city and Canary Wharf, the bar includes street food pop-ups and you can enjoy the classic English summer pastime of croquet and screenings of the World Cup. As idyllic as it sounds. Tobacco Quay, Pennington St, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2SF.
Go East for the annual summer oasis created on Queen of Hoxton‘s Shoreditch roof terrace. This year’s theme is ‘Las Mexicanas’, inspired by the colourful town of San Cristóbal in Mexico, featuring tacos, tequila, and giant frozen margaritas. 1 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX.
Great food, lovely atmosphere, and impressive views – The Oxo Tower is a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon. Sip on St-Germain cocktails on their flower-festooned ‘Summer in Bloom’ terrace, open from 21 May until 30 June. 02 Barge House St, London SE1 9GY.
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. Roof B Bussey Building, 133 Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST.
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. 10th Floor Montcalm Royal, London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1DX.
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