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…
Selfridges’ new Italian rooftop restaurant, alto by San Carlo, is a hidden Italian garden of wonder far above the crowds, and a beautiful spot for supper on a summer’s evening. And from June 19th, Veuve Cliquot will be taking over the rooftop and transforming it into a ‘Brosé’ terrace where guests can enjoy screenings of the World Cup while celebrating 200 years of the signature Clicquot rosé blend. 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB.
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.
Tanqueray Terrace at Aqua Kyoto
Contemporary Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto has unveiled its summer Tanqueray terrace, covered in beautiful lovage. Sit among the hanging foliage and floral displays, and enjoy one of the specially-crafted summer cocktails using Tanqueray’s new limited edition savoury gin. Perfect on a long, balmy evening before heading inside for fabulous Japanese dishes. Aqua Kyoto, 5th floor, 240 Regent Street, London W1F 7EB. Entrance to bar is at 30 Argyll Street.
Gardening Society Rooftop Garden, John Lewis Oxford Street
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. The Gardening Society is a quintessentially British summer garden atop the department store which recently launched its Summer Sound on the Roof pop-up, featuring live music, Butchies burgers and a Gin & Tonic bar courtesy of Fever-Tree tonic. With a new line-up of al fresco fitness classes, weekly gin masterclasses 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.
Skylight Rooftop Bar at Tobacco Dock
Opening now, Skylight is the new roof terrace bar at Tobacco Dock. Back after its immense success last 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
Queen of Hoxton
Go East for the annual summer oasis created on Queen of Hoxton‘s Shoreditch roof terrace. This year’s theme is ‘Lost Vegas’, complete with a wedding chapel, themed cocktails and half of London’s cool kids. Go early to avoid the queues… 1 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX
The Oxo Tower
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
One of the latest rooftop bars to arrive in London, Aviary in Moorgate does delicious food and cocktails. As its name might suggest, the bar is bird-themed, but you won’t need wings to see the London skyline here as iconic buildings such as the gherkin and cheese grater are within sight from their amazing roof terrace. 10th Floor Montcalm Royal, London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1DX.
The fusion restaurant – Japanese, Peruvian, Brazilian – takes parts from three different cultures and merges them together to create something a little different, just like the view. On the 38th and 39th floor of the Heron Tower, the sights over London actually make for Europe’s highest outdoor dining terrace. But don’t worry, you don’t need a massively special occasion for an excuse to get there. The recently launched Omasake lunch menu is the perfect answer to a classy lunch on the go. The crispy yellowtail taquitos with avocado and corn miso are delicious to the point of redefining what it means to ‘inhale’ your food. Meanwhile, heritage carrots with smoked emulsion and crispy quinoa are a marriage of the tender and crackly. More creative tastes on the menu include the kabocha squash purée complimenting the wagyu gyoza. Finish with a chocolate banana cake that will have you contemplating whether its even worth it to head back to the office – the best part of the day has clearly already happened. The Omakase menu is served from 11.30am-3.30pm, Monday – Friday. Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY
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