Best rooftop bars in London
While we at ideal flatmate have our feet firmly on the ground, we do like to have a drink in the clouds from time to time. And as ever, London doesn’t disappoint in offering a wide range of open-air sky-high spots to enjoy a cool cocktail this summer. These are just some of our favourites:
1. Skylight Rooftop Bar at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Fancy a game of croquet or pétanque anyone? Skylight has taken over the top three floors of an old car park(!) and transformed them into a hive of activity with large screens for sports, DJs and a wide range of delicious cocktails, beers and wine. They also serve excellent street food. During winter, Skylight turns into a rooftop ice rink, one of only a few in Europe.
2. Skylark Roof Garden, Little Venice
From above the canal banks of Little Venice you’ll enjoy amazing south facing views over Notting Hill, Hyde Park and the Shard. Located sky-high and ten floors up, the minimalist style garden is a relaxing venue to meet up with friends while enjoying quality signature cocktails including a hibiscus daiquiri and mezcal mule.
3. The Rooftop at the Hippodrome, Leicester Square
With retractable roofs and terrace heating you’ll never have to worry if the showers fall and the weather turns cooler. As drinks flow here until 2am, 7 days a week, this is one of the few late-night spots in the centre of town. Treat yourself to cocktails such as Lychee Tang (Bombay gin, peach liquor, lychee and peach purée) or enjoy a wide range of draught and bottled beers, wine and more.
4.Bar Elba, Waterloo
Honouring Napoleon’s exile on the Isle of Elba where he partied for 300 days (and nights) with 600 mates and a horse in the 1800s. Panoramic views in this prime location, their bottomless brunch and dreamy film nights in the clouds attract the crowds. The bar offers a very decent drinks’ menu and a Happy Patty food menu.
5. Netil, 360, Hackney
Relaxed rooftop bar with a rustic feel and magical views across London. One of East London’s favourite rooftop venues. An impressive selection of craft beers adds to the laidback atmosphere. Outdoor movie screenings and positive vibes at this Hackney institution. If you’re hungry, you can order authentic pizza from Venerdi.
6. Seabird, The Hoxton, Southwark
We went for the name alone and found ourselves 14 floors up in a rooftop seafood restaurant with sprawling views and coastal vibes. Boasts London’s largest oyster list and octopus rolls to die for. Crafted house cocktails and beers compliment the food well. If you’re celebrating something special, go for their weekend brunch or their Afternoon Sea. Just go!
7. Aviary Rooftop, the City
Perched on top of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Finsbury Square, the Aviary has an indoor rooftop restaurant and spacious outdoor terrace bar. Cocktails here are out of this world, making it a very popular place to go for city workers at the end of the day. Low lounge seating and beautiful trees make for an elegant and chic decor. Reservations on the terrace is only possible for groups of eight, so get there in good time. Excellent brunch on Sundays.
8. Sabine Rooftop Bar, St Paul’s Cathedral
Perched on the 7th floor at the Leonardo Royal London St Pauls, this lush and plant-filled rooftop has a conservatory and retractable roof for less than ideal weather days. Two alfresco sun terraces where you can enjoy close-up views of the Cathedral (arguably this bar’s USP). A perfect place for after work drinks or long weekend lounging. Botanical, seasonal cocktails are spectacular.
As always, check opening times and remaining covid restrictions.