15 best rooftop bars in London to book now for spring

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  • We are so ready.

    Public service announcement: after a long, cold, dark winter, spring is finally here (hey, it still being light at 5pm!), which means one thing, and one thing only: it’s time to book a table at one of the best rooftop bars in London, stat.

    We’ve rounded up our pick of the best rooftop bars offering everything from cosy corners, to stunning views, to space for six, to unforgettable food.

    Not sure you fancy it? Look at it this way: rooftop bars offer a lovely spot to while away a balmy spring evening, drink in hand. Plus, they offer the opportunity to eat food you haven’t cooked yourself – what a treat – and a chance to catch up with friends.

    If you’re looking for a hangout to enjoy a cocktail or two, then look no further than our roundup of the best rooftop bars in London. It’s time to head skywards and leave the City behind…

    15 best rooftop bars in London

    1. The Rooftop at The Standard

    We’re not exaggerating when we say The Standard’s newly opened rooftop bar is the place to be this summer. (Tems, Rahi Chadda and Yomi Adegoke all attended the opening party, and the likes of Emma Corrin, Paloma Faith and Nick Grimshaw have all been spotted partying in their cocktail bar downstairs in the last few months).

    From the 11th floor hotspot, you’re treated to unparalleled views of King’s Cross and central London. Plus, enjoy spicy margaritas on tap and delicious bar snacks from the Michelin-starred team at Decimo, we’d recommend booking a spot ASAP.

    For more information, visit www.standardhotels.com.

    2. Skylight Rooftop, Wapping

    Best rooftop bars in London: a Skylight igloo

    Credit: Chris Orange

    Fairy lights? Check. Igloos? Check. Delicious food? Check. Skylight is London’s largest outdoor venue and the ultimate rooftop playground, too. There are igloos and huts full of fluffy pillows and blankets so that you can enjoy a drink or two under the stars. Worried the weather might take a turn as it’s still, ahem, spring?  You’re outdoors but under cover here, and able to enjoy irresistible food from their assortment of street food trucks.

    For more information, visit www.tobaccodocklondon.com/skylight

    3. Seabird, Southwark

    Best rooftop bars in London: Seabird in Southwark

    Credit: Seabird

    If you’re looking for a rooftop bar and restaurant with incredible panoramic views of the city, an impressive food and drinks menu and some serious Gatsby decor, look no further than Seabird. Head to the top floor of The Hoxton and wrap up on the rooftop with the Rubis cocktail in hand (trust us, it’s divine). Surrounded by lush plants, glittering fairy lights and a beautiful outlook of the capital, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better skyline spot for a tipple and delicious Portugese and Spanish influenced plates.

    Sample some of the freshest fish dishes – start with a selection of fifteen delicious sweet or salty oysters (they’re the proud owners of London’s longest oyster list) from the UK to France to Portugal. Then dive into a number of small plates – the mouthwatering octopus roll and heirloom tomatoes are highly recommended. And no visit is complete without tucking into a sensational seafood main, whether you’re tempted by the Cornish plaice or mackerel. Treat yourself to a dessert cocktail as you sit back and enjoy the lively atmosphere until midnight during the week and 1am on weekends.

    For more information, visit https://thehoxton.com/london/southwark/restaurants-and-bars/seabird

    4. Rooftop St. James, Trafalgar Square

    Best rooftop bars in London: The Rooftop at St James

    Credit: The Rooftop St James

    Head to the West End and prepare to get your cosy at this sky-high rooftop. Outside, you can tuck yourself under a blanket and order a St Moritz to sip under the stars. As you look out on the twinkling city lights, you’ll soon forget about the stress of the last year, instead soaking up the sights from this central London spot.

    And it’s not just a hangout for a quick cocktail, either. Settle in and order some sharers – the Pork Rillettes, Gnocci Gratin or Macaroni Cheese will go down a treat.

    For more information, visit https://trafalgarstjames.com/the-rooftop

    5. Boundary London Rooftop, Shoreditch

    Best rooftop bars in London: Boundary

    Credit: Boundary

    Hidden atop the Boundary Hotel on a quiet Shoreditch street is a beautiful rooftop offering a heated glass Orangery and cosy outdoor terrace. Enter through a fairy light tunnel where you’ll be greeted with fur-lined seats, ceilings adorned with plants and gorgeous views of east London. With the option to sit under cover or beneath a heater in the open, it’s a quiet little spot in an otherwise busy corner of the city – perfect for a first date, catch up after work or simply because you want to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen because of lockdown.

    Pop open a bottle of wine, order the salt and pepper calamari or spiced monkfish tempura to whet your appetite. Relax in the hippest area in town – seriously worth the visit.

    For more information, visit https://boundary.london/rooftop/

    6. Coq D’Argent, Bank

    Best rooftop bars in London: Coq d'Argent

    Credit: Coq d’Argent

    Zip up the glass elevator at 1 Poultry and head to Coq D’Argent, a gorgeous rooftop bar, restaurant and terrace. It’s under cover but still out in the open, and you’ll be able to view the sparkling skyline whilst enjoying a number of classic cocktails. Unforgettable views and rich green foliage make this a must-visit spot during the summer months.

    Sample the bar menu until 11pm during the week. There’s a creamy hummus on offer, as well as Cajun buttermilk chicken with spicy mayonnaise and a Savoyard charcuterie platter.

    For more information, visit https://www.coqdargent.co.uk/

    7. Frank’s Cafe

    Best rooftop bars: A photo of Frank's Cafe

    Credit: Frank’s Cafe

    Arguably Peckham’s best rooftop bar, Frank’s Cafe has legendary status in South London. It’s huge, with space to enjoy stunning sunsets over the city while socially distanced from other people, and is the perfect place to sit, relax and refresh after a long day. Offering everything from evening drinks, to daytime small plates and brunch, too, there’s something for everyone.

    It’s also got an interesting history, being the first big project from Practice Architecture. It was once an abandoned car park, now transformed into one of the best rooftop bars in London. Neat.

    For more information, head to www.boldtendancies.com

    8. Radio Rooftop 

    Best rooftop bars: The view from Radio Rooftop

    Credit: Radio Rooftop

    There’s a reason Radio Rooftop is one of the most iconic rooftop bars in London – we mean, just look at that view. It’ll be found on the tenth floor of the ME building, and as you can see, has gorgeous views of central London. Head for breakfast, lunch, drinks or dinner.

    This one is much fancier than Franks, but a great spot for a date night or dressing up with friends. Do note, there is a dress code – they ask you to be both ‘smart and glamorous’.

    For more information, head to www.radiorooftop.com

    9. Queen of Hoxton

    Best rooftop bars in London: Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch

    Credit: Queen of Hoxton

    Located in – yep, you guessed it – Hoxton, this popular city bar is also a club by night. Sadly, the club won’t be open for the foreseeable, but you can enjoy live music, DJ sets and neon signs galore, all from the comfort of your table on the roof. You can order everything from fruity cocktails, to Moet slushies, to local lagers and wine, too. If you get hungry, they serve both kitchen and BBQ food – think burgers, fries and hot dogs – and the view over London is pretty impressive, too.

    Guaranteed to be a fun and buzzy night out. Enjoy.

    For more information, head to www.queenofhoxton.com

    10. The Abbey Tavern

    Best rooftop bars in London: The Abbey Tavern

    Credit: The Abbey Tavern

    If you live near Camden or Kentish Town, you’ll have been to The Abbey Tavern. It’s one of the biggest rooftop bars in the area, with an outdoors beer garden, to boot, and promises both a buzzy atmosphere, drinks on tap, and delicious pub-style grub from Nanny Bill’s. Think burgers with gravy bowls to dip and mac and cheese croquettes.

    It does get busy, so make sure you book when you can – we can only see it getting booked up for the summer months.

    For more on how to book The Abbey Tavern, head to their website: www.abbey-tavern.com

    11. NT’s

    Best rooftop bars in London: NTs in Hackney

    Credit: NT’s

    NT’s is your best bet if you live in East London or spend a lot of your time in Hackney. Situated in Netil House, it’s a bit of a speakeasy in that it’s hidden away – you wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew.

    Asides from being inconspicuous, it’s a big space with loads of rooms for enjoying a drink at a social distance. You’ll get to soak up the views of East London and enjoy a heated roof terrace which, at this time of year, will actually be pretty game-changing, we reckon.

    Enjoy your standard beers, wines and spirits, and a

    For more information, head to www.ntbar.co.uk

    12. Sabine Rooftop Bar 

    Tourists will love Sabine as, sat at the right table, you get a pretty unparalleled view of St. Paul’s cathedral. It’s not the cheapest of options – cocktails are around £16 and the house wine around £40 – but the cocktails are tasty, plus it’s a great spot for a drink or two if you’re after a bar in central.

    Top tip: make sure you go in summer and specify that you want to sit outside when you book for the best view.

    For more information, head to sabinelondon.co.uk

    13. Dalston Roof Park

    Reopening from early May 2022 with the addition of a new event space, Dalston Roof Park is huge, and somewhere you’ll want to be booking come summer. Not only will you get to enjoy fantastic views of the city, but it’s run by Bootstrap Charity, meaning all profits go back into empowering young people and businesses. The Roof Park hosts a broad schedule of summer events, from small productions by the nearby theatre to outdoor film screenings, gigs and foodie evenings, making it the ultimate East London urban oasis.

    For more information, head to bootstrapcharity.com.

    14. Sky Lounge

    Situated in the famous Shangri-La hotel at The Shard, the Sky Lounge is situated on level 34 and offers breathtaking views of the city. Sip on one of their signature Veuve Clicquot cocktail and nibble on grilled tuna steak as you see if you can spot Tower Bridge, the Gherkin, and other iconic London landmarks.

    For more information, visit skylounge-shangrila.com.

    15. Shoreditch House

    The pool at this East London members’ club is about as well-known to Londoners as it’s sister staycation spot, Babington House. With a new poolside bar, decadent changing rooms, and Wes Anderson-esque furniture, this is not just a, but the spot to unwind (and celebrity spot) in the sunshine. Order a Picante and enjoy. Members only, mind.

    For more information, visit sohohouse.com.

    So there you have it – some of the best rooftop bars in London. Bookings will fill up fast, so do make sure you book your table ASAP. What are you waiting for?

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