Good weather is never guaranteed in the UK, so the smart Londoners know to grab the sunshine while they can at one of these rooftop bars and lounges. Here are our favourite sky-high spaces in the capital for creative cocktails, relaxed eating – and even a cooling dip.
THE ROOFTOP BAR + GRILL AT THE BOUNDARY PROJECT
For relaxed, open-air dining with 360 degrees views of the city skyline, al fresco fans head to east London’s Boundary Project, where the multiple floors of a converted Victorian warehouse host a collection of rooms, suites and two dining spaces – plus the Rooftop Bar + Grill on top. During the warmer months diners can feast on grilled meat and fish and other Mediterranean specialities while sipping on pitchers of classic fruit-based summer cocktails.
THE ROOFTOP AT THE TRAFALGAR ST JAMES
The newly revamped space of The Rooftop at Trafalgar St James offers views across Trafalgar Square itself, right up to the Thames and beyond. Diners and drinkers alike can relax on the heated terrace as exquisitely crafted cocktails and items from the raw fish bar, steamed buns or freshly grilled snacks are delivered to their tables. For special occasions, a 14-seat glass dining room is available for private hire.
RUMPUS ROOM AT MONDRIAN LONDON
The glass Rumpus Room box looks out across London from the top of the Mondrian London hotel; its terrace boasts lush greenery and comfortable sofas from which to sip American-inspired cocktails and eat fried chicken. It’s a buzzing, vibrant venue where guests can enjoy live music every Wednesday, with DJs spinning tracks Thursday to Saturday.
RADIO ROOFTOP AT ME LONDON HOTEL
Sitting on the tenth floor of ME London Hotel on The Strand, the comfortable outdoor sofas of Radio Rooftop are the perfect setting to sip Champagne while taking in views of the Thames, the London Eye, the Shard and St Paul’s Cathedral. The lunch menu (and brunch, on Saturdays and Sundays) gives way to sharing plates in the evening, while lap blankets and patio heaters minimise the chill.
NED’S CLUB UPSTAIRS AT THE NED
Overlooking the skyline from the roof of a converted bank in the heart of The City, Ned’s Club Upstairs is only accessible to members or guests of the hotel downstairs – but it’s worth being either just to get some time in the heated rooftop pool. From breakfast and brunch to lunch and dinner (via the rotisserie grill and wood oven), guests can relax all day long at the Roof Bar, with its terraces, retractable roof and heaters.
TERRACES AND GRILL AT COQ D’ARGENT
Just over the road from The Ned sits the iconic 1 Poultry building, home of Coq d’Argent. With its viewing platform and immaculately landscaped roof garden overlooking some of the most recognisable landmarks in the city, the restaurant’s heated rooftop terrace is a spectacular place to feast on the grill menu and classic cocktails.