11 of the Best Rooftop Bars in London
Summer’s on the horizon – get ready with our pick of the best places to cool down, on hot days in the city…
Summertime, living is easy. And what comes easier on a hot day than following your feet to one of London’s rooftop bars? If last year is anything to go by, it’s going to be a scorcher, which means cool drinks, warm sunsets and balmy DJ sets that echo above the busy streets of the capital. So, to make things even easier, we’ve pulled together 11 of the best rooftop bars to check out…
Ever had a game of croquet on top of an old multi-storey car park? Well, now’s your chance. This playful summer hotspot sits at Tobacco Dock (one of London’s coolest event spaces) and is a self-proclaimed ‘urban lawn club in the sky’. You might recognise it from it’s famous rooftop ice-rink in Winter, but come Summer, the only ice you’ll see are the cubes clinking in your glass.
Where: Pennington St. Car Park entrance, Wapping, London E1W 2SF
Sitting above Waterloo and inspired by the Mediterranean island of Elba, where Napoleon was exiled before being totally crushed again at the Battle of Waterloo, you can’t fault Bar Elba for their commitment to a theme. The sister bar to one of favourite spots, ‘Tonight Josephine’ (so named after Napoleon’s first wife), Bar Elba has that tropical, party-all-day vibe and a motto of ‘Liberté, Egalité, Rosé’ which we can absolutely get on board with.
Where: Mercury House, 109-117 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8UL
Our friendly neighbourhood rooftop bar, Netil360 is pretty much our second home when Summer comes around (it’s just 5 minutes from the hotel). Perched on the rooftop of a creative studio space and sitting in the heart of Hackney, you’re guaranteed a good crowd, good drinks and – as the name suggests – a 360° view of London’s skyline. Relaxed, with comfy bean bags by day, go-to party spot by night.
Where: 1 Westgate Street, London Fields, London E8 3RL
If you can’t-do-Cannes, but want that sort of vibe, Boundary is the place to go. It has a rooftop orangery, perfectly-pruned greenery and Rattan furniture with white cotton cushions that make you feel like you’ve walked straight into P.Diddy’s 4th of July White Party. When the sun’s going down and the champagne’s coming out, sit back on their heated terrace and party all night long.
Where: 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD
Queen of Hoxton
The majesty of East London’s rooftops, Queen of Hoxton is way more than a bar. Expect live music, outdoor cinema screenings and drag bingo every Wednesday. This year, they have an ‘all fiesta – no siesta’ Mexicana theme, which already sounds like a night out well-spent to us. There’s great BBQ food and a buzzy vibe that practically shouts from the rooftops.
Where: 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Bussey Rooftop Bar
Sitting on the top floor of an old industrial building, Peckham’s Bussey Rooftop Bar is a must-visit for Summer. Bright colours, dangerously easy-to-drink cocktails and guest DJs provide the perfect sky-high escape to hang out with friends or take a hot date. Watch your favourite movies al-fresco with the Rooftop Film Club, or just kick back and enjoy the view around you.
Where: Block B, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
If you’ve ever been around Oxford Circus on a busy Summer’s day, then escaping to the rooftops doesn’t sound like too bad an idea, does it? Luckily, Aqua Spirit are ready and waiting with two terraces to choose from and a drinks menu in their hand. A glitzy, central oasis where champagne’s always flowing.
Where: 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street),London, UK W1B 3BR
Pergola has the capacity to hold around 850 people and trust us when we say that on a hot weekend in Summer, it’s almost always full. With 4 restaurants, 2 bars and massive daybeds that are prime-position to top up your tan, Pergola’s like walking upstairs from a London street and finding yourself in Barcelona. PS: They also have another hot new location – Pergola Olympia
Where: 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central, W2 6PY
You’d never guess that nestled amongst the high rises around Shoreditch Old Street, there was palm-tree dotted, inner-city Nirvana just waiting to be discovered. Chilled vibe, a lengthy cocktail menu and an ideal place to go for after-work drinks any day of the week. Also, if the British weather starts misbehaving, they have a retractable canopy that covers the terrace so you can still enjoy that view.
Where: Singer St, Old Street, London EC1V 9DD
Another of Peckham’s multi-storey-car-park-come-Summer-hotspot bars, Frank’s Cafe is popular with the local crowd and the prices won’t make you gulp. Compared to Bussey, Frank’s has more of a paired-back vibe, with exposed concrete, simple wooden tables and a no-fuss approach to decor, which only adds to its charm. Dogs and good times are always welcome.
Where: Bold Tendencies, Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4TG
The Culpeper rooftop feels less like a rooftop bar with a garden, and more like a sky-high allotment with spaces amongst the plants to grab a drink. Above the hot concrete of Summer city life, it’s a welcome contrast and boasts some of the best views over the city. All of the food and drinks are inspired by what’s growing in the garden, so expect seasonal, fresher-than-fresh treats in the warm Summer sun.
Where: 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP
These are just some of the rooftop party spots in London, but there are plenty more (some we might not even know of yet). If your earphones are out and you hear some bass coming from the top of a high-rise, no doubt, you’ve probably discovered another.