If you’re a Londoner you will know just how important a great bar is, whether that be for after work cocktails, a lunchtime tipple or just a quick beer before you move on to a club. Now think about (the very few days of) summer and that lovely warm sunshine and if you’re anything like me then you’ll be imagining a rooftop bar. Rooftop bars in London are very common now (slightly weird as we get like 200 days of rain in a year, but I’m not complaining!), and they make just having an after-work drink all the more exciting.
Drinking at rooftop bars is one of my favourite pastimes so I knew I had to write a post about some of my favourite bars in my favourite city. Some of the ones that made it on the list I have visited and loved, and some I can’t wait to visit in the future.
Pergola is a pop-up bar and there are two Pergola locations: the original one in White City and a newer one in Paddington, and the Paddington one is the one I’ve visited. They have loads of cool pop-up restaurants such as Patty + Bun and Raw Press. They also have amazing beds, that we had for a little while before we moved downstairs to eat. The drinks are very reasonably priced, and I would fully recommend the cocktails: I had the Le Gran Fizz but with my old pal gin instead of vodka – so gorgeous! You will have to book here which is super handy but you can only book for groups with 4 or more, so for date night it’s better to just walk in!
♦ Visited ♦
Pergola White City: Multi Story Car Park, Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, London, United Kingdom W12 7RJ
Pergola Paddington Central: 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central, London, United Kingdom W2 6PY
Pergola is open until October 1st
Radio Rooftop bar is located on the 10th floor of the ME hotel and has amazing views of the Thames and the London skyline. It has been on my list for ages and I need to go and have a drink there soon! From what everyone has told me, the views are great and the drinks are gorgeous. They also do brunch on Sundays, which I am an absolute sucker for, and their restaurant is meant to be really good as well! You have to book here as well so keep that in mind.
ME London, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Madisons is one of my favourites, simply because it is so close to my workplace. I love how accessible it is, being a penthouse of the shopping centre One New Change by St Pauls Cathedral. The cocktails are amazing, bar staff are super friendly and the views are incredible. Having St Pauls Cathedral as a backdrop is absolute killer. If you haven’t been, you definitely have to! You don’t have to book but you have the option to which is nice.
♦ Visited ♦
Madison Restaurant, Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF
Another place I have visited recently which is close to my work place is Coq D’Argent. This bar is closer to Bank, being literally opposite exit 9. The terraces are heated, making this bar the perfect place for those chilly nights. The views are amazing, and the drinks were good – pretty pricey but what to expect from a London bar. The decor was very floral when I went, and it definitely felt like summer. You can book tables here so it’s quite handy if you want definite seats, but if you decide to come here on a whim it’s fine because bar snacks need no reservations – best of both worlds!
♦ Visited ♦
Coq D’Argent No.1 Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ
Aqua Spirit is a cool little cocktail bar near Mayfair, a definite possibility for pre-clubbing drinks. It looks very sophisticated and is located on the 5th floor, and it’s more of an outdoor terrace that you can watch the sunset from and then move into the restaurant bar when it gets too cold. You can’t book here, so entrance is on a first-come-first-served basis. The drinks are renowned here so it’s perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail or a boozy post-dinner date.
The 12th floor of the Hilton Tower of London offers amazing views of the skyline, as well as two outdoor terraces. What I really enjoyed about this bar is that when I visited around Christmas time, they had special Christmas themed cocktails! I just think it’s so lovely that they did that and it added something different to my experience. There are loads of different landmarks that you can see from this bar so you can get loads of great pics for your Insta, and it has a really nice chilled out vibe. Bar tables can be booked, but they do accept walk-ins from my understanding.
♦ Visited ♦
7 Pepys Street, London, EC3N 4AF,United Kingdom
Probably one of the most aesthetically-pleasing places in the whole of London, and I still can’t believe I haven’t visited. Sky Garden is a beautiful glass dome, located at 20 Fenchurch Street on top of a building nicknamed the Walkie Talkie building. They have three floors of gardens, outdoor terraces, and observation decks. The view of the skyline looks insane, and the drinks look even better. They also have a few restaurants, which would make for the perfect date night. Booking here is tricky, they only have a set amount of tickets and you have to be quick to snatch them before they go. Tickets are only available for a certain amount of time as well, so be warned and make the most of your time.
1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF
This is the second year that John Lewis has opened their rooftop garden in their store on Oxford Street: the perfect little pit-stop after the bustle of London’s favourite shopping area. What I really like about this place is that they have events happening all the time, such as yoga classes, and lifestyle workshops, so it’s not just somewhere to go and drink and chill (although you can do that if you want to), but it’s somewhere you can spend the whole day, doing an activity and enjoy the views at the same time. There is also a great restaurant, and if you get bored – you’re on London’s busiest shopping street! You can reserve tables here, or rather ‘summerhouses’ and ‘pavilions’ – ooh la la!
Rooftop Garden is open until September 24th
300 Oxford St, London W1C 1DX
Another cute little gem located on Oxford Street, this time at Selfridges. Apparently they have the best guacamole in town, which everyone knows is definitely worth an excuse to visit. Dining al-fresco is always exciting, mostly because you never know whether it will be rain or sun (haha), but the food looks amazing, I’ve never been disappointed with any food I’ve had from Selfridges! Booking is recommended here as well, I have heard it gets quite busy too so maybe it’s worth booking.
Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB
I really wish I hadn’t visited this place when it was a dark and gloomy day in London, but at least it wasn’t raining (every cloud and all that!). But even when it was a little grey, the atmosphere of Rumpus Room was very energetic, and I loved their cocktails. The only thing I didn’t like was their queuing system; I stood in a queue at the bar for ages until I got to the front where they told me that queue was for VIP’s *facepalm*, but after that I got served pretty quickly so all was forgiven! Rumpus Rooms is located on the top floor of the Mondrian Hotel, and offers panoramic views of London, as well as being within walking distance of lots of famous landmarks, such as the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, as well as the London Eye and Borough Market. Definitely worth a visit! No booking is necessary here.
♦ Visited ♦
20, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD
I love the area of Kensington ever since I was little, and then I grew up and started watching Made in Chelsea which made me love it even more. Their Roof Gardens are one of Kensington’s spectacular venues and the restaurant is called Babylon, where you can have drinks on the terrace. The gardens are set 100ft above London, and is on the 7th floor, so you can imagine the views are insane! The actual gardens look amazing, and they are free to visit but you will have to book a table to have drinks or lunch. Also don’t forget your ID because they are super strict!
99, Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA
If you are a sushi lover like I am, this should be at the top of your list if you haven’t already visited! Sushi Samba is located on the 38th and 39th floors of Bishopsgate, and features the highest outdoor terraces in London. There are 360 views of London, with wall to floor glass windows, and glass elevators taking you up. The decor is an outdoor-indoor theme, with trees featuring heavily, and there are lots of fairy lights so it makes for perfect Instagram photos. You have to book a table here for the food but you don’t need a reservation for the bar, just note that it gets very busy in the evenings so bear that in mind.
♦ Visited ♦
Sushi Samba, London, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY
QOH is located in Shoreditch, and that is one of my favourite places in London. It’s so edgy and hipster and cool, and even though I am none of those things it is a great area to go for drinks. There are views of the Shoreditch skyline, and it transforms twice a year from a snuggly, cosy winter rooftop bar to a summer, basking-in-the-heat rooftop bar. It gets super busy here so queues may be inevitable, but there is no need to book so it all depends on your luck!
1-5 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX
Bokan looks like a very cool place to have a drink. Located in the heart of Canary Wharf, it consists of three floors: 37, 38 and 39. The 37th floor is the restaurant, there is a bar on the 38th floor and the rooftop terrace is located on the 39th floor. It looks so exciting, it has a specialist gin bar (cannot wait to try this!), jazz days on Sundays and daytime beds, which all make for a perfect weekend spot. I would definitely book here, it gets super busy and is very popular, so don’t risk it!
Floor 37-39, 40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP
Aviary is a place I cannot wait to visit – it just looks like it has the best vibes! It is located on the 10th floor of the Finsbury Square’s Montcalm Hotel, and has amazing panoramic views of the city. Definitely the ideal post-work drinks location – you will often see people in work clothes, enjoying some down time. The food looks amazing too, I think I will definitely have to make a night of it when I go! Again, I would book this if I had the chance, you never know how busy it will get and it’s a very popular place.
Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace Bar, 10th Floor Montcalm Royal, London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1DX
So those were my top-picks for rooftop bars in London!
Did your favourite bars make it onto the list? How many have you been to? Let me know in the comments below!