It’s June, it’s sunny, it’s light until 9pm and there’s only one place we want to be: on a roof. With a drink. And a view. And, hopefully, a date (we can help you out there). So whether you’re on a budget or ready for a wild one, fish those sunglasses out from the bottom of your bag, lather on the factor 30 and grab an umbrella (because, England), and take your pick of our favourite rooftop bars London has to offer.
Best for: after work drinks
Netil 360: 1 Westgate Street, Hackney, London E8 3RL
This day to night space is just off Mare Street. It’s a great place to get some work done in the day before heading upstairs for drinks in the evening sunshine. There’s loads of room, hot tubs, a croquet lawn and regular film screenings. Last orders are at 10.30pm, so your 9am will be nothing to worry about.
Best for: being in the very centre of London
Sisu: 535 Oxford St., London, W1C 2QW
The seasonal rooftop hot spot is back with vintage furniture, heated seats that overlook Oxford Street, a coin operated Negroni machine and a decadent food menu of dishes such as cauliflower cheese arancini and poutine.
Best for: bottomless brunch
Madison, One New Change: St Paul’s, 1 New Change, EC4M 9AD
In addition to its unsurpassed (and very Instagrammable) views of the City, this rooftop space has live music and a great bottomless brunch on Sundays. Unsurprisingly, it gets booked up pretty quickly.
Best for: food
Pergola on the Roof: Wood Lane, W12 7RJ
With four restaurants and two bars on a Hamptons-style terrace, London’s biggest rooftop dining venue is a crowd-pleaser (literally). You can eat under palm trees or on a bookable day bed, andf even get a free drink by signing up to the visitor book online.
Best for: keeping it casual
Frank’s Cafe: 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Story Carpark 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Also known as “London’s worst kept secret”, Frank’s is a Peckham icon with panoramic views across the capital and reasonably priced drinks. It’s a popular place for a sundowner, but, covering the entire top floor of a multi-storey car park, it never feels too crowded
Best for: partying
Prince of Wales: 467- 469 Brixton Rd, SW9 8HH
Reasonably priced drink, three bars, an easy-on-the-ear line up of weekend DJs and plenty of people to make friends with if your date doesn’t go to plan, this Brixton venue is a great option for an al-fresco boogie.
Best for: a sense of vertigo
SUSHISAMBA Terrace: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Thirty-nine stories off the ground this is one of the highest roof top bars in London. If the height doesn’t make you feel giddy, the prices on some of the drinks might – but it’s still one of our favourites.
Best for: actually being a pub
If the words “I’m going to” and “rooftop bar” fill you with dread or a desire to ridicule, this one’s for you. The Finsbury Park favourite has a leafy, multi-level outdoor space that spans the entire roof. Best of all, it’s definitely a pub.