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10 of the Best Rooftop Bars in London - Essential Living

10 of the Best Rooftop Bars in London

Blog
25.05.22

London is a city that needs no introduction. The most significant metropolis in the United Kingdom is among the most visited spots worldwide. There’s a reason it’s been at the heart of British culture and other international affairs for centuries.

As a party capital, the city equals none in terms of entertainment. The focal point for social life in London remains the West End. Here, you can sample some world-famous theatres, shopping malls, and London’s best museums. It’s also home to magnificent entertainment joints, representing the city’s liveliest pub culture and music scene.

There is no doubt that you’ll get something that keeps you captivated every time you go out in London. Paint the town red from the numerous boutique cocktail bars, small basement clubs, and huge electronic music venues. With optimum relaxation and entertainment in mind, we reveal the best rooftop bars in London to take in the views over a drink.

 

1. Radio Rooftop London

Radio Rooftop Bar

Londoners love experiencing the city from above. There is no better place to sit and watch the day go by than a cocktail at Radio Rooftop London. Perched on the 10th floor of the ME London hotel, the bar and restaurant take pride in its greenery and a calm modernistic vibe inspired by the beautiful Thames River. With views of Somerset House, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, and many more iconic London sights, you won’t find a better place for a sundowner.

Sample some of the best Mediterranean cuisines at the stylish bar. Whether you yearn for a well-done Shrimp Scampi, Turkish Cilbir, or a Chicken Shawarma, the qualified chefs have got your back. What’s more, the cocktail menu has been specially curated to compliment the menu.

 

2. Madison

Madison

Don’t let the corporate exterior of this grand old building put you off. Inside awaits a well-kept secret — some of London’s finest views. Madison is a Mecca for the financial workers whose desks pile high across the street. Additionally, it’s one of the most popular spots in town to enjoy freshly-made cocktails while enjoying magnificent views across St Paul’s Cathedral, the Gherkin, and beyond.

The Champagne-led drinks list includes Laurent Perrier and Taittinger Rose magnums, hundreds of bottles of Moët & Chandon, and a range of other bubbles. On summer evenings, you can enjoy small plates alongside spectacular sunsets.

 

3. Aqua Spirit

Aqua Spirit

Aqua Spirit is the perfect venue for a pre-dinner cocktail, thanks to the glamorous, cosmopolitan setting on the fifth floor of a beautiful building in Soho. Its cocktails are almost as good as its stunning views of Oxford Street, Bond Street, and Regent Street.

Start at the bar and ask for a Pink Pigeon – a mix of London Dry Gin, Isle of Wight Tomato Chilli, and Celery Shrub. A smoky bouillon with Plums steeped in Earl Grey Tea is not a wrong choice either. Or skip straight to the expertly crafted cocktails and mouth-watering Japanese bites. The bar’s luxe interior design culminates in a spacious outdoor terrace leading to beautiful and functional vibrant living spaces.

 

4. London Bridge Rooftop

London Bridge Rooftop

If you intend to inject a little adventure into your life, the London bridge rooftop with its spectacular sunset views is the place to unwind. Moreover, there’s nothing else like it when taking memorable photos.

Pass by the Shard if you love hosting fabulous parties, barbecues, and summer nights on your rooftop. Standing proudly at 310m high, the casual urban spot serves a fun-packed menu accompanied with house cocktails.

Grab some fresh thirst-quenching ginger pig and filling vegan burgers too before catching the latest movies on the cinema screen. Music lovers have plenty of options from the experienced DJs on the decks.

 

5. LSQ Rooftop

LSQ Rooftop Bar

LSQ is the perfect spot to catch a gorgeous sunset with excellent panoramic views and delicious cocktails. In addition, it boasts one of London’s most giant outdoor cinema screens. There’s even an area for private dining, well-suited to events such as weddings and birthday parties.

The hidden gem is a 15-minute walk from Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations. Enjoy the very best in cocktails, Italian food, set to a classic hip-hop soundtrack. The party starts from 6pm every night with DJs playing live until late, with food served from 10pm.

 

6. Seabird

Seabird, Southwark

Bring the Mediterranean closer to home by ascending to the 14th floor of The Hoxton Hotel in Southwark, where you’ll find Seabird. One of the more recent openings on this list, you’ll find a top-notch selection of seafood dishes (no surprises there), alongside cocktails names after seabirds.

With the palm trees and rattan furniture, you might forget you’re in central London if it weren’t for the sweeping city views. Oyster lovers should look no further, as Seabird has the longest oyster menu in London.

 

7. Bōkan

Bokan

Hidden on top of the Novotel in Canary Wharf, Bōkan is all about the views. Set over three-floors, including an outdoor roof terrace, the bar boasts prime panoramas of the Isle of Dogs. A 37 stories high, there’s no better spot to watch the sunset.

Make your way here on a weekend afternoon and get spoilt as you can watch the sunset over Central London. You can also order tasty London delicacies and fantastic cocktails to keep you going through the night.

 

8. Netil 360

Netil 360

Located in Hackney, this dog and family-friendly, graffiti-filled drinking spot has arguably the best views of London. Get lost in the oasis of thrift sofas, vintage lampshades, second-hand 1930s oak tables, and a canopy to shelter you from the British summer. In addition to an epic decked-out roof, Netil 360 neighbours a disused piano factory where you can buy cocktails or hang out on the huge grassy lawn.

With the bar’s music policy ranging from techno to Afro-beats, get ready to whirl and dance all night long. Order some delicious Italian food to go with your drinks like rosemary salt lemony mayo, freshly made pasta, Risotto or Polenta.

 

9. Sky Garden

Sky Garden London

No list about London rooftops would be complete without The Sky Garden atop the walkie talkie building (also known as 20 Fenchurch Street). Found in the heart of the City of London, this roof terrace has arguably the best views of London aside from the Shard, but without the hefty price tag.

Unlike the other options on this list, booking in advance is absolutely necessary, with viewing slots being taking up around 2 weeks in advance. Without cocktails, the roof terrace operates a loosely enforced 1 hour time limit for each visit, so this isn’t the best choice if you want to spend an entire evening drinking.

 

10. Queen of Hoxton

Queen of Hoxton London

Forget anything you know about rooftops and get ready to enter the world of Queenie’s. The stylish 600 square foot rooftop bar is an ever-evolving wonderland of immersive events, art installations, and one-off parties. Come early and savour some delicious coffee and pastries. For dinner, stay late for sumptuous meals, beers, and cocktails on the roof.

You’ll find street food trucks like Lucky Chip burgers, Dim Sum Su, and the Little Leaf Kombucha Bar.

Queenie’s is a jack of all trades. To the delight of its visitors, the venue transforms between different themes throughout the year, from Mexican Day of the Dead wonderland to a neon-lit botanical garden. The events and parties are on almost every visitor’s lips due to their unique theme and matchless fun. Entry to the roof terrace is free, but you need to get there early for the best spots.

With its two colossal rooftop terraces, Queen of Hoxton is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny afternoon in the heart of Shoreditch.

 

Bottom Line

 

London’s bar scene has come a long way since the days of pre-batched cocktails. It’s no surprise that the capital’s rooftops stand tall, each boasting its unique style and vibe.

We cannot deny that London’s got you covered whether you fancy a beer while playing table tennis or sipping on cocktails with some world-class views.

Check out our other lists for the best rooftop bars in North, South and East London.

 

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