On the 6th floor of the disused Peckham Multi-Story Car Park this summer you'll find parked cars replaced with drinkers enjoying cocktails and crab on toast at Frank's Cafe and Campari Bar. This temporary rooftop bar is back following years of success - it first opened in 2008 with over 30,000 people visiting in the three months it was open. Frank's is a winning combination of drinking, eating, art and one of the best views in London. It's part of the Bold Tendencies Sculpture Project initiated and run by Hannah Barry Gallery. Frank Boxer - the 'Frank' after whom the cafe is named - has worked at the Anchor and Hope and set up the Italo Deli in Vauxhall. The structure of the makeshift cafe has been designed by architecture students Lettice Drake and Palmoa Gormley (daughter of Antony Gormley).
Best Rooftop Bars in London
Achingly hip bar on the 6th floor of a multi-story car park in Peckham.
Peckham Rye Multistory Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
Tube: Denmark Hill Station
Dates: From 19th May 2016
The rooftop has been transformed into a psychedelic world of rainbow bagels and trippy prints.
The Queen Of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Tube: Liverpool Street Station
Dates: 29th April - 01st October 2016
The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop has been transformed once again for its summer residency, A Tribute to Dr Strange. The summer-long event is a nostalgic homage to the swinging sixties, inviting Londoners into a colourful kaleidoscopic hideaway that's reminiscent of the radical and revolutionary furore of the Summer of Love. Expect a psychedelic world of flowers, trippy visuals and interactive installations that will satisfy your inner flower child. There will be cocktails, ice cream floats and ice-cream filled rainbow bagels, while hot food options include a spiced lamb burger and BBQ salmon fillet. As part of the event, there will also be a series of events such as flower crown making, Museum of Happiness workshops, tie dye high five and psychedelic face painting.
Stunning outdoor terrace overlooking Somerset House and the London Eye.
ME , 336-337 The Strand, Aldwych, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1HA
Located 10 floors above the Strand and Aldwych in the heart of Covent Garden, Radio is the stunning rooftop bar of the ME hotel designed by Foster and Partners, with an outdoor terrace giving "an almost voyeuristic sightline" (The Telegraph) into the Somerset House quadrangle and an end-on take on the London Eye. The views are staggering. Sun-drenched by day and a true hot spot by night, it's London's hippest bar-with-a-view. Sip on cocktails while surrounded by spectacular London scenery from Tower Hill to Battersea Power Station, including sights of the City, Tower Bridge, the Shard, Cheesegrater, Walkie Talkie, London Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, as well as Tate Modern, the whole of the South Bank (National Theatre, Southbank Centre) across the Thames, Houses of Parliament, Nelson on his column, and the theatre district of Covent Garden. Listen to the DJ spun tunes while soaking in the wonderful views, or unwind VIP-style in private cabanas and plush couches. The ME hotel is the first flagship hotel in which everything inside and out, from the shell of the building to the bathroom fittings, has been designed by Foster and Partners, and the rooftop Radio bar is its crowning glory.
Make like you're a kid again and perch on a swing while sipping on a cocktail four floors above Oxford Street.
535 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2QW
Tube: Marble Arch Station
Make like you're a kid again and perch on a swing while sipping on a cocktail four floors above Oxford Street. Notch, a rooftop bar on the fourth floor of the London Marriott Hotel on Park Lane, has all these summer perks plus Nikkei street food from Mark Morrans (ex Kurobuta, Nobu Melbourne, Naam) cooked in his little Fudo Shack. Japanese and South American fusion food with Peruvian flavours and techniques thrown in is served daily from 12pm to 10pm. Tacos, with fried chicken or pulled beef can be enjoyed in the midst of reclaimed school science tables sourced from a boatyard, bomb proof lighting and back bar shelving from an architectural salvage yard. Best of all is the row of swings overlooking the streets below; one to add to the best rooftop bars in London.
Four restaurants on one rooftop above Television Centre.
Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, London, W12 7RJ
Dates: 03rd November - 23rd December 2016
After its glorious summer sojourn (the most Instagrammed pop up of summer 2016? - we think so) Pergola on the Roof is back. This time the covered rooftop food court on the roof of the BBC Television Centre is heated for winter and a Nordic forest sets the scene. Dine at a choice of four self-serve restaurants under a canopy of holly, ivy, and winter flowers, set against burgundy walls and paved with woody bark. Think silver birch trees, low level lighting, blankets, cedar wood, oaky scents and candle light. Choose from menus by Snaps & Rye, Le Bab, Patty & Bun and Gunpowder. The queues were long over the summer but you can book in if you're a party of four or more, there's capacity for 600 and 25 per cent is kept back for walk-ins plus there are five giant beds seat up to 15 people. Snuggle up and get cosy.
Best for sundown views over the Thames and the South Bank in the shadow of the Hayward.
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX
Designed by the Eden Project and run by Company of Cooks, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is the place to be on a summer's evening for stunning sundown views over the Thames. On the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall, next to the Hayward Gallery and in the shadow of A Room for London, the garden bar has the same appeal as New York's High Line - wild flowers, graffiti and a seat on the grass in the middle of the concrete brutalism of the Southbank Centre. Come for pre- or post-theatre drink, visit the Hayward's Alternative Guide to the Universe or just enjoy a Pimm's as the sun sets. It's what summer in London is all about.
London's highest bar, on the 52nd floor of The Shard.
31 St Thomas Street, Bankside, London, SE1 90U
Tube: London Bridge Station
On level 52 of The Shard, Gong is London's highest bar. Part of the Shangri-La Hotel, the tallest hotel in Western Europe, Gong takes its name from 'dougong', an ancient Chinese structural element of interlocking wooden brackets that will be a component of the bar's interior. One of three wining and dining options within the Shangri-La, Gong is two floors above Ting, the hotel's signature restaurant and lounge on level 35, linked to the hotel's reception area on level 34 by a spectacular grand staircase sweeping across double length floor-to-ceiling windows. Added to these is Lang, an artisan deli on the ground floor which gets its name from the Chinese word for 'pathway'. Gong on level 52 is on the same floor as a 24-hour gym and London's highest infinity pool.
Just a few steps from Nelson's Column, Vista is perched over Trafalgar Square.
The Trafalgar, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, SW1A 2TS
This bar is all about location, location, location. Just a few steps from Nelson's Column, Vista is a rooftop bar upon the boutique Trafalgar Hotel. The unique roof terrace and garden provides unrivalled views of Trafalgar Square, Westminster and beyond. Revamped in 2011, the bar is speckled with pink and features signature patterned cushions, glass tables and flickering candles, creating a laid-back yet striking venue with a Mediterranean flair. It's open all year round but the bar really comes into its own in the summer when the BOHO rooftop parties take place every Sunday afternoon and evening until mid September. Inspired by New York and Sydney's famous rooftop events, BOHO parties start with al fresco dining from 3pm and continue with live DJ sets from 9pm.
The huge roof terraces at this French eaterie make it a sought after alfresco spot.
1 Poultry, Bank, City, London, EC2R 8EJ
The City of London does many things well, but green space is not one of them. So, when summer strikes the suits roll up their sleeves and head to Le Coq d'Argent. The huge roof terraces at this fabulous French eaterie atop No 1 Poultry makes it the most sought after alfresco spot on the square mile. The menus - an all-day brasserie menu, and a gourmet evening a la carte - are tailored to suit the City's distinctly conservative tastes. Dishes such as traditional Coq au Vin and Sea Bass fillet with ratatouille and shellfish are so scrumptious that they even distract from the fantastic views. It's suitably pricey and there is plenty of caviar for those seeking to impress either a date or client. Another advantage of the rooftop outdoor space is, post smoking ban, this is one place where you can happily puff away without having to loiter around the door downstairs.
Glitzy, rooftop restaurant and nightclub owned by Richard Branson.
99 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 5SA
Richard Branson's rooftop restaurant-come-nightclub at Kensington Roof Gardens is a favourite with the glam girls of Kensington, who can be seen at all hours sipping cocktails in the Spanish garden, or picking at salads on the terrace, and enjoying stunning views of West London (and of the gents' toilets, just visible if you peek through the waterfall in the ladies'). Babylon at the Roof Gardens is a glitzy spot, with lots of fiddly, sexy little things on the menu, but sturdier types are catered for too, with meat-heavy grills, barbecues and excellent fresh fish. In winter a fire and cosy booths make Babylon a soothing spot, but it is at its best on the hottest summer nights, when you can eat under the stars in a lush garden a hundred feet above the capital and then boogie the night away.
Jason Atherton's City Social takes over the loftly Tower 42 spot vacated by Gary Rhodes.
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, City, London, EC2N 1HT
Jason Atherton's City Social takes over the Tower 42 spot vacated by Gary Rhodes. Situated high up on the 24th floor of the famous tower, the restaurant offers fanatastic views of the Gherkin, the Cheesegrater and across the city. Head chef Paul Walsh (previously sous chef at Gordon Ramsay's Royal Hospital Road) has worked closely with Atherton to design the City Social menu showcasing the best of British ingredients. Interiors have a contemporary art deco look courtesy of Russell Sage Studios - all rosewood panelled boards, chrome and smoked glass, brass and mirror accents - centered around an open kitchen. The art deco theme is also felt in prohibition era cocktails served at the 85-seat bar and made with Scotch, gin and cognac to a menu by award winning mixologist Gareth Evans, and live jazz plays in the bar every Saturday afternoon from 12noon till 4pm. Jason Atherton is behind some of London's best restaurants with the Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social, Little Social across the street, Social Eating House in Soho, and Berner's Tavern at The London Edition, Ian Schrager's stylish Fitzrovia hotel. With City Social the chef, the first British cook to complete a stage at Spain's famous elBulli restaurant, proves there's still room for him to go up in the world.
Conran's conversion of a former Victorian warehouse in Shoreditch.
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, Shoreditch, London, E2 7DD
Tube: Old Street Station
This Shoreditch project is the first from Terence Conran since he signed over his well known restaurants - Bluebird, Quaglino's and plenty more besides - to D & D. The creation of Boundary in 2008 converted a former Victorian warehouse into two restaurants (Boundary and Albion), twelve spacious hotel rooms and a rooftop bar, all stylishly done up. The rooftop garden, extended in 2013, is open every day until 11pm, has a weatherproof bar and dining area and includes a canopy of vines, wild herbs, two 100-year-old olive trees plus a humidor acquired in Cuba. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the morning menu from 10am until noon includes a selection of breakfast pastries, toast, jams, marmalade, fruit, granola, juices, smoothies and the like. Come evening, the Rooftop operates as a bar/bistro, with a sharing menu focusing on Mediterranean tapas and hors d'oeuvres, prawns, oysters, meats cooked on the grill en brochette, and their own version of the burger, the Boundary Pan Bagnat - a nicoise inspired sandwich with beet patty, goat cheese, roast vegetables and salad so you can enjoy a relaxed glass of wine or an exceptionally stiff Martini while looking out over the rooftops and spires of Shoreditch.
On the seventh floor of the stylish D&D South Place Hotel in East London, with views of London's iconic City skyline, the Michelin-starred Angler restaurant.
South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, City, London, EC2M 2AF
On the seventh floor of the stylish D&D South Place Hotel in East London, with views of London's iconic City skyline, the Michelin-starred Angler restaurant is a quintessentially British seafood restaurant overseen by Tony Fleming, previously executive chef at One Aldwych. The menu focuses on seafood and shellfish from across the British Isles and is complemented by a wine list of around 250 bins. In the far corner, the semi-private dining room for 14 commands spectacular views of City landmarks including the Gherkin and Tower 42. At the far end of the restaurant, Angler's west-facing terrace is a City hot spot, especially at sunset. In high summer there are BBQs and live DJs which create a good buzz. In the winter, heated parasols, hot toddies and cosy blankets keep guests warm. Weather dependent, it's always a good idea to call ahead to make sure the terrace is actually open.
Cocktails on the top floor of the former Dicken & Jones department store on Regent Street.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street), 240 Regent Street, (entrance at 30 Argyll, Soho, London, W1B 2EL
Tube: Oxford Circus Station
Part of the Aqua Restaurant Group, which also includes aqua nueva and aqua kyoto, aqua spirit is a stylish cocktail bar in central London. Situated on the fifth floor of the former Dickens and Jones department store off Regent Street with roof-terraces that provide impressive views across London, it's a great spot for pre- and post-dining drinking destination. The round bar is a centre of Japanese glamour, with a halo of hand-crafted charcoal - symbolic of Zen purity - and booth seating continues the theme with Japanese kimono silk backdrops. The bar's signature cocktails include the Rose & Li, which combines Veuve Clicquot Champagne with rose liqueur, lychee and flowering rose buds; the Nueva Cobbler, a combination of Tio Pepe sherry, fresh blackberries and raspberries, vanilla sugar and orange.
Bar, club and art collective, prides itself on being a youth club for the adults of the east side.
1-5 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3JX
Tube: Liverpool Street Station
East End bar, club and art collective the Queen of Hoxton has a wonderful rooftop garden complete with BBQ kitchen, bars, garden shed bathrooms, hanging gardens, astroturf faux grass and panoramic views over the city of London. It's also the venue for Rooftop Film Club screenings in the summer and an 8-metre high WigWamBam tipi with an open fire pit in the winter. Summer also brings Rooftop Summer Club, filled with workshops and activities from the sublime - tie-dying - to the ridiculous (yet serious) Tape Measure Challenge hosted by The House of Hot Breath. There's a monthly pop-up Astronomy club, Saturday morning holistic sessions with Fat Buddha Yoga, and urban knitting with Wool and The Gang. The roof terrace can hold up to 250 people, hosts Headphone Holiday silents discos and serves freshly made ginger beer and Pineapple-Aid to spike with your favourite spirit as well as refreshing cocktail slushies.
Events at The Queen Of Hoxton
Monday 27th February 2017 - 7pm-12midnight | Free
Participate in uke renditions of classics and modern pop.
27th October 2016 to 7th April 2017 | Free entry
Tuesday 28th February 2017 - 7pm | Free
A traditional party game in the rooftop WigWamBam. Draw a head and fold the paper over, then pass it on to the next person to draw the torso. Winning combinations get goodies and booby prizes.
Wednesday 1st March 2017 - 8pm-12midnight | Free
Embark on a musical journey as DJs explore their vast physical and digital collections. Expect disco, soul, funk and reggae.
Thursday 2nd March 2017 - 8pm-2am | Free
DJs Natalie and Laura hit the decks to supply a wide range of music from disco, electro funk, pop to R&B and everything in between.
Free films, DJs and swing on the roof of the former Print House in Dalston.
18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL
On the roof of The Print House, a former factory for catalogues, crayons and pencils, sits Dalston Roof Park, an urban oasis four floors up over looking London's skyline where a £5 annual membership donation gets you free film screenings and music events plus pop up street food stalls for the whole summer. Special events include poetry nights, yoga sessions and music nights, or you can just pitch up for a fun night out with friends. Each new membership is a donation to the Bootstrap Charity, helping to provide affordable working spaces and enterprise support.
The free-to-access Sky Garden occupying the top three floors the Walkie Talkie.
20 Fenchurch Street, City, London, EC3M 3BY
The free-to-access Sky Garden occupies the top three floors of Rafael Vinoly's 37 storey, 525ft 20 Fenchurch Street (aka the Walkie Talkie) giving diners several different dining spaces and beautiful landscaped gardens at the top of one of London's landmark buildings. Visitors to the Sky Garden will arrive by express lift at a beautiful landscaped garden at level 35 designed by award-winning landscape architects Gillespies and a bar serving champagne and canapes, a chic brasserie and viewing area at level 36 and a public terrace, seafood bar and grill restaurant and cafe at level 37. The food is by "rhubarb" who also run Gallery Mess at Saatchi Gallery, "rhubarb" at the Royal Albert Hall, and Bond & Brook by "rhubarb" at Fenwick. The company also works with Michelin starred chef Heston Blumenthal and will be offering events at 20 Fenchurch Street.
Enjoy views across the Thames while sipping on cocktails.
Mondrian , 20 Upper Ground, Southbank, South Bank, London, SE1 9PD
Tube: Temple Station
Found within Mondrian London - also home to London's hottest new restaurant, Sea Containers - the Rumpus Room is a place to see and be seen. Inspired by 1920s socialites Bright Young Things, the bar revives the raucous era with late-night parties and spectacular views of London's skyline. Sup on champagne and cocktails while you take in the views - both of the river and the pretty young things are sure to be found propping up the bar.
This bar boasts one of the best views in town.
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH
Tube: Temple Station
Boasting one of the best views in town, the Oxo Tower Bar is perfect for combining a spot of leisurely (if static) sightseeing with some classy drinking. The commanding panorama, which takes in the capital, rivals the views from the London Eye and is best experienced from the hours just preceding dusk till dark. There's a great cocktail menu which is well worth working your way through and a live jazz pianist on hand to keep the drinks flowing smoothly. Slick and sophisticated décor comprises sparkling blue neon lights embedded in a sloping, slatted ceiling with leather banquettes and cool slate tables. Elevated up on the 8th floor of the building, you have to get the lift up to the bar - the lift entrance is at the back of the tower. When you step out of the lift, make sure you take in the view immediately ahead if you. Looking out away from the river onto the residential streets of Southwark this isn't as spectacular as the grand, monument-filled view onto the river that you'll get when you step into the bar, but even so it's a unique "behind the scenes" aspect on one of London's most atmospheric locations. It's not cheap, but for a one-off treat well worth the hiked up prices. It does get busy but if there's a group of you can reserve tables in the bar although in many ways standing at the bar, tapping your foot to the jazz, and soaking up the view is a better way to enjoy the experience.
Panoramic views of London from one of Europe's largest public open air roof terraces.
Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, City, London, EC4M 9AB
Perched atop the iconic One New Change, Madison enjoys a unique vantage point above the city and offers spectacular views of some of London's most cherished landmarks including St Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye, Tate Modern and The Shard. As well as one of Europe's largest public open air roof terraces, Madison brings together a restaurant, rooftop terrace and an al fresco bar. The restaurant serves modern and classic European cuisine alongside high-end comfort food, with dishes such as slow cooked curried pork belly, tuna tataki a triple duck burger. The terrace bar and lounge, meanwhile, serve snacks such as truffle fries, buttermilk chicken and sautéed king prawns. Daytime drinking and social gatherings are also possible at Madison as the rooftop bar and views ally together to create a unique drinking experience. Glammed up guests and pumping music make it a place to see and be seen with the prices to match - a glass of wine will set you back between £6 and £10 while half a pint costs an eye-watering £4.50.
Head to the rooftop of The Culpeper and you'll find a rooftop kitchen garden.
40 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6LP
From the outset, when Nico Treguer, Gareth Roberts and Bash Redford began restoring The Culpeper pub in June 2014, they created a rooftop kitchen garden and installed growing beds were they grew their own vegetables, salad leaves and herbs for the kitchen. But in June 2015 the third phase of their restoration reveals the next step: the rooftop greenhouse, and bar where guests can enjoy signature cocktails, and food cooked on a bespoke grill designed by Mark Parr of the London Log Company. A simple menu serving cuts of meat from Ginger Pig butchers and salads from the garden is available throughout the day for lunch and dinner, while the greenhouse offers protection from the elements all year round. The rest of the Victorian pub has an industrial yet rustic feel and the food - "solid and dependable", according to Jay Rayner - changes depending on what's available. Diners can expect dishes such as grilled pork chop with chargrilled vegetables and mustard potatoes; beef, mushroom and new potato broth with a blue cheese salad; and roast vegetable, Israeli cous cous and hazelnut salad with mint yoghurt.
An event space eight floors up at the top of a multi-storey car park in Stratford.
Level 8 Stratford Multi-storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, Stratford, London, E15 1XE
Tube: Stratford Station
Roof East, an event space eight floors up at the top of a multi-storey car park in Stratford is home to roof top film screenings, street food, crazy golf, yoga or winter curling, depending on what time of year you go. No matter what's on, the views over east London are pretty good from up here, you can see all the way to the Olympic Park with the red, looping curls of the Orbit rising above it.
The Lyric's terrace has blossomed into a rather lovely roof garden.
Lyric Square, London, W6 0QL
Tube: Hammersmith Station
On the first floor of the excellent Lyric theatre in Hammersmith is an elevated oasis overlooking Lyric Square. The terrace has blossomed into a roof garden; a welcome addition to soften the Lyric's rather austere seventies concrete block exterior. Food comes from the Lyric Bar and Grill inside, a bespoke concept inspired by popular street food, the menu boasts grill-prepared plates inspired by the latest food trends. Wholesome veggie dishes, fresh fish and succulent cuts of meat are served alongside a selection of colourful salads and slaws. For theatre-goers looking for a quick snack there's an array of sharing platters and family-friendly bites from the bar.
IN THIS ARTICLE
The Queen of Hoxton: A Tribute to Dr Strange
Radio Rooftop Bar
Pergola on the Roof
Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
Babylon at the Roof Gardens
Boundary Rooftop Bar
Angler, South Place Hotel
The Queen Of Hoxton
Dalston Roof Park
Oxo Tower Bar & Brasserie
Lyric Hammersmith Roof Garden
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