It's summer in the city (almost)! Here's where we'll be celebrating
Nothing moves with the seasons quite like London’s drinking culture. As soon as the sun pops out, the beer gardens, terraces and rooftop bars across the capital all fill up as the cosy booths and roaring fires that kept us warm in the colder months are quickly forgotten. It’s that time of year again - hurrah! - so we thought we’d share some of our favourite openair spots to meet and clink glasses after a hard day’s work.
Radio Rooftop (ME London Hotel)
336-337 Strand, WC2R
The cocktails are deliciously creative and the setting is high-end - all huge plants and plush seating - but it’s the views from Radio Rooftop that really accelerate this 10th floor rooftop bar into our top 10 places to enjoy a post-work livener. Included in its striking vista is Tower Bridge, The Shard, St. Paul’s, The Tate Modern, Somerset House, The London Eye and and the Houses of Parliament.
110 Bishopsgate, EC2N
A dizzying 38 floors up, the terrace of the Brazilian-Japanese-Peruvian inspired Sushisamba boasts a huge, sparkly, orange-leafed tree sculpture enclosed by a chic, circular bar where you can combine exquisite cocktails and 360 degree views of the City. For holiday vibes in a glass, try their Lychee Cooler (14Grey Goose vodka, elderflower and vanilla sugar shaken with lychee juice and coconut milk).
Le Pont de la Tour
36D Shad Thames, SE1
The theme on the terrace at Le Pont de la Tour this year is ‘La Maison du Rosé’, with the space transformed into a sea of pastel pink florals, taking inspiration from Chateau Minuty in Provence - the perfect setting for a cold glass of wine. With cracking views of Tower Bridge and tasty French cuisine, the outside space at this elegant riverside eatery is a favourite all year round, but in summer it becomes a real sun trap.
240 Regent St, W1B (Entrance on Argyll Street)
You don’t expect to discover a haven of sun shiny tranquility this close to Oxford Street, but there it is, up on the fifth floor of the famous Dickens & Jones building on Regent Street. Aqua’s twin terraces, attached to restaurants Aqua Kyoto and Aqua Nueva, serve a selection of signature Japanese and Spanish cocktails along with the traditionals.
2-4 Boundary Street, E2
Atop of The Boundary Project - a converted Victorian warehouse housing a hotel, restaurants, cafes and shops - is an enchanting space, where you can take in gorgeous views or the city and east London while deciding between an Aperol Spritz, a Hendrick’s Rose or something else from their lengthy wine, champagne and cocktail menu. A good choice even if the weather looks sketchy as you can enjoy the views from the heated glass Orangery.
1 Poultry, EC2R
Choose a hot and sunny lunchtime to go soak up country garden vibes at Coq d'Argent rooftop and terrace, with its neat lawn and perfectly trimmed hedges. Then take your time perusing its impressive wine list, which nabbed Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence 2018”. Just remember to go back to work.
5 Kingdom St, W2
One of our favourite end-of-the-week drinking spots is Pergola, Paddington’s Mediterranean-inspired, canal-side sun deck, with its 850 seats over two levels, four self-service restaurants, two bars, bookable daybeds, weekend DJs and tropical foliage. Head for Sundowner hours - Thursday and Friday, 4pm until 7pm - for 2 for 1 on selected drinks, or try out their new Sunday bottomless brunch.
The Golden Bee
Singer St, EC1V
Glamorous party spot Golden Bee’s rooftop terrace is fully heated, with a fire pit for extra cosiness when the sun goes down. The cocktails - a mixture of classic and inventive - are well-considered and perfectly executed, and their house concoction, Golden Bee, goes down a real treat. (Jose Cuervo reposado tequila, Monin banana liqueur, passion fruit puree, passion fruit syrup, apple & lemon juice).
20 Upper Ground, SE1
Located on the 12th floor of Sea Containers (formerly Rumpus Room), the drinks, the atmosphere and the views at 12th Knot are all downright glorious at this recently relaunched rooftop venue. If you can’t get a spot on the sunny terrace then a window seat inside the exotically luxe inside bar is a great spot to enjoy all three.
Rooftop Terrace One, New Change, EC4M
This Manhattan-inspired rooftop bar and restaurant sits on top of the One New Exchange building, giving it perfect views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and London beyond. Madison's huge, fun terrace is basked in sunshine on bright days but its umbrellas and heaters mean it’s never a bad choice - and its house G&Ts taste great whatever the weather.
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