London’s best roof terraces

London’s best roof terraces

Sip cocktails at London’s suntraps

We’re being optimistic here at lifestyle concierge and think it’s going to be another glorious summer. When the sun shines, our Bars and Clubs team is inundated with requests for places to lap up the sunshine with a drink in hand, so we look at five of the very best roof terraces in the capital.

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Angler terraceAngler

This eastward-facing suntrap on top of South Place Hotel on the borders of Shoreditch is still relatively unknown. Even those who have dined at the Michelin-starred restaurant may not have been aware that there’s a terrace at the end of the airy dining room – they’d have been too distracted by the fantastic cooking. The outdoor space is open to non-diners and careful attention has been paid to the summery drinks list – the Brits Spritz #2 with Kamm & Sons aperitif, rhubarb vodka and rhubarb bitters topped up with Chandon is note-perfect and the perfect accompaniment to the sunshine.

Coq d'ArgentCoq d’Argent

A favourite among our City-based members, this lush rooftop garden has views across London which can be enjoyed late into the night thanks to heaters and canopies. The lawn is a rare patch of green in this built-up area and the sweet-smelling walkway is lined with trailing vines and lilac wisteria. The light French cuisine is perfectly suited to summer lunches and from the three-course set menu we recommend choosing the seafood option. Leave the wine in the hands of Olivier Marie – he’s one of the most respected sommeliers in London.

Aqua KyotoAqua London

Aqua deals an ace card when it comes to central London outdoor drinking. Guests arrive in an Asian-inspired bar with a circular counter at its centre and semi-circular booths lining the left-hand wall. The terrace at the end of this large space is where people flock to in good weather to take in views over Regent Street. The Spanish side of the complex is slightly more formal and offers cocktails inspired by drink traditions in northern Spain. Here, another large terrace offers similar views and a small balcony hidden at the back looks across to the Thames and the London Eye (pictured top).

SushisambaSushisamba

Sushisamba’s private glass elevator whisks guests to the reception on the 38th floor in under 10 seconds, providing a taster of the incredible views which accompany the cocktails on the open-air terrace. Here, the top of Gherkin seems so close you could touch it, and views stretch to the river, the Shard and beyond. Bartenders put together simple but well-mixed drinks under the shade of a central metal tree that glimmers with fairy lights after dusk. In summer terrace tables are hard to come by, but we have a great relationship with the reservations team, so call us to try on your behalf.

AviaryAviary

We can’t wait for those warm summer evenings when you can kick back on a rooftop with a cocktail in hand and watch the sun go down over the London skyline from the latest addition to the rooftop family. The huge south-facing terrace is dotted with colourful sofas and lounging areas and a house soundtrack and tropical cocktails will cast you away to somewhere much more exotic than central London. The glass-panelled dining room is worth visiting if the sun isn’t playing ball – it’s a stylish and cosy setting with a coal oven that roasts huge slabs of meat and fresh seafood.

BoundaryBoundary

Sprawled across the top of a Victorian warehouse turned boutique hotel, this venue has enviable views which span from the spires of East London to the skyscrapers of the City. As well as a lounge area with an open fire, wicker sofas and an inspired cocktail list, there’s a 48-seat grill restaurant in the heated orangery, which serves Mediterranean small plates and sharing platters until after sunset. The rooftop doesn’t take reservations, but contact us if you are interested in private hire for a special occasion.

BōkanBōkan

Given the number of skyscrapers in the area, it’s surprising that this is the only open-air rooftop space in Canary Wharf. Because it’s still relatively new, very few people know about it yet, meaning it’s never too busy for post-work drinks on warm evenings. Cocktails are made using spirits from small batch distilleries and the bar snacks take British standards and give them an Asian twist. It’s open until 2am from Thursday to Saturday, so arrive for sundowners and stay for the DJs and late-night revelry.

Rumpus RoomRumpus Room

Up on the 12th floor of the Mondrian hotel, the views from Rumpus Room’s terrace stretch north across the Thames to the dome of St Paul’s and beyond. It’s particularly impressive 15 minutes either side of sunset when the windows of the City skyscrapers to the east glow a brilliant orange and purple. Anyone who’s visited before will know how good the cocktails are – the martini mixed with Grey Goose L’Orange vodka is particularly special. It’s buzzy any night of the week, but the Friday DJ sessions throughout summer always pick it up a notch.

RadioRadio

Looking out over the top of Somerset House, this is one of the most unique vistas from any of the bars on our list and you can tick off all the stars of the London skyline. It’s now coming into its fifth summer since it opened in 2013 and is as popular as it was on day one. The large outdoor seating area is filled with comfy spaces and gin and tonic should be the order of the day – it comes in numerous varieties, with different brands of gin, fruit infusions and flavoured tonics. Bar snacks are available, but if you’re hungry contact us to secure a table at STK on the ground floor where you and your guests will receive a glass of Champagne on the house.

Gaucho PiccadillyGaucho Piccadilly

Barbecue weather calls for huge slabs of steaks and epic salads and the flagship of the Argentinian steakhouse group does it better than most. When booking a table through us you’ll receive a complimentary round of bubbly on arrival and we’ll do our best to reserve an area in the rooftop garden for post-meal drinks. It’s usually under cover but on really good days the staff retract the roof to let the sun shine through and they light the roaring fire pits after dark. Contact us to discuss availability.

Last updated on 2 May 2017


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