London’s Best Rooftop Bars

The promise of summer and long evenings to be enjoyed outdoors has arrived – and what better way to do that than on one of London’s many rooftop bars? With outdoor space often hard to find in the capital, sometimes the only way to look is up – plus you can’t beat those dramatic views across London’s skyline.

Boundary Rooftop

In the heart of Shoreditch, this rooftop bar sits at the very top of the Boundary Project, which contains a hotel, restaurant, café and deli – all designed by Terence Conran. With a garden, heated orangery, inventive cocktails and views right across East London, Boundary Rooftop does alfresco dining and drinking in style. For more information, go to the Boundary website.

Frank’s Café

Sitting at the top of a multi-storey car park in Peckham, Frank’s Café is decidedly unglamorous – but that’s all part of the appeal. Open throughout summer from mid-May onwards, Frank’s is summer-only, and Londoners from all over the city make the pilgrimage to Peckham almost the minute it opens. Expect a laidback atmosphere, great snacks and the best Aperol spritz in London. Go to the Frank’s Café website to see more.

Angler, South Place Hotel

Named one of the world’s Big Six Art hotels by Sleeper magazine, South Place Hotel is a contemporary cultural hotspot in the city. At the top is Angler – the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant – which also serves as a great watering hole with an evening sun-trap right by Moorgate. For more information, go to the Angler website.

Kensington Roof Gardens

Dating back to 1936, these elaborate roof gardens are some of the oldest in London. On the sixth floor of the former Derry & Toms department store on Kensington High Street, the now-Richard-Branson-owned space includes a Spanish garden, Tudor-style garden and quintessentially English area, and serves up inventive cocktails. Visit the Roof Gardens’ website to see more.

Aqua Spirit

Aqua Spirit is right next to Oxford Circus, making it the best rooftop bar in central London. On top of the former Dickins & Jones department store, it has views right across the city and offers classic and Japanese-inspired cocktails, with a menu of Japanese bar snacks to go with them. Go to the Aqua Spirit website to see more.

Words by Angharad Jones

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert