After last summer, 2019 has a hard act to follow.
It’s like playing on Centre Court after Roger Federer, or performing on the Pyramid Stage after Muse – yeah, good luck with that one.
But hey, we’ll give it our best shot – and even if the weather doesn’t play ball, the fine food and the cold drinks should go some way to make up for it…
Pop-ups/ Roof terraces
London in the Sky
If you love the high life, get down (or should we say up) to this airborne concept restaurant for some suspended gourmet fun. London in the Sky takes terrace food and drink to another level with its suspended open-air restaurant tables that dangle 100ft up in the air. This summer, it’s based at the O2 just outside North Greenwich station, offering guests scenic views of Canary Wharf and beyond, as well as some serious selfie opportunities…
Skylight Rooftop at Tobacco Dock
While it doubles as an ice rink during the winter, Skylight Rooftop is an equally suitable venue for enjoying the warmer months of the year, when the ice and skates are replaced by grass and games. Life doesn’t often throw up many opportunities to play pétanque on a rooftop with a picturesque view of London’s skyline. Even if lawn games aren’t your thing, a range of street food and bars are also around to keep you satiated in the sun.
Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street entrance, E1W 2SF
Art Yard Rooftop Terrace
Art Yard Bar and Kitchen in the Bankside hotel recently launched its brand-new summer terrace. Enjoy something sparkly while taking in the gorgeous views of St Paul’s Cathedral. Art Yard has also teamed up with Hambledon, the award-winning Hampshire vineyard, with its full range of English sparkling wines available by the glass and bottle. But if wine isn’t your style, you can always cool off with Hambledons snow cones – alcoholic ice, basically. How cool is that?
Bankside Hotel, 2 Blackfriars Road, SE1 9JU
Eight Club Moorgate Roof Terrace
For those seeking a more exclusive alfresco experience, the Finsbury Square-based Eight Club ticks all the boxes. Occupying 7,000sq ft across two terraces, the rooftop club is one of the finest spots in the City to enjoy a few sundowners before gliding into the lounge for the rest of the evening. There are more than 300 spirits behind the bar, but there are lockers where you can store your tipple of choice, should you fancy a more personal experience.
1 Dysart St, London EC2A 2BX
Running until the end of August, the revamped Angler terrace brings quintessential countryside charm to the City. The Michelin-starred restaurant has joined forces with award-winning gin producer Cambridge Distillery, and will be serving limited-edition drinks alongside executive chef Gary Foulkes’s bespoke menu of nostalgic English bar snacks. Good food and drink? We’re in.
3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
What do you get when you combine Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian culture and cuisine, and pop it all on top of one of the City’s most recognisable skyscrapers? Sushisamba of course. Situated on the 38th and 39th floors of 110 Bishopsgate (aka the Heron Tower), this perennially popular spot has the highest outdoor terraces in London, making it an absolute summer must (and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the cocktails). Sip on some sake and marvel at the teeny ant people down below.
110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Bird of Smithfield
Bird of Smithfield houses two chic bars, a dining room and a roof terrace with views over Smithfield Market. The terrace is heated, even through the summer months, so there’s no need to rely on the British weather. It’s a quaint space, with a feel similar to many private members’ clubs, and ideal for after-work cocktails – try the Pink Pepper Gin and Tonic or punchy Rye Whiskey Negroni.
26 Smithfield Street, EC1A 9LB
Jin Bo Law
Jin Bo Law’s Sky bar offers view over a splendid slice of skyline. On the 14th floor of Dorsett City hotel, the rooftop looks out over all the big boys – including Tower Bridge, the Shard, the Walkie Talkie and the Gherkin. While the views couldn’t be more London, the carefully curated cocktail menu transports you to a whole other continent, with Asian-inspired flavours such as the zesty Butterfly Punch and Bacardi-based Eye of the Buddha.
14th floor, Dorsett City, Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AH
Perched on the penthouse spot of One New Change, Madison naturally ticks all the panoramic boxes. With umbrellas and heaters available, the terrace stays open all year round, in case you’re a whatever-the-weather type. (Weirdo.) Expect nothing less than classy cocktails and an atmosphere to match, and the view’s not too shabby either – St Paul’s is basically right next door, so you can sip your drink and sightsee all in one go.
Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, EC4M 9AF
Savage Garden LDN
Savage? These cocktails certainly are (in a good way). Located atop the DoubleTree by Hilton, Savage Garden’s ethos focusses on the unexpected. Alongside its theatrically presented food are mixes curated by the Gorgeous Group, ensuring a quirky evening from the moment you sit down. According to the website, the interior is ‘brutal yet sultry, urban yet opulent’ but don’t hold that against it – Savage Garden is a lovely place to enjoy a few drinks. Two terraces provide 360-degree views of the City’s ever-growing skyline.
Floor 12, 7 Pepys Street, EC3N 4AF
The Gun Gin Garden
Alliteration is not the only thing they do well at The Gun Gin Garden… It may be tucked away, but with views over the Thames and gin on tap, we’d definitely recommend seeking it out. Its gins are all garnished with herbs grown in its own garden, putting the ‘fresh’ in al-fresh-co (sorry), and its marquee provides that must-needed shelter for when the classic British weather inevitably takes a turn.
The Gun, 27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS
The Crown and Shuttle
From traditional Victorian building, to strip bar, to craft-beer pub – The Crown and Shuttle has had many incarnations. The interior really showcases its journey, with exposed brick walls, mismatched furniture and old-school wooden floors – who doesn’t love a pub with a bit of character? Offering a vast selection of beers and ciders, with a garden to match your nan’s, it is well worth the trip to East London for some summertime sippin’.
226 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PJ