The best rooftop bars in London
20th September 2018
If you’re looking for drinks with a view, London offers some staggering locations from its rooftops. From overlooking the Shard to the River Thames, there are plenty of amazing spaces to enjoy a lunchtime tipple with a potential client or post-work drinks with fellow colleagues that work legal jobs in London.
Jin Bo Law, Aldgate
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If you’re looking for a rooftop bar with a bit of splendour, Jin Bo Law will offer you just that. They describe their vibe as a “great party atmosphere, ideal for after-work drinks and weekends.”
We asked them what makes Jin Bo Law stand out: “All rooftop bars say the view; however, we truly have one of the best views out of all the rooftop bars in London. Apart from that, our Asian inspired cocktails and Pineapple-themed interior design set us apart from the rest.”
The Rooftop St. James, Trafalgar Square
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With stunning views over Trafalgar Square, The Rooftop really does encapsulate the heart of London. They told us: “The Rooftop is a destination of style. During the day it is perfect for lazy lunches and watching the world go by, while the evenings tend to come alive and give off a vibe of Café del Mar meets Manhattan, with the iconic London skyline as the backdrop – it’s perfect for Londoner’s and visitors alike.”
We asked The Rooftop what makes them unique: “While many other rooftop bars do have a nice view, none can rival the view from The Rooftop. With views stretching from the BT Tower to London Eye and Big Ben, the panorama is unparalleled.”
The Rooftop also serves an array of Asian small plates that are perfect for sharing, alongside bespoke cocktails and a carefully curated wine list.
Dalston Roof Park, Dalston
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If you find yourself in Dalston, a visit to the district’s one and only rooftop bar, Dalston Roof Park, is a must for any music-lover. A visit to the venue is an opportunity to “relax, eat, drink, dance and see the London landscape differently.”
But besides offering a fantastic drinks setting, what makes Dalston Roof Park so different? “Framed by the city skyline, our rooftop oasis transforms what was once a forgotten space into a garden music venue, plushily turfed and brimming with flowers, palm trees and a Martin Audio Soundsystem!
“It’s Astroturf has been graced by the likes of Rudimental, Jessie Ware, Johnny Flynn, Basement Jaxx, Disclosure and a whole host of cutting-edge promoters, artists and labels.”
Golden Bee, Shoreditch
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If you’re looking to impress your boss or a potential client, Golden Bee is a vibrant, stylish venue with a mirrored-celling and a DJ booth downstairs that can be heard from the rooftop lounge’s speakers.
“Our rooftop terrace is situated at the top of the building with fantastic views of the surrounding Shoreditch area,” says Golden Bee’s website. “The rooftop has its own bar serving up seasonal as well as classic cocktails, the rooftop has heaters to keep you warm on those cooler evenings plus we give out blankets to those feeling chilly.”
If you’re planning your visit in advance, you can pre-order sushi platters for your table to enjoy while overlooking bustling Shoreditch.
Rumpus Room, Southbank
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If a relaxed afternoon or brunch is on the cards, Rumpus Room offers a chic setting for a daytime tipple that could easily turn into night. This amazing riverside roof terrace offers a stunning view of the Thames and the city skyline, which can also be enjoyed inside the venue through their big floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
The website says to expect “lush greenery, plush sofas and comfortable lounge spaces, perfect for enjoying the iconic view.” Food and entertainment-wise, they recommend you try their “British-American inspired cocktails and food, and enjoy live music on Wednesdays featuring some of London’s hottest bands, as well as DJs Thursday to Saturday.”
Bar Elba, Waterloo
If you’re looking for more of a party atmosphere, Bar Elba has you covered. As the bar is based in Waterloo, Bar Elba is Napoleon-themed after the Battle of Waterloo, however, it’s mixed with a bright and vibrant party theme to signify Napoleon’s exile to the island of Elba (or ‘Party Island’, as the bar calls it).
In terms of the view, you have a fantastic vista of the cityscape and beautiful, historic Waterloo. Enjoy happy hour twice a day, every day on a range of cocktails, or tuck into some good food and entertainment on this truly one-of-a-kind rooftop terrace.
Coq D'Argent, Poultry
If there’s one thing that’s hard to come by in central London, it’s a bar with a grassy outside area where you can sit and enjoy a tipple or two in the sunshine. Near Bank Tube station, Coq D’Argent has just that and more, offering a heated rooftop bar and restaurant with a difference. Sit elevated amongst London’s skyscrapers in a lush, floral haven while enjoying some stunning French cuisine, or stand near the railings with a cocktail and marvel at the glorious views in front of you.
“Whatever the weather, you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and panoramic views of our covered and heated rooftop terraces while indulging in our fine selection of spirits and tasty bar food,” says the Coq D’Argent website.
Aviary, Finsbury Square
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Nestled away above the crowds at Finsbury Square, you’ll find Aviary, an elegantly decked-out, bird-themed rooftop restaurant and terrace.
They describe themselves as “an iconic rooftop bar and restaurant located in Finsbury Square, famous for its breath-taking view and opulent style. Whether it be cocktail sipping, dining from one of our carefully crafted menus or simply taking in the view, Aviary delivers quality with a touch of class.”
If you’re looking to impress a potential client or your boss over some good food and drink, Aviary is renowned for its coal oven-cooked dishes and fabulous array of cocktails.
Quality bars can be hard to find in London, but if you look closely you’ll be able to uncover some fantastic hidden gems for every occasion - all you need to do is look up!