The Rumpus Room at Mondrian London
On the top floor of the old Sea Containers’ building in Mondrian London, which opened last September, The Rumpus Room is sure to be a hit this summer with its grandstand views of St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge. Great cocktails and a fabulous line-up of DJs make this the perfect place to sip a sun-downer and enjoy the views.
Radio Bar at ME London
On the tenth floor of the Fosters & Partners-designed ME London hotel in Aldwych, radio has a terrace that wraps around on both sides, with sublime views of London’s most famous landmarks – Tower Bridge, The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral and The Thames.
On a warm summer’s evening there is no finer place to be.
With a magical copper tree design rooted in the bar, the rooftop terrace at Sushisamba in Heron Tower in The City is very popular when the weather turns warmer. Arrive early to ensure your spot in one of the hottest places in the City.
Rooftop at the Boundary
From Prescott & Conran, the rooftop restaurant at The Boundary, a 48-seat grill, has 360-degree views of London and includes a designer garden, a large bar, an open fireplace and luxury blankets for chilly evenings.
Kensington Roof Gardens
Located 100ft above Kensington High Street, The Roof Gardens and Babylon restaurant have three themed gardens, 70 full-size trees, a flowing stream stocked with fish and, of course, a family of resident flamingos.
Vista at The Trafalgar Hotel
Vista on the rooftop of The Trafalgar Hotel reopens this month for the season with stunning vistas of London’s landmarks and statues. Nelson’s Column is practically at eye level.
With two rooftop terraces with the Gherkin and The Shard within touching distance, this is a wonderful find for the summer months. Alongside a classic cocktail offering there’s a food menu of small plates, flatbreads and salads.
The highlight of the roof area at Shoreditch House, a renovated warehouse in East London, is undoubtably its 16-metre outdoor heated swimming pool but there’s also a great rooftop restaurant serving an Italian-inspired menu throughout the day, and a Lazy Lawn with large beds to sunbathe, eat, drink or curl up for a nap. While strictly for members only, you can check in to one of the 26 guest bedrooms to receive your temporary membership card and have full use of one of the best rooftop bars in London.
Century is a private members’ club in Soho, with access via a discreet doorway on Shaftesbury Avenue and a lovely, intimate terrace area.
Situated in the heart of the Square Mile, Coq d’Argent has a terrace with great views of some of London’s most well-known landmarks, including St Paul’s Cathedral. The restaurant serves modern French cuisine while the brasserie and terrace serve a lighter menu with more of a modern European hint.
At the top of the former Dickens & Jones on Regent Street, Aqua consists of two restaurants with more than 250 seats – Aqua Nueva serving contemporary Spanish food and Aqua Kyoto featuring Japanese cuisine.
Both restaurants have a large and impressive roof terrace, both of which are deservedly popular destination in the summer months and offer two of the best rooftop bars in London.
The Driver is a mix of gastropub-style restaurant, members’ bar and rooftop terrace in King’s Cross, with a dining room that turns into a dance floor and a licence until 4am on the weekends. The rooftop terrace is used for BBQs in the summer and can be hired for private events during the week.
Soho Sky Terrace
Sit back with a drink from the endless cocktail menu amid cool white furnishings as you look over the rooftops of London. Open from 3pm until 10pm, Tuesday through to Saturday, subject to weather conditions.
The Sanctum Soho is an edgy but glamorous boutique hotel in Soho. The rooftop garden has a 24-hour residents’ bar complete with open-air hot tub, ideal for some hedonistic fun. Along with the adjoining indoor bar, the roof terrace makes a great event space. There are even two bedrooms on the same floor for those who can’t make it to the lift.
Queen of Hoxton
Based in Shoreditch in the East End, the Queen of Hoxton is a haven for music fans, clubbers and art lovers. The rooftop bar resembles a suburban garden with decking, Astroturf and patio furniture, complete with a rum shack, a barbecue area and views over London.
Paradise by way of Kensal Green
A mix of gastropub, restaurant, cabaret venue and karaoke room, Paradise by way of Kensal Green has a welcoming and cosy vibe in Kensal Green in West London. The intimate roof terrace is a perfect spot to spend the afternoon or for a sundowner cocktail after a lingering lunch in the restaurant.
Main image: Radio Bar at ME London
Emyr Thomas is founder of Bon Vivant, London’s leading concierge service