With temperatures heating up across Britain, things are getting particularly manic in the capital.
Sure, it may not be the hottest part of the country, but it’s certainly the busiest. And in this weather, busyness means things are just as hot and sweaty as places where the thermometer is cracking due to the heat. And those places don’t have to deal with the tube either.
To help out, Verdict has put together a list of the best rooftop bars in the city. We’ve specifically aimed for the ones with the best views of the city. Because, say what you will about London in the heat, it doesn’t half look nice as the sun goes down.
So here are the best places to catch a London sunset this summer.
The best rooftop bars in London for summer:
Okay, technically this isn’t a rooftop bar since it is sort-of indoors. But still, in terms of views of London, the Sky Garden is unparalleled. Fenchurch Terrace is one of the in-house cocktail bars and it’s a delight. It’s worth noting that throughout summer, there’s some special drinks on offer too.
There’s a new exclusive Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto bar. For those who haven’t come across it yet, Italicus is an Italian apertif. It’s a liqueur made from 100% Italian ingredients including bergamot fruit; a citrus fruit from the Italian region of Calabria. It has a light citrus scent with hints of rose and lavender.
The Italicus Fenchurch Terrace will serve light, quintessentially Italian cocktails including the Italicus Spritz, made with Italicus and prosecco; and the Negroni Bianco, mixed with Italicus, Vermouth and London dry gin.
There’s also a curated menu of delicate, seasonal bar bites – designed by Fenchurch Restaurant’s Head Chef Daniel Fletcher to perfectly complement the ripe bergamot and subtle floral notes of the Italicus serves – will include roast Isle of Mull scallop with spring peas, dulse seaweed and Lilliput capers and Mara de Bois strawberry and basil “Eton Mess”.
The best part of the whole thing is that booking a spot at Fenchurch Terrace will allow drinkers to skip the queues to get up to the Sky Garden.
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Located on top of the Sea Containers on the South Bank, the Rumpus Room is a light, airy space with great views of the river and the City.
The space is decorated with lush greenery and plant life and huge colourful leather couches. For those looking for a perfect spot to snap some great Instagram pictures, this is the place to be.
The cocktails on offer are inspired by classic British-American favourites, and the food matches that theme.
For those looking for something a bit more entertaining there’s also live music on Wednesday from some of London’s most coolest new bands. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights see the bar playing host to DJ sets too, so there’s really something for everyone on offer.
Those looking for something with a bit of a younger, cooler vibe, will be pleased to find Bar Elba.
Tucked away behind Waterloo station, Bar Elba has some great views of South-Central London.
However, the views are ultimately the least interesting thing about this particular rooftop bar. With a cool, irreverent theme, the bar is the place to hang out if you’re feeling fun and flighty. The cocktails are no-nonsense fun with all the old classics. Plus, especially for really hot days, they have alcoholic slushies to enjoy.
If you’re more interested in actually having a good time than making it look like you’re having a good time on Instagram, this is the place for you.
With unparalleled views of the City Of London’s most iconic landmarks like the Gherkin and the Walkie-Talkie, Piculpeper, the Culpeper’s roof garden is the place to be.
And, yes, it is actually a garden too. The first thing you’ll notice about the bar is how green it is. All of it. The seats are green, the cushions are green, the floor is green. But there’s also plenty of plant-life too. The rooftop is bordered by planters on all sides. Cucumbers are being grown in the summer sun. Drinkers can enjoy the bigger ones, and return in the winter months to eat the freshly pickled baby cucumbers.
The Culpeper is essentially a pub and it feels just as homely and inviting as one.
Another popular rooftop bar in the City Of London, Jin Bo Law is located on the 14th floor of Dorsett City Hotel in Aldgate.
The first in this list to really have a dress code, this one is the place to go when you’re feeling fancy. Suits and cocktail dresses are the order of the day here in this glamorous designer bar with Eastern influences.
The incredible geometric bar is a sight to behold and the quirky insectoid wallpaper is just the thing for posing in front of with a nice cool drink from the curated cocktail menu.
Sushisamba is one of those concepts that shouldn’t work in theory. However, against all odds, it’s incredible in practice.
The restaurant which gives the bar it’s name is a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian cultures. The range of foods on offer is quite incredible and there really is something for absolutely every palate.
Located on the 38th and 39th floors at 110 Bishopsgate, Sushisamba is actually home to the highest outdoor dining terraces in all of Europe. The trip up to the bar is incredible too, with panoramic glass lifts whisking patrons from the ground to the 39th floor in seconds.
In the evening the intimate setting with dozens of lights strung up on bamboo wands gives the bar a cosy atmosphere that’s hard to find elsewhere.
The whole place weaves together indoor and outdoor elements, so you might not realise when you’re in and when you’re out. For example, there’s a huge orange tree on the west terrace which apparently symbolises the connection between the Earth and the sky.
While most of the bars on this list are in the middle of the City of London, the Rooftop of the Trafalgar St James is in the middle of the small ‘c’ city.
Located right next to Trafalgar Square, this place is great because you can see all of the iconic sights of London from it, including the ones that are missed by the rooftop bars in the City itself, like the Houses Of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye.
Open from 12pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, the Rooftop is the perfect place for a night out with friends. The selection of cocktails is great, and just as classy as you’d hope for from such a fancy establishment.