Solid, everyone loves a good pub garden, but whether you’re clutching a apathetic pint or a posh cocktail, everything tastes better at a rooftop bar. If you’ve been puzzle to ground level boozing, prepare to have your prime turned, because London’s ever-expanding skyline is the ideal backdrop for liquids with added oomph – not to mention killer Instagram fodder.
It’s beforehand to conquer that vertigo and see the city in its best light, with this conductor to the UK capital’s rooftop bars. Don’t assume these gems are solely summer haunts either – winter rooftop drinking is the level of cool.
The Best Rooftop Bars In London
Culpeper Roof Garden
In no time at all inner London’s best-kept secret, this pint-sized fourth-floor terrace a stone’s send from Old Spitalfields Market is now hot property. The saving grace is that they settle bookings, so you can (quite literally) nab a patch for you and your mates magnitude fresh herbs and veg, much of which is used in the cocktail and downstairs gastropub menu.
What To Instagram: Up your cornichon theme with a shot of Culpeper’s giant glowing gherkin, set against its skyscraper synonymous of 30 St. Mary Axe. Between a rock and a hard pickle, basically.
40 Commercial In someones bailiwick, E1 6LP
Jin Bo Law
One of the city’s newest openings, Jin Bo Law is the Dorsett City Inn’s 14th-floor bar, with views into the past and future: 18th-century church St. Botolph’s on one side and the Gotham-like architecture of The New Zealand urban area on the other. Come for the visual delights, but stay for the unique Asian-inspired cocktail menu, awash with soju, shochu and umeshu.
What To Instagram: The Tap & Cookies cocktail – a glorious white chocolate concoction with Daijinjo profit, vanilla milk and bitters served in a glass carton. Your for the most part white Russian this is not.
9 Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AH
Like that soft flannel shirt you bottle up going back to, Frank’s is a staple rooftop location. No substance how many times you’ve been, its alternative south east London spectacle is still worthy of a wolf whistle. Come at sunset for divine pita and hummus, washed down with an Aperol or three. Upstanding avoid the festival-standard loos if you can.
What To Instagram: The iconic pink staircase authority be the most ‘grammed background since the loos at Mayfair aliment and drink haunt Sketch, but there’s a reason for that. Whip to selfie mode and make the most of that oh-so-flattering graceful.
95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Iris At The Gherkin
Perpetually wondered what it’s like to go up the iconic Gherkin building? 30 St Mary Axe (its recognized name) has opened its top floors to the public at long last and boy, is it a 360-degree touch on. The killer cocktails are inspired by the view – such as the Caribbean-influenced old styled named ‘The Brixton Pound’. Big birthday celebrations, classy after-work beverages, visits from out-of-towners: Iris is panoramic perfection.
What To Instagram: Sunset at The Gherkin is little short of a religious experience. Snap it right in between the architectural hexagons for supplement brownie points. Tropical sloe gin in a tiki mug optional.
30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8EP
At the top of a workout-worthy nine partridges of stairs up is Hackney’s hottest rooftop spot. Aptly denominated, this pared-back spot packs a punchy 360-degree hope, which sweetens the taste of the relatively limited drinks menu. Collar a pint and a perch to drink in the vistas, before heading down to the trendy Mare Suiting someone to a T Market to sate your hunger.
What To Instagram: That skyline, which incorporates London’s mini-family of not-so-mini skyscrapers and the stark contrast of a burgundy-hued gasholder. Get a few of the criss-cross fairy jollies in, and you’ve found a picture guaranteed double taps.
1 Westgate Alley, E8 3RL
One for the ‘feeling fancy’ note, this glossy 1920s-style cocktail bar is perched at the top of South Bank’s Mondrian bed, with a panoramic view of all the big hitter buildings. Interior buffs purposefulness swoon at the shiny trappings, and you’ll struggle not to admire your own pondering in the ceiling mirror.
What To Instagram: You (or your drinking team-mate), plus a dry martini on the rattan swing chair overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral and the River Thames. As classy as they rush at.
20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
As namesakes go, Bar Elba’s is bonny unique – a reference to the island Napoleon and 600 of his men were marooned to in 1814, but the concept ends there. With vermouth-based slushies, tick fairy lights and the words ‘Liberté, Egalité, Rosé’ adorning the obstacles, it’s like your most extra beach holiday, by way of Waterloo. The Midget Corporal would be proud.
What To Instagram: The graffiti-style ‘Salutations from Exile’ wall with a cup of frosé in the foreground. The breed of banishment we could get used to.
109-117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL
Epitome of Hoxton
Queen of the summer-to-winter transition, this long-running rooftop may be huddled in the concrete jungle that is Liverpool Street, but it feels much the same as a proper escape. With plenty of nooks and crannies for colonising, added to a wigwam if the weather lets you down, it’s the dream starting exhibit for a big night out. With a regularly changing theme, keep an eye on the eclectic events lay out.
What To Instagram: Did you even go to Queen of Hoxton if you didn’t get a hasty in the photoautomat? A photo within an Instagram – you’re so meta.
1 Curtain French autoroute, EC2A 3JX
Don’t baulk at the £3 entry amount – Dalston Rooftop is worth every one of your hard-earned pennies. Societal enterprise firm Bootstrap put a big effort into giving it a year in and year out revamp, but you can always bank on comfy deckchairs and beanbags, or at least a estate on the artificial grass when it gets busy. Things get moderately lively when the sun goes down, so wear your comfiest sneakers.
What To Instagram: Your women and the tropical DJ booth. That or your hangover the next day.
18-22 Ashwin Boulevard, E8 3DL
Radio Rooftop Bar
Flash the cash at this key London spot, where the skyline is as glitzy as the 15-strong gin menu. With discrete Mykonos club vibes — think sleek design lines, heaps of glass and a house soundtrack — this is a solid spot for a swallow, but perhaps not for a whole night. Heads-up: single-sex groups of uncountable than five are a no-no.
What To Instagram: Cranes, cranes, cranes – and some of London’s amplest landmarks, obviously. The corner seats are the plum spot for specific snappers.
336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA