London’s unmissable rooftop bars to visit this summer
The one on top of a car park
Getting stuck in a car park is usually the stuff of nightmares, but Frank’s – which sits on top of a multi-storey in Peckham – is more like a dream come true. This annual summer pop-up offers signature Campari cocktails, hot snacks and spectacular views of the skyline. Bag yourself a spot nice and early to watch the sun go down with London’s coolest crowd.
10th floor, Peckham multi-storey carpark, 95a rye lane, London SE15 4ST.
The one at the old BBC
If you spent your childhood watching pop stars messing about outside the BBC TV Centre in White City, now’s your chance to join them. Although the Beeb has since departed, Pergola on the Roof has taken up summer residency on the – you guessed it – roof. Enjoy excellent food from four restaurants, quality drinks and enough space for everyone to kick back under the vine-clad pergolas.
Multi-storey car park, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London W12 7RJ.
The one that was made for Instagram
Filters at the ready – Boundary in Shoreditch is all chic wicker chairs and white cushions. The whole building, including the restaurant and rooms, was recently renovated by Terence Conran, so the vibe is grown-up Ibiza. Indulge in a few gin and tonics – with Boundary’s own-label gin – while you pick your Instagram filter. It’s open in winter, too, so you can snuggle up around the open-pit fireplace or enjoy a hot Negroni.
Entrance in Redchurch Street, 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD.
The Trafalgar Square one
The view from Vista is priceless. You can almost go eye-to-eye with Nelson at this Trafalgar Square rooftop bar, and Big Ben and the London Eye are ridiculously close, too. There’s an entrance fee of £5, although it only applies after 4pm. So, get in early and enjoy a few of the signature cocktails in one of London’s prime positions.
The Trafalgar, 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London SW1A 2TS.
The one hidden in the concrete
The South Bank is bursting with theatres, art galleries and some heavy-duty architecture. But those in the know round off any visit with a trip to Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden. Follow the yellow staircase up to the Eden Project-designed oasis. We’re talking wildflower meadow, allotment boxes, a woodland garden and a tunnel of scented flowers. Picnics are welcome, or you can share a jug of Pimm’s as you survey the city.
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX.
The one with flamingos
The Roof Gardens is one of the oldest – and most loved – rooftop bars in London. Seven floors up above the chic Kensington High Street there’s not one, not two, but three immaculate gardens with resident flamingos to boot. The gardens themselves are open to the public for free – phone ahead to check if there’s a function on – and you can sip cocktails at The Club or enjoy a meal at Babylon restaurant.
The Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA.