Rooftop Bars: Where to Raise the Bar in London

Beat the crowds and the heat and shoot the breeze at one of London's best rooftop bars, where the cocktails are as impressive as the views. 

01 of 08

Rumpus Room at the Mondrian London, South Bank

Rumpus Room London
© Rachel Erdos
Address
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD, UK
Phone
+44 20 3747 1000

For stellar views and killer cocktails, head to the Rumpus Room, a sultry bar on the 12th floor of the Mondrian London. Created by British design guru Tom Dixon, it's a glam take on a cruise ship ballroom with red velvet booths, marble tables, cutting-edge chandeliers and a striking gold bar. Shoot the breeze on the balcony overlooking the river Thames with a Clover Club gin cocktail. 

02 of 08

Boundary Rooftop Bar & Grill, Shoreditch

Boundary Rooftop Bar & Grill
© Boundary
Address
2-6 Boundary Row, London SE1 8HP, UK
Phone
+44 20 3714 4330

At the top of the Boundary in Shoreditch - a hipster hangout that brings together a restaurant, a bar and hotel rooms in a converted Victorian warehouse - the rooftop bar is open all year round. There's a spacious open-air seating area or cozy wood-burning fireplaces and a pergola for when the weather turns sour. Take a seat in the heated orangery and pair cocktails with Med-inspired dishes in the summer months and fondue come winter time. 

03 of 08

Radio Rooftop Bar, the Strand

Radio Bar ME London
Source: luchfordapm.com
Address
336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA, UK
Phone
+44 20 7395 3440

On the 10th-floor of ME London, a Fosters + Partners-designed luxury hotel at the north end of Waterloo Bridge, the Radio Bar overlooks London's blockbuster buildings. Scan the skyline with a drink in hand and tick off the London Eye, the Shard and St. Paul’s Cathedral (the metal drinks menu is etched with an image of the skyline to help you identify the main sights). Fill up on tapas dishes and try one of the many gin-based concoctions. Lines (especially at the weekends) are common. To avoid the crowds, head up to the terrace in the afternoon or early evening. Hotel guests get priority and a minimum spend is required if you're booking a table. 

04 of 08

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, South Bank

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
© Belinda Lawley
Address
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX, UK
Phone
+44 20 7960 4200

Another summer-only rooftop bar is the roof garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. Overlooking the river towards the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, the views here are superb yet it's still something of a hidden gem. This peaceful spot features a wildflower meadow and a woodland garden and is the perfect place to sip a refreshing Pimm's.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Madison, near St Paul's

St Paul's Cathedral London
© Laura Porter
Address
1 New Change, London EC4M 9AF, UK
Phone
+44 20 7002 8900

You can visit the roof terrace at the One New Change shopping mall for free but the views of St Paul's Cathedral are so good that it's worth lingering at Madison's rooftop bar for a cocktail and some tapas dishes. Open from noon until late, this is a fabulous place to soak up views of the city. Time a trip to coincide with one of the regular live music events or visit on a Sunday for the bottomless brunch. 

06 of 08

Coq d'Argent, near Bank

© Coq d'Argent
Address
1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ, UK
Phone
+44 20 7395 5000

In the City of London, Coq d'Argent has great views of City landmarks like St Paul's Cathedral, the Gherkin and The Monument. The rooftop terrace has a luscious green lawn with trimmed hedges plus a heated terrace dining area. The bar is open until 10 p.m. daily and drinks are well-priced for the area.

07 of 08

Dalston Roof Park, East London

Dalston Roof Park
© Bootstrap Company
Address
The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL, UK
Phone
+44 20 7275 0825

Atop a converted factory in east London, Dalston Roof Park is an urban version of an English country garden complete with grass, white picket fencing and bunting. Throughout the summer you'll find food trucks and deckchairs, and an interesting line up of events including yoga classes, film screenings and comedy gigs. 

08 of 08

Vista at The Trafalgar

Vista at The Trafalgar
© Laura Porter
Address
2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London SW1A 2TS, UK
Phone
+44 20 7870 2900

Overlooking Trafalgar Square, this prime spot in central London sits on top of the Trafalgar Hotel. The skyline views take in the London Eye, the National Gallery and the Coliseum. Perch on one of the stools for the best views or kick back in a comfy chair in the shade. There's a daily cover charge of £5 after 4 p.m. but you can sneak in for free from midday if you'd rather splurge on champagne. 

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Rooftop Bars: Where to Raise the Bar in London