13 Rooftop Bars in London That Scream Summer Joy!

London’s sunny days are as short as a baby’s attention span. One minute you’re basking in the warm sun, lying on a patch of young grass wearing your flip flops and the other minute you’re running for cover because of the killjoy rains. The best way to enjoy the blink-and-gone summer is to have a refreshing cocktail at some of the most amazing rooftop bars in London.

Here are our favorites:

1. Culpeper Roof Garden

Image Source: theculpeper.com

Understated charm and rusticity might well be the highlight of this place. The glass atrium is where you sip clever cocktails and are surrounded by herbaceous plants and vines that almost stoop over for a peck on the cheek. There’s also a grill cooking up some fantastic barbeques to accompany your drinks.
Where: 40 Commercial Street London  E1 6LP
What’s Special:The veggies and herbs growing next to your rustic table
Tip:Try the Lemon-Thyme Ambrosia.
Reservation Advice: Best to book in advance since seating is limited

2. Rumpus Room

Bring out those heels and look for that swish evening jacket, Rumpus Room is fond of glamour. And boy does it serve up suave! Sparkly chandeliers and gorgeous waitresses apart, this place is simply too pretty to the eyes. What will really cheer you up are the outstanding views from this awesome rooftop bar in London that will often make you just pause and gawk.
Where: 20 Upper Ground London SE1 9PD
What’s Special:Classy bling décor and upmarket vibe and elegance.
Tip:Try the All British Whiskey Sour
Reservation Advice: Call in advance to check if a private event is on
 
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3. Vista at the Trafalgar 

What can be better than staring at the gorgeous Trafalgar Square as you enjoy the summer breeze in your hair? Vista, true to its name, gives us some incredible views and a reason to linger on. Their smiling service and laidback yet chic vibe is a big winner with Londoners.
Where: The Trafalgar, 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square London SW1A 2TS
What’s Special: Dreamy décor and endless wine list
Tip: They make a mean Moscow Mule
Reservation Advice: Consider booking ahead for a good seat

4. Notch

An average roof top garden just got a ‘notch’ better. Notch screams summer loveliness with its funky décor and easy vibe. Initially called Roofinc, Notch was opened after a few more spunky tweaks to the existing decor and a generous dose of pizzazz. If the cocktails don’t dizzy you, the swings will. All in all, the minimalistic industrial look is quite a hit!
Where: 535 Oxford Street London W1C 2QW
What’s Special: Cocktails in Jam jars and swings for seats!
Tip: The Chicken Wings are simply delish and so is the not-so-humble Iced Tea
Reservation Advice: Recommended to book in advance to avoid long queues
 

5. Sushisamba 

Image Source: Facebook.com/SUSHISAMBA  

Who’d have imagined that sushi could samba?! Your taste buds will do a samba of their own after sampling some crazy-sounding but oh-so-delicious combinations at this charming restaurant. The views look as great as the food and the décor is a stunner too, so you will always have something vying for your attention here. Sushisamba seems to have got it all right so far- aces for food, drink and ambiance.
Where: Floors 38 & 39, 110 Bishopsgate London EC2N 4AY
What’s Special: The exotic marriage of Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian flavors
Tip: Try the Samba London Rolls
Reservation Advice: Prior Booking highly recommended

6. Radio Rooftop Bar

If you excuse the wiser-than-thou attitude of some of its staff, Radio is quite a pleasant place to have a few drinks at. Impressive cocktails and a passionate food menu pairs well with the 360 degree panorama that will greet you here. The place has been done up beautifully, you might not want to leave this one rooftop bar in London!
Where: ME London 336-337 The Strand  London WC2R 1HA
What’s Special: Patio heaters and a fantastic DJ
Tip: Try the various combinations of Gin and Tonic on offer
Reservation Advice: Book in advance if you plan on visiting on a weekend
 
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7. Netil 360 

Image Source: Facebook.com/netilhouse  

Netil dons many hats- it’s a creative workspace, café, event venue and of course, a bar. So you can be sure that this place is always buzzing with people and noise. Through the day, this place is serious business but come evening, it transforms into a fairy-lit, easy-breezy, hipster hangout that is non pretentious yet exciting to be in. Bonus? Hot-tubs, guest food stalls and Djs!
Where: Netil House, 1 Westgate Street London E8 3RL
What’s Special: Smooth amalgamation of fun events and a laidback, hippie vibe
Tip: Check the website for all the unique events that keep happening here.
Reservation Advice: Head there early for a good spot.

8. Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden Bar & Café

There isn’t a better way to spend a summer evening in London. There is definitely no place like this one; amidst birch trees, nasturtiums and sprouting cabbages, you will finally breathe a sigh of relief this could well be your little haven in London. This woodland-cum-wildflower meadow-cum rooftop bar is a gorgeous spot that is great for a chilled evening. Turns out, great views and a healthy patch of grass is all you need to unwind that hassled mind.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall Southbank Centre London, SE1 8XX
What’s Special: Part-rooftop bar, part-meadow and part-woodland.
Tip: Eat a fresher-than-fresh salad supper and watch the sunset over Thames.
Reservation Advice: Not needed. There is a cap on number of people though, so try and get there early.

9. Proof

An innovative partnership of a street market and rooftop bar, Playground and Proof are a welcome change from pretention. Proof is as hipster as it gets in the London bar scene. The chilled out vibe and the happy faces will make you feel right at home. The cherry on the cake is the outstanding views from this place.
Where: The Hothouse Building  Martello Street  London  E8 3QW
What’s Special: The nonchalance and hipster quotient
Tip: Try the Batanga or the Mezcal and Tonic
Reservation Advice: Prior booking not necessary but it is recommended to arrive early
 

10. Queen of Hoxton 

Image Source:Facebook.com/thequeenofhoxton  

Spread over two floors, the Queen of Hoxton is a great place for some summer fun. With foot tapping music and a brilliant event line up, there’s always something new going on here. Weekends are buzzing with club scenes and weekdays you will find fringe theatre, cinema and barbeque here. Definitely an exciting place to be at!
Where: 1 Curtain Rd London EC2A 3JX
What’s Special: Wigwam in winters and cocktails in summer
Tip: Check the website to see what’s on before you visit.
Reservation Advice: Prior booking not necessary.

11. Angler

Angler’s well deserved reputation comes with its own expectations. And it surely does not disappoint. Amidst olive trees and lavender scents, you will feel a bit of the charm of Provence here. A brilliant idea on a summer evening, Angler is just a few lush rolling hills away from the South of France. With a befuddling wine list, this rooftop bar like the eponymous restaurant, is a class of its own.
Where: 3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF
What’s Special: Suntraps and Olive trees
Tip: Try their Mint Julep
Reservation Advice: Recommended to book in advance. 

12. Madison 

This rooftop boasts of some of the choicest views in London. Sitting in the company of St.Paul’s Cathedral and having a drink here is truly an authentic ‘London’ experience. Sure, the prices are a tad bit expensive but the experience is well worth it. Whether it’s a bright summer day or a breezy autumn evening, Madison makes for a special visit for any occasion.
Where: 1 New Change, St Paul S, London EC4M 9AF
What’s Special: Unforgettable vantage of St.Paul’s Cathedral
Tip: The pornstar martini, like its name, is quite a head turner
Reservation Advice: Book a table to avoid the queues

13. Bird of Smithfield

Spread over 5 floors and many roles;that of a private dining, restaurant, a rooftop bar and a basement lounge. Bird of Smithfield is highly likeable because of its cozy setting and familiarity. The rooftop bar is small but therein lies its charm, it feels snug and homelike. The food served across the floors is scrumptious and detailed. This place lacks in pretention but makes up in charm.
Where: 26 Smithfield Street London EC1A 9LB
What’s Special: Warm service and Pudding!
Tip: Try the Watermelon Soju for the perfect summer serenade!
Reservation Advice: Prior booking not required.

London's rooftop bars are a welcome change from it's usual pubs and clubs. Whether you fancy a dressy affair or a laidback evening, there's a rooftop bar for every taste. Tell us about your favorite rooftop bar in London!
 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RESHMA DEWDA RESHMA DEWDA

A hippie hiding in civilized clothes, a borderline feminist and a dreamer stuck in a practical avatar, Reshma is an incorrigible idealist who lives in a black and white world. A robin hood in her own right, she loves to come to the rescue and most times , she ends up rescuing herself in the bargain.

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