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2 weeks agoupdated Jun 03, 2024

The Best Rooftop Bars in London

From Soho to Shoreditch, swanky to sedate, these are some of London’s finest rooftop bars.

By Toby Louch

On the exceptionally rare occasion that London sees a sunny day, it’s best to get as high as possible and usually a rooftop bar is your best bet. Thankfully, the British capital — which attains its apogee during the summer months — has plenty to offer when it comes to elevated bars.

From the rooftop terraces of luxurious hotels to the cloud-touching tips of some of the City of London’s tallest towers, it all depends on just how high you want to go. With the capital’s thriving cocktail scene in full swing, these bars often join the fray with a mixture of classic serves, in addition to a few of their own concoctions. Or, keep it simple with a glass of champagne as the sun goes down. Whatever your tipple, it always tastes better with a good view.

The same goes for food: You will be hard-pressed to visit one of these spots that isn’t serving its own version of tapas or at least a selection of small plates, ideal for snacking on in the sunshine or tiding you over before you head out for dinner.

From well-established classics to a few newcomers, the London rooftop bar scene is as bustling as ever, here is a selection of our favorites.

The Nest

The Nest rooftop bar treehouse hotel london
The Laurent-Perrier Wildflower Terrace at The Nest / ©The Nest

We begin our jaunt across some of London’s finest rooftop bars on the top floor of The Treehouse Hotel in Marylebone. Accurately called The Nest, this 16th-floor rooftop bar and terrace provides 360-degree views across London, with more than a few of this city’s iconic landmarks well within view.

Situated just off Oxford Circus and Regent Street, it’s an ideal place to call into after a spot of shopping and to unwind with a drink far above all the hullabaloo of street level. It even allows dogs to enjoy ‘drinks on the woof’ on Sundays 12-3pm. Dogs won’t feel left out while you tuck into your tipple: there is also a dog-friendly menu.

However, sure to be The Nest’s biggest draw this season, is the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Wildflower Terrace. Stretching all the way around the rooftop, this quasi-Garden of Eden from the connoisseurs of rosé fizz, Laurent-Perrier transforms the outside portion of The Nest into an English meadow.

treehousehotels.com

[See also: The Best Rooftop Bars in NYC]

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JOIA Rooftop Bar

JOIA Rooftop bar london
JOIA Rooftop / ©JOIA Rooftop

Heading South and crossing the River Thames, you arrive in Battersea. Once a postindustrial wasteland, the last decade has been favorable to Battersea Power Station, and the surrounding area has undergone a total regeneration. Not far from the US embassy in Nine Elms, this local is now home to luxury shops, hotels, bars and restaurants.

At the 16th floor of art’otel Battersea is JOIA Rooftop Bar, the alfresco terrace that accompanies the equally excellent Portuguese and Iberian-inspired JOIA Restaurant. JOIA Rooftop Bar provides all the Iberian deliciousness of the restaurant, just in a cool outdoor setting. Positioned directly opposite the Power Station — made famous by a Pink Floyd album cover — this rooftop bar sits at chimney level.

Not to be outdone by the impressive light bites, the wine list is also suitably Spanish and Portuguese, featuring crisp vinho verdes and punchy riojas. JOIA Rooftop Terrace makes an excellent choice for anyone finding themselves south of the river; it’s a reason to venture south in its own right. Situated right next to the expansive Battersea Park, why not pop into JOIA for a few drinks before heading over to the park for a picnic by the lake. Summer at its finest.    

joiabattersea.com

[See also: Most Expensive Restaurants in London]

One Hundred Shoreditch

One Hundred Shoreditch london rooftop bar
The terrace at One Hundred Shoreditch / ©One Hundred Shoreditch

Much closer to central London, in recent years One Hundred Shoreditch has been making quite the name for itself. The rooftop of this chic East London hotel sits seven stories high and provides impressive views across the city.

Those lucky enough to be visiting during one of London’s vibrant sunsets will notice that the pink and purple hues of the sky match with One Hundred Shoreditch’s pink marble décor. Interiors were designed by Lore Group creative director Jacu Strauss and bring a sense of playful levity to this rooftop haunt.

A quite suitable bookend to an afternoon well spent in London, One Hundred Shoreditch rooftop of course provides cocktails — such as their signature margarita — and small plates, a must for any successful London rooftop. Open till late, this spot is also popular for breakfast and brunch with the kitchen providing an array of dishes to help kickstart your day with a view.

onehundredshoreditch.com

[See also: Chez Roux Opens at The Langham London]

Yasmin

Yasmin london rooftop bar
Yasmin / ©David Robson

From Shoreditch to Soho, we arrive at a newcomer to London’s thriving rooftop bar scene. Yasmin is a recently opened restaurant and bar with an impressive wrap-around outdoor terrace on the sixth floor of 1 Warwick Street.

Yasmin puts its own spin on the London rooftop concept by adding a dash of Middle Eastern flair to the mix. Executive chef Tom Cenci has designed an impressive menu of small and sharing plates inspired by his time living and cooking in Istanbul in addition to a mixture of plant-based selections.

The cocktails have received the same treatment featuring punchy flavors and unique ingredients that have been curated to pair wondrously well with the food.

Soho’s streets can get fairly hectic in the evening with revelers in pubs and bars spilling out onto the street. Perhaps heading a few floors up and getting above the action is your best bet. Impress your friends by inviting them to this new Soho gem before everyone else hears about it.   

Yasminsoho.com   

[See also: The Best Restaurants in London]

Radio Rooftop

Radio Rooftop Me London bar
Radio Rooftop / ©Radio Rooftop

On The Strand, nestled suitably in between some of London’s most famous monuments, is one of this city’s glitziest rooftop bars. Radio Rooftop, situated on the tenth floor of the ME London hotel, is certainly a place to both see and be seen.

The perfect spot to enjoy the views throughout the day, a delicious selection of dishes are served from breakfast until dinner, meaning you can tuck into some tofu tacos or lobster sliders all in full view of St Paul’s cathedral.

If the food is great, then cocktails are also certainly up to par, with a mixture of signature serves and a few twists on the classics. The rooftop is also particularly renowned for its extensive champagne selection. Featuring most of the classic champagne houses, you can also go all out and get a magnum or a jeroboam for the group.

Radio Rooftop is currently undergoing a renovation with its brand new look soon to be revealed. A beacon of The Strand, this spot is sure to retain its position as one of London’s best rooftop bars.

Radiorooftopbar.com

[See also: Gordon Ramsay to Open London’s Highest Restaurant]

Coq d’Argent

Coq d’Argent rooftop bar london
One of the four terraces at Coq d’Argent / ©Coq d’Argent

Heading over to London’s financial district, The City of London, Coq d’Argent leaves visitors spoilt for choice with four separate terraces to choose from, easily making this one of the best rooftops in the city.

Providing a relaxed, English garden atmosphere, this London spot brings a dash of continental class with its selection of French dishes from executive head chef Damien Rigollet. With an exemplary cheese selection, beef tartare, escargots and a selection of caviar, there is something here for everyone.

When it comes to drinks, things are just as classic. The wine list is suitably French, but also features a few big hitters from the southern hemisphere. The cocktail list has some real depth featuring all the iconic serves and a mixture of unique creations to try. No and low alcohol options are also featured in full force.

For a top London rooftop bar in the center of this financial hub, Coq d’Argent makes an esteemed choice.

coqdargent.com 

[See also: The Best Afternoon Teas in London]

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