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Outdoor parties in London

Forget staying indoors: this summer is about alfresco parties

Who wants to be stuck in a basement or a warehouse when it’s sunny outside? Certainly not Londoners judging by the amount of awesome open-air and terrace parties happening. So head to the great urban outdoors and get stuck in.

Dalston Roof Park

Crane your neck above Café Oto and you might spot this charming roof garden venue, which jumps into action every summer. There’s enough greenery and, er, astroturf on this alfresco oasis to make you forget you’re in Dalston, though you'll soon remember once all the parties, gigs, film screenings and other arty goings-on start. It's even utilised by ace Dalston multi-venue festival Land Of Kings, meaning that you can have fun from way up high while watching the hoi polloi down below.

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Dalston

The Old Baths and Cr8 Galleries

This huge events space, found at the southern tip of Hackney Marshes, is used for all kinds of cool stuff, but by far the most fun are the parties, which spill into the outdoor space. Mini beaches, BBQs and even ice cream vans are installed, which makes their all-day parties – often from house and disco crews Vertical and Solar – even better. There are also weekly Sunday markets, named The Wick, with vintage fashion stalls, live music, DJs, street food, pop-up tiki bars and much more. If it gets too hot and sunny (chuckle), cool down in the hangar-like indoor room.

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Hackney Wick

Studio 338

If London’s clubs had a ‘my terrace is bigger than yours’ slanging match, Studio 338 would probably win. This vast, covered space hosts all-night parties and daytime raves from established promoters like Krankbrother and Cocoon, and it’s heated, should – gasp – the UK summer let us down. It’s a classy set-up and you’ll feel like you’re in Berlin or Ibiza as you groove.

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London

Prince of Wales

This long-standing Brixton venue (formerly called the Brixton Clubhouse and The Lambeth) boasts one of London’s sweetest party terraces, featuring fantastic views across our fair city. It’s a double-tiered affair, and you can expect to hear sublime funk, disco and house at parties helmed by the Slide, Brixton Boogaloo and Up On The Roof crews. As the nights get later and colder, things move inside to the club, though the venue’s ability to enclose the lower terrace means it can hold outdoor parties even in chillier months. Have that, winter.

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Brixton

The Paperworks

This Elephant and Castle pop-up proved so appealing last year that it was kept on through winter, and is now gearing up for its second summer run, which will sadly be its last stint. It’s a fantastic space, with plenty of room for dancing or schmoozing, plus bars serving cocktails, and street food on offer, including hip hot dogs from Fleisch Mob. It’s run by some of the Corsica Studios crew, meaning that there are loads of warm-up parties for the club’s top-notch nights like Tief and Trouble Vision.

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Elephant & Castle

Flamingo Pier

Critics' choice

Partying on a pontoon? Sounds fun to us, and clearly London’s clubbers agreed when this tropical pop-up party went off last summer. It’s set in Hackney Wick’s Counter Café, which has a floating pontoon area and moored canal boat, meaning you can get your nautical groove on. Each instalment is themed around a different exotic location, with inventive food and cocktails (plus craft beer from Hackney Wick’s Crate Brewery) to match the setting, plus top disco DJs. Off-the-chart cool, basically.

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Counter Café, Olympic Park Friday August 7 2015 - Saturday October 3 2015

Oval Space

This ace Bethnal Green venue has two intimate but excellent terrace spaces that get utilised in summer months. Oval Space’s progressive programming features trusted party providers like Half Baked, Secretsundaze and Mister Sunday leading all-day house and funk events, and the wooden decking and overhead lanterns make it a pretty, as well as on-point, place to dance the day away.

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Bethnal Green

The Roof Gardens

This rooftop members' club features three suitably plush, themed gardens spread over 1.5 acres. Handily, the venue also holds events open to non-members, so that anyone can enjoy lush and luxurious partying from up high, at themed events, live gigs and DJ nights that lean towards house, funk and disco. Remember to break out your glad-rags and dress to impress.

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Kensington

South Place Hotel

A chance to add some swank to your skank. This high-end City hotel has quickly established itself a great place to party, with a plush seventh-floor terrace that screams ‘buy a cocktail, stand on me, and look sexy’. There’ll be weekly Sunday daytime shindigs, featuring DJs spinning laid-back but upbeat tunes and a Michelin-starred chef grilling the fancies BBQ food you ever did see.

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City

Netil360

Great news for the rooftop area atop multi-platform London Fields arts space Netil House: it’s recently been granted a licence to operate as a full-time bar and venue. There’ll be oodles of summer events, including supper clubs, Skyline Cinema, parties, gigs and even hot tub hire. The starting gun is a four-day mini-festival to launch the fun over the bank holiday weekend, and after that you can expect similarly vibrant nightlife taking place over the whole summer.

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London Fields

Behind This Wall

Critics' choice

One of the many sad things about seminal Shoreditch club Plastic People closing was the loss of Behind The Wall, a vinyl-focused club night, record exchange and general meet-up for wax addicts. Thankfully it's been reborn and is touching down on the wonderful terrace of Bethnal Green arts venue Oval Space during the summer. This new incarnation of BTW is extending its remit even further, operating as a bar, work-space and even restaurant during Monday-Friday, while on select weekends BTW will revisit its vinyl exchance roots, featuring open decks upon which wax-heads can spin tunes, plus 'Balearic brunches'.

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Oval Space, Bethnal Green Until Thursday October 1 2015

Dinerama

Critics' choice

Street Feast are turning an old car park in Shoreditch into a street food mecca in 2015, featuring 15 different food vendors, six bars and space for up to 1,000 hungry visitors. Most details are yet to be confirmed, but it will be open during the day Friday-Sunday as well as in the evening Wednesday-Saturday, launching on June 19.

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Shoreditch Yard, Spitalfields Thursday August 6 2015 - Sunday October 4 2015

Flamingo Pier

Critics' choice

One of the finest pop-up parties of last summer, Flamingo Pier is back for summer 2015, which is great news for anyone who likes their pop-ups with a dose of tropical indulgence. The action takes place both inside Hackney Wick's Counter Cafe and on the venue's floating pontoon, as well as Counter's moored canalside boat. There'll be DJs spinning deep disco and hip house soundtracks, street food, bespoke cocktails and craft beer from Crate Brewery, with food and drink themed around a different exotic location – Kerala is the next destination on July 3.

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Counter Café, Olympic Park Friday August 7 2015 - Saturday October 3 2015

Turntables

Critics' choice

This deliciously fun – and just plain delicious – pop-up seriously impressed us last year, so we're chuffed to hear that it's back in town. As before, it's set on and around the considerable terrace space of Hackney Wick canalside venue Shapes and once again, there'll be all kinds of delicious street food on offer, plus summertime cocktails. Once you've filled your boots (okay, your face), get dancing on the decked dancefloor to top DJs spinning deep house, twisted disco, soul, funk and more.

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119 Wallis Rd, Olympic Park Thursday August 6 2015 - Saturday August 29 2015

Gilles Peterson... Up on the Roof

Critics' choice

Global beats guru and broadcaster Gilles Peterson returns to the series of summer parties that hosts brilliant party DJs atop the terrace of Brixton venue the Prince of Wales. His smooth, soulful, discofied and jazzy tendencies are the perfect summer soundtrack.

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Prince of Wales, Brixton Sunday August 30 2015 - Monday August 31 2015

Notsosilent Garden Party

Critics' choice

Scottish-born party crew Notsosilent have expanded their low-frequency operations to London over the last few years. Last summer they helmed some great rooftop parties and for 2015 they've got a new open-air space to play with. It's located near Warren Street tube and the full address will be revealed nearer the time to ticket holders. We're also assured that there's a rain-defying option should the weather turn. Top DJs including Maurice Fulton, Roy Davs Jr and Mr Beatnick will be supplying forward-thinking house, techno and disco soundtracks to the alfresco revellers.

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Triton Street, Regent's Park Sunday August 30 2015

One Day

Set in Kensington's super-plush Roof Gardens venue, this sky-high party features Dimmi and other DJs spinning sharp house and funk, plus cocktails and a BBQ. Expect a cool crowd and party vibes.

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The Roof Gardens, Kensington Sunday August 30 2015

Reverb

This mini-festival is set in Kensington's lush Roof Gardens venue, and features DJs, live music and comedy taking place throughout the day, plus cocktails and BBQ food to see you through. Music – spread across both outdoor and indoor areas – is usually of a hip hop, R&B, soul and funk nature.

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The Roof Gardens, Kensington Saturday August 15 2015

Summer Tales

Critics' choice

One thing that helped London make it through the last few arduous winters was Night Tales, a fantastic pop-up party full of creative cocktails, street food, DJs spinning dancefloor-filling tunes and general good vibes. Now, the crew are back with an ace summer-themed pop-up for 15 whole weekends. As it's summer, there's a jungle theme in play, plush hammocks, rope swings and a 20m terrace to soak up the sun. Drinks are served at four bars and food is once again a key part of the experience, with all manner of culinary treats from top London eateries. The soundtracks come from a range of talented DJs and musicians – line-ups will be largely unannounced, but considering that Night Tales saw guests like Rudimental, Gorgon City and Will Saul, expect further great DJs to be knocking out stylish beats.

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Red Market, Old Street Thursday August 6 2015 - Friday August 28 2015

Sunday Sunset Barbecues

These weekly Sunday daytime parties are hosted on the plush seventh-floor terrace of super-cool City pad South Place Hotel throughout the summer. The vibe is cool and glamorous, and there'll be DJs spinning house, funk and disco (from some big names that we just can't reveal yet), plus a special spritzer menu and Michelin-starred chef Tony Fleming grilling the fanciest BBQ food you ever did see.

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South Place Hotel, City Sunday August 9 2015 - Sunday August 30 2015

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