London's best rooftop dining

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Pie in the sky – and other tasty treats with altitude

  • London's best rooftop dining

    © Rob Greig

    • Babylon

      99 Kensington High St (entrance on Derry St), W8 5SA (7937 7994/www.roofgardens.virgin.com)

      Where else in London can you find flamingos, a restaurant and 1.5 acres of landscaped gardens all on one rooftop? The contemporary – though pricey – British cooking just about lives up to the high expectations, but you can also just pop up to admire the surreal surroundings for free. Read more

  • Boundary Rooftop

    2-4 Boundary St, E2 7DD (7729 1051/www.theboundary.co.uk/rooftop)

    This slick rooftop bar owned by Terence Conran has a luxurious yacht-like feel with its sail-like canvas canopy covering the dining area. Comfy armchairs and sofas are scattered next to fragrant pots of herbs with a fire and wool blankets laid on for cooler evenings. The concise menu consists of Mediterranean bar snacks and offerings from a Japanese robata (charcoal grill), and the bar does fruity cocktails in pitchers. There's restaurant seating for 48, with diners choosing from grills and lighter snacks from the deli downstairs. However, you can also lounge around on wicker chairs and summer seats surrounded by shrubbery, heaters, the smoky scent of cigars and a wood-burning fire. The range of bottled beers includes Meantime Wheat and Meteor pilsner from France; pitchers of house-designed cocktails and jugs of sangria; and more than a dozen wines offered by the glass, half-bottle and bottle. The downside's an obvious one: you're at the mercy of the weather. Read more

  • Le Coq d'Argent

    1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ (7395 5000/www.coqdargent.co.uk)

    The word ‘haute’ could be used to describe both the cooking and the location of this upmarket restaurant perched on a rooftop in the City. Three outward-facing terraces, one of them with a lawn, have expansive views over London and the large internal courtyard around the atrium is overhung with leafy grapevines. Read more

  • Frank's Café and Campari Bar

    Tenth Floor, Peckham multi-storey carpark, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST (07580 545 837/www.frankscafe.org.uk)

    This arty pop-up café has returned for its second summer atop a multi-storey carpark. The majestic – if unusual – view of London from its Peckham vantage point ensures that on weekend evenings local devotees and curious punters throng in their hundreds. There are punchy cocktails (bitter Campari and really spicy bloody marys) and a simple Mediterranean menu incorporating seasonal British produce. Sunday lunch is a more laid-back, hungover affair. Read more

  • Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie

    OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House St, SE1 9PH (7803 3888/www.harveynichols.com)

    At this iconic outpost of the Harvey Nichols empire, you can choose from three top-notch establishments: the fine dining restaurant, the brasserie or the bar. Or, you can visit just to take in the magnificent view from the south side of the river. Read more

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