London's best rooftop drinking

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Let Time Out steer you upwards towards the finest places in London for enjoying cocktails in the clouds

    • Aqua Nueva & Aqua Kyoto

      5th floor, 240 Regent St, W1B 3BR.

      Oxford Circus tube.


      Visiting the terrace bars at either of the Aqua restaurants feels like walking into a set for a music video with a London skyline. The two ritzy roof terraces serve up exotic cocktails (from £9.50) to a well-groomed clientele. Kyoto's terrace bar has an extensive saké list too.

      Read Aqua Nueva & Aqua Kyoto review.

      Read more

  • Boundary Rooftop

    2-4 Boundary Street, London, E2 7DD

    Old Street tube/rail or Shoreditch High Street tube


    This unsurprisingly popular spot is perched atop the Terence Conran-designed Boundary Project. Diners can choose from grills and lighter snacks from the deli. The drinks list includes Meantime Wheat and Meteor pilsner beers, pitchers of house-designed cocktails and more than a dozen wines. Read more

  • Brera at Lyric Hammersmith

    Lyric Hammersmith, 2 King St, W6 0QL

    Hammersmith tube


    The Lyric Hammersmith has put a lot of effort into its roof garden. The large terrace overlooking hectic King Street is a haven of planters, foliage and comfy seating. Italian pizza chain Brera runs the café and bar, creating an alfresco continental flavour. Read more

  • Dalston Roof Park

    Print House,18 Ashwin St, E8 3DL (7275 0825/www.bootstrapcompany.co.uk). Bar open 5-11pm daily.

    Become a friend of Dalston Roof Park (£2 donation) and you'll get free access to this idyllic roof garden. The bright green Astroturf is dotted with yellow plastic children's chairs, and there's a pop-up bar, complete with a frozen margarita machine. Read more

  • Faltering Fullback

    19 Perth Rd, N4 3HB (7272 5834/http://thefullback.co.uk).

    This Stroud Green pub boasts a pleasant beer garden which spans over the pub's entire roof – on multiple levels. Decorated with lots of flower pots, it's the ideal spot to sip a cold beer and tuck into some decent Thai food.

  • Frank's Café and Campari Bar

    10th floor, Peckham Multi-Story Carpark, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST (075 8288 4574/www.frankscafe.org.uk). 11am-10pm Thur-Sun.

    For the last 3 years, Frank’s Café and Campari Bar has popped up on the roof of a multi-storey car park in Peckham with great success. This year, it has returned for a 4th season until the 30th September 2012, with Mediterranean food and cocktails. Read more

  • The Fox

    372 Kingsland Rd, E8 4DA (078 0721 7734/www.thefoxe8.com). 4-11.30pm Mon-Fri; noon-11.30pm Sat, Sun.

    This revamped Dalston boozer boasts a refurbed roof terrace, which is decked and embellished with flowers. It's not huge, but will be packed when the sun shines. The perfect spot to sample The Fox's excellent beer selection. Read more

  • Golden Bee

    Singer St, EC1V 9DD (7253 1110/www.goldenbee.co.uk)

    This Shoreditch rooftop bar does what it says on the tin: it's on a rooftop and it’s a bar – but not much else. The small drinks selection includes Bud, Becks and Brahma beer, while cocktails can be mixed on demand (there's no menu).

  • Madison

    One New Change, London, EC4M 9AF (8305 3088/www.madisonlondon.net)

    This rooftop terrace bar in Jean Nouvel's One New Change shopping complex boasts brilliant views of St Paul's cathedral. Cocktails range from standards (mojitos and whatnot) to concoctions with names ripe for being cackled at by hen parties (Pornstar Martini, Hot Bitch Martini). There are also bar snacks and a more formal brasserie menu. Read more

  • Proud Camden

    Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (7482 3867/ www.proudcamden.com). Camden Town tube. 11am-1am daily.

    This gallery, bar and club is the epitome of Camden style. Its large roof terrace is ideal for supping cocktails and observing both the art and the art crowd. Read more

  • Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café

    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (7921 0758/ www.companyofcooks.com). Waterloo tube/rail. 10am-10.30pm daily.

    Planted as part of the Festival of Britain, with guidance from the Eden Project, and volunteers from St Mungo’s Charity, this rooftop has incredible views across the river. In addition to the Astroturf now familiar at the Southbank, there is a real lawn, large planters of vegetables and a wildflower ‘meadow’. The café is run by caterer Company of Cooks, so expect the same pastries and savoury snacks as the other Southbank kiosks, though there is a special English Garden cocktail – gin, lemonade, oranges and elderflower (£6.50). Read more

  • Queen of Hoxton

    1 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3JX (7422 0958/ www.thequeenofhoxton.co.uk). Shoreditch High Street rail or Liverpool Street tube/rail. Noon-midnight Mon-Sat (from 20 April).

    The downstairs bit of this grungy bar and club is better suited to nocturnal drinking, but walk up to the expansive rooftop to find deckchairs, wrought-iron furniture and and benches filled with a sun-seeking crowd from the Shoreditch brigade. The ramshackle 'rum shack' serves bottled Beck's or Swedish Briska cider as well as mojitos. Read more

  • Sky Lounge Tower of London

    Mint Hotel, 7 Pepys St, EC3N 4AF (7709 1043/www.minthotel.com). Tower Hill tube. 10.30am-midnight daily.

    The view from the 12th floor roof terrace of this freshly-minted hotel takes in both the ancient majesty of the Tower of London and the Shard, the newest structure to pierce the motley London skyline. The view on the terrace is somewhat less diverse. The ubiquitous City uniform of grey jackets populate the tables, which are spaced out, no doubt, to allow sensitive talk of financial affairs. The drinks prices reflect the locale. Bottles of generic beer start at £6 and cocktails start at £10.50. Read more

  • Sushisamba

    Floors 38 and 39, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY (3640 7330/www.sushisamba.com). Liverpool St tube/rail. 11.30am-1am Mon-Wed; 11.30am-2am Thur; 11.30am- 3am Fri, Sat; 11.30am-midnight Sun.

    Occupying the top floors of one of the highest buildings in the City, Sushisamba offers breathtaking views down over London doing its best impression of a Legoland city. Although the cocktails are disappointing, the sake list is far better and this is still a destination bar par excellence, with unbeatable views. Read more

  • Vista

    The Trafalgar, 2 Spring Gdns, SW1A 2TS (7870 2900). Noon-1am daily.

    Perched on the top of the Trafalgar Hotel in Trafalgar Square, this smartened up bar has impressive views – Nelson's Column spears the skyline, plus there's the London Eye and Big Ben. The drinks are tailored for tourists and expense accounts, with cocktails more than a tenner. Read more

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