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Bar Elba

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Waterloo
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A Napoleon-themed rooftop bar.

Welcome to party island. You’ll have to battle past crowds of frazzled commuters at Waterloo station and climb up a series of brightly coloured staircases to get there. But it’s worth it to reach this buzzy rooftop oasis with swoonsome views of the city’s skyline. It takes its inspiration from the tiny island of Elba, just off the Tuscan coast, where Napoleon Bonaparte was forcibly sent in 1814. He took his horse and a few hundred of his closest pals. Political exile? Apparently he just partied in the Med for 300 days.

Enough of that, though. Bar Elba’s historical theme is as loose as they come. With fairy lights, communal benches and a sizeable cocktail list, this rooftop bar is more about the (bona)party than the nineteenth-century military leader. The bar boasts a small wine, beer and cider menu, as well as a selection of bubbles for those with an emperor’s budget. Cocktails are sweet and summery: the frosé, a velvety-smooth, rosé and vermouth-spiked strawberry slushie, was easily the stand-out, while the Aperol Spritz was solid and came served in big sharing jugs for the thirsty.

Balmy Italian paradise, Bar Elba is not. But, as the sun sets over Waterloo, with a view of the Shard glinting in the day’s last light, it is a sweet place to be. Of course, there’s no proof that the premise is in any way historically accurate, but ‘liberté, egalité, rosé’? That’s a motto I can get behind.

Bar Elba says
NAPOLEON’S EXILE IN PARADISE

IT AIN’T THAT BAD

Drunk on power, Napoleon almost achieved his goal of European domination, but got himself exiled to the Mediterranean island of Elba. He took 600 of his closest mates and his favourite horse, Marengo, with him. He stayed for 300 days.

Party. Island.

Details

Address: Rooftop, Mercury House
109-117 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8UL
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Contact:
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Users say (10)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|12
3 people listening
tastemaker

Loved this rooftop bar! Reminded me a lot of pergola on the roof! Very similar decor with the flowers and fairy lights looking great in the sunshine and in the evening! As everyone's mentioned below you have to be ready to climb about 8 flights of stairs but its most definitely worth it! It gets quite busy so book ahead if you can, otherwise if its a small group of you then the wait is about max 30mins ish. There are lots of instagram snap opportunities going up the stairs, and of course when you reach the bar itself and take in the gorgeous views of London! Great date place or for a catch up with friends! Delicious cocktails at reasonable prices, and obviously even better if you try go during happy hour between 5-7pm! If you get a chance definitely try the frose! Its rose with strawberry slushie! Absolutely mouthwatering in the heat this summer! 

tastemaker

If you're looking for a rooftop bar near Waterloo, this is not a bad shout.  It's a fun spot with great cocktails.  It can be difficult to make a booking, but trying to make one would be recommended as it does get very busy!  The staff were great.  A great happy hour until 6pm.

tastemaker

I first went to Bar Elba on May bank holiday Sunday and the weather was amazing. Managed to get a seat (there were only two of us) outside on the left terrace overlooking Waterloo and parts of the city. The weather made the rooftop experience so much better but it was the cocktails that really made Bar Elba stand out. Fortunately we happened to stroll upon it during happy hour where we enjoyed 2-4-1 cocktails for a couple of hours. The Pornstar Martini was particularly incredible! I'd definitely recommend this to people looking for a chilled (Instagrammable) location for some cocktails and street food, as well as an escape from the bustling streets below. 


Really spacious rooftop bar in a great location. Quite a few steps to get up there and no lift so be prepared for the walk!! Plenty of tables to sit and the bar is undercover so fine for a rainy day like it was for us. We had booked a couple of tables and put down a deposit, but none of the tables had been moved undercover ready for us so they were soaking wet. Nevertheless the staff were helpful in moving and helping to dry them for us. There was no music which was a shame as it would have really enhanced the pretty scenery and chilled atmosphere. Much busier as the day went on and it was a pretty good vibe. 2 for 1 happy hour cocktails was thoroughly enjoyed and not much queuing. Special thanks to Vince for being a really enthusiastic and friendly bar man. Always makes a difference having great service!

tastemaker

With the summer fast approaching, one needs a rooftop bar where you can stay undercover to avoid the unpredictability of London weather and be able to get served in less than 5 minutes. Bar Elba is the answer to all your prayers! 


Located across the road from the Waterloo station and the Old Vic, a lot of people don't even realise that there is an alfresco haven located up 8 flights of stairs. 


Yes it's a workout to get there, but once you get up there, the drinks, the tunes and the atmosphere will keep you coming back. We only discovered this "hidden" gem a couple of months ago and have already been back over 4 times (and counting).

Tastemaker

Bar Elba is more spacious than most roof top bars and has a great selection of classic and signature cocktails.

There is no music played but considering how busy it gets its not surprising as you wouldn't be able to hear it over the sheer roar of so many people.

I would definitely recommend reserving a place on a sunny day.

tastemaker

Sister bar to Tonight Josephine, Bar Elba continues the Napoleon-themed story on a rooftop over Waterloo!

You have to earn your drinks by climbing up a few flights, but it's a fun experience, with instagrammable quotes and signage to break up your ascent. Once you're at the top, it does have a LostBoys/Neverland-style feeling, with fairy lights, plenty of booths and benches, and some great views over London. The cocktails and drinks are standard, but the setting makes it!

tastemaker

We visited Bar Elba after Tonight Josephine as we wanted a bit of dancing. We didn’t however realise that they don’t have a licence to play music- which is very weird! Although it’s not a party bar it’s a lovely rooftop with loads of space and a good drinks list. We visited in March when they had a roof on it so it was nice and warm but I can imagine it’s amazind in the summer after work with a beer in hand.

Tastemaker

Make sure your cardio is up to scratch before making your way to this place, because the stairs seem ENDLESS! Luckily there are plenty of photo ops on the way up, and the promise of their famous frosé should help spur you on!


At the top, there is a mix of exposed and covered seating and some spectacular views across to The City. There is a lot of pink, with plenty of Instagram worthy pics to be snapped. The Happy Hour is great with 2-4-1 from 5-7pm and the food on offer is courtesy of my favourite burger chain Dip&Flip so you're in for a treat there if you're hungry.


Obviously being a rooftop bar the place has its downsides - the London weather for one, but if you've got yourself a dry afternoon or evening to enjoy some cocktails with a view this is a cracking spot.

tastemaker

Bar Elba! I was hoping to meet edris Elba there but I guess that was hopeful thinking on My part huh 😉

Anyways let me start off with the fact that you climb at least of 10 staircases or more before you reach your destination so make sure you've done a few lunges before coming here!

The space itself is very large!!! In the midst of summer this must've been the place to be!!

Its a rooftop bar dishing out cocktails fries and burgers!

They have a crazy happy from 5-7pm with 2 for 1 cocktails!

The cocktail menu is pleasant enough but don't expect *5 concoctions... A pleasant spot for some casual drinks but with winter blooming I'd rather be indoors as a lot of us were shaking from the mighty winds that pass through !!


A nice big space with some lovely views. Dip & flip smashing out some great burgers. I like it

tastemaker

Really great spacious rooftop in a great location! They also offer 2 for 1 happy hour before 7 PM, which is really nice on the cocktails. Tried the Violet Femme, which I thought tasted like watery sugar, not a huge fan. Also had to queue for drinks for 30 minutes- and that is NO exaggeration, but I imagine since they are new they haven't figured out staffing issues yet.

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