It's not been the hottest summer on record. At least, not by last year’s bus roof-blistering standards. That said, the sun has poked her head out from behind the clouds every so often – and there's still at least a few weeks left to treat the capital like it exists in warmer climes.
Of course, there's plenty of green spaces to choose from. And London has lots of lovely beer gardens. But there’s nothing like a rooftop bar, is there? The views, the cocktails, the warm wind on your face as you watch the sun go down against the city skyline. And that city skyline looks pretty good from a Shoreditch vantage point. Here are east London's brightest and best rooftop bars.
Shoreditch’s best rooftop bars
What is it? A bar-restaurant with a roomy open-air terrace at Finsbury Square’s Montcalm Hotel.
Why go? It’s got a killer panoramic view, and is already hugely popular with the post-work crowd. Cuddle up on modernist furniture and sink spritzes ‘till the sun don’t shine.
Open: Year-round, 6.30am-12am Mon-Fri, 7am-12pm Sat, 7am-11pm Sun.
What is it? This unsurprisingly popular spot is perched atop the Terence Conran-designed Boundary Project, which also contains a boutique hotel, a restaurant, a café and a deli.
Why go? Aside from the wood-burning fire and the dramatic panorama of the City skyline after dark, there’s a weather-proof pergola, allowing the bar and alfresco dining area to stay open in all weathers.
Open: Year-round, 12pm-11pm Mon-Sun.
What is it? It's all about the party at this quirky cocktail bar on Singer Street, just around the corner from Old Street tube.
Why go? Resident DJs at the weekend bring the tunes (house and club classics, mainly), with many a Monday night devoted to film screenings on the terrace – complete with bottomless popcorn and a blanket, lest it get nippy.
Open: Year-round, 5pm-12am Mon-Wed, 5pm-2am Thu, 5pm-3am Fri-Sat, closed Sun.
What is it? A sprawling bar/club hybrid, with a rooftop which gets a new, ever-more-vibrant theme with every changing of the season.
Why go? If you head down before the end of summer, you’ll catch a Mexican theme, replete with mariachi music, frozen margaritas and more tequila shots than you could shake a piñata stick at.
Open: Year-round, 4pm-12am Mon-Wed, 4pm-2am Thu-Sat, 2pm-12am Sun.
What is it? This Camra award-winning boozer with a traditional feel serves up craft beer and modern food – and it has a relatively green roof terrace hidden above.
Why go? One word: beer. Expect eight real ales and nine craft kegs that change regularly, alongside Veltins, Brooklyn, Peroni, Meantime and Camden lagers on tap.
Open: Year-round, 11am-11pm Mon-Fri, 12pm-11pm Sat, 12pm-10:30pm Sun.
What is it? The super-sleek rooftop at the equally swanky Ace Hotel is famed for summer DJ sets and uber-cool fashion parties. It’s pretty exclusive, but open to the general public on Friday nights.
Why go? If you're trying to impress a date – or you just fancy being impressed in general – head here. The balcony is long, offering views all over the East End.
Open: Year-round, 6pm-11pm Fridays only, booking encouraged.
What is it? The dizzyingly high viewing platform-meets-cocktail bar at the top of the City's Heron Tower, also home to Duck & Waffle.
Why go? The view itself isn't the best on this side of the building, but the terrace is a sight to behold, with an enormous tree sculpture which sparkles after sunset.
Open: Year-round (weather permitting), 11.30am–1.30am Sun–Tue, 11.30am–2am Wed–Sat.
What is it? Formerly a bog-standard boozer, now a wannabe-boho hangout off Hoxton Square, with pizza on the menu and beer-engulfed benches on the roof.
Why go? Compared to some of Shoreditch’s busier, tackier rooftop hotspots, this one is more down-to-earth. Besides, the beer is cheap, and the pizza is delicious.
Open: Year-round, 12pm-11pm Mon-Thu, 12pm-12am Fri-Sat, 12pm-10:30pm Sun.