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Queen of Hoxton

The best rooftop bars in Shoreditch

The finest alfresco roof gardens, decks and terraces on which to drink and dance the summer evenings away – and now open for bookings again

By Bobby Palmer
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Rooftop bars have become essential this summer in London. Of course, there are 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? Not only do they provide a safer outdoor space for socialising, but they’ve given us a sense of escapism after weeks between the same four walls.

Luckily, there are still at least a few weeks left to treat the capital like it exists in warmer climes and to make the most of the views, the cocktails, and 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 now open again for bookings.

Shoreditch’s best rooftop bars

Aviary

Restaurants Global Moorgate

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 was once hugely popular with the post-work crowd. Cuddle up on modernist furniture and sink spritzes till the sun don’t shine.

Open: year-round, 11am-11.30pm Sun-Wed, 11am-midnight Thu-Sat, terrace closes at 10pm every day.

Boundary Rooftop

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Shoreditch

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, 4-11pm Mon-Thu, noon-11pm Fri-Sun. 

 

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Golden Bee

Bars and pubs Shoreditch

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) – but note, there’s now a cover charge to enter. 

Open: year-round, 5pm-midnight Mon-Wed, 5pm-1am Thu, 5pm-2am Fri-Sat, 2pm-10pm Sun. Entry charge of £5 on Thu, and £10 on Fri and Sat. 

Old Fountain

Bars and pubs Old Street

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 and now taking bookings.

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, noon-10pm Mon-sat, noon-7pm Sun.

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Queen of Hoxton

Clubs Shoreditch

What is it? A sprawling bar-club hybrid, with a rooftop that gets a new, ever-more-vibrant theme with every changing of the season.

Why go? This year, think less themed, more Covid-safe. Don’t worry, for fun there are still champagne slushies.

Open: year-round, 4pm-9pm Thu, 1pm-9pm Fri, noon-9pm Sat, 1pm-7pm Sun.

RedLionDining_BJ_005.jpg
© Britta Jaschinski

The Red Lion

Bars and pubs Hoxton

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, 5pm-11pm Wed-Thu, 2pm-midnight Fri-Sat, 5pm-10.30pm Sun.

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© Guy Dimond

Sushisamba Bar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Liverpool Street

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 isn’t the best on this side of the building, but the terrace is a sight to behold, with an enormous tree sculpture that sparkles after sunset. 

Open: year-round (weather permitting), 5pm-midnight Tue-Wed, noon-2am Thu-Sat, noon-9pm Sun.

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