London’s rooftop bars are something of an obsession among savvy globetrotters. Offering startling panoramic views of one of the history’s most celebrated cities, these chic, elevated lounges are key destinations for hip adults visiting the city.
Anyone familiar with the evening ritual of shaking off the grind with a tall glass of Bordeaux or Chivas will delight in these high-quality taverns to visit during your London Town; here are the crème de la crème.
Topping off the list is a sushi bar loved by locals. As any experienced tourist will attest, if the locals like it, it’s worthwhile. That alone should put this raised pub on your radar.
To get to Sushisamba, you first enter the stylish, glass-walled elevator at the base of Sales Force Tower, and watch in delight as you are lifted thirty-eight eye-popping floors to your destination. Fortunately, the visual feast begun by the elevator ride does not end here.
Stepping out onto the terrace, you get a breathtaking view of the city, framed by the fabled Thames river. The focal point of the balcony is the sparkling tree sculpture, whose massive trunk, and gilded leaves are so instantly reminiscent of the white tree of Gondor; it makes any Lord of the Rings fan’s heart skip a beat. Beautiful during the day, the sculpture seems to absorb and reflect the spirit of London when the sun sets and the city lights sparkle against the orange leaves.
The people here are amiable and garrulous. The view is spectacular, the spirits are expertly prepared, and the food—Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian fusion—is as delicious as it is unique.
Dalston Roof Park
A mere three miles up Queensbridge Road sits Dalston Roof Park, a fairy tale location where the entire roof is covered with lush green grass, vibrant, seasonal flowers, and a veritable plethora of herbs used to garnish menu items, all of which is encased by an astonishingly white picket fence. Designed to replicate the organic simplicity of a classical English Garden, the setting makes dining and drinking here feel more like having a picnic in the park than sitting in a dark, depressing bar. Look up from your rural surroundings to see the skyline framed in by some of London’s most distinctive high-rises, and you are suddenly transported back to one of the most bustling urban centers of the world.
On occasion, the completely solar powered Dalston Roof Park will host movie nights, live bands, and other events that work together to make this location much more than a novelty. The food is excellent, the wait staff is quick and professional, and the atmosphere is unparalleled.
Two miles back down the Queensbridge Road, situated on London’s Eastside (not far from the infamous White Chapel area of the city), you will find The Boundary, which is more than simply another rooftop bar. The Boundary is an amalgamation of three award-winning restaurants, twelve guest bedrooms, five suites, a food store, and a bakery—all of which are deserving of their in-depth article.
Imagine a beautiful, vine-covered pergola with ripening olive trees dotting the premises. A large, decadently cushioned wicker sofa is situated before an expansive wood burning fireplace. The air holds a sweet suggestion of citrus, thanks to the living trees growing in the heated orangery. The picturesque panorama of London’s one-of-a-kind horizon is laid out before you. If it were possible to ignore the grandeur of the view (it isn’t), it would be a simple thing to mistake the setting for an evening spent in a vineyard in Tuscany or Bordeaux.
The quality of the food is superb; the awards are no fluke. The bar is known for serving hot cocktails to compliment the warmth of the open fireplace.
No list of London’s premier rooftop alcohol-centric establishments would be complete without a nod to Radio, a place so popular that many would-be patrons are frequently turned away.
Situated atop the ME London hotel and offering a 360-degree view of the central London Skyline—including Parliament, Tower Bridge, and Somerset House—Radio Rooftop’s views are second to none. Much like The Boundary, Radio Rooftop’s courtyard is replete with downy sofas that maximize comfort, while a unique, retractable roof and industrial heaters provide coziness all year round.
Featuring sharp angles, a fresh color scheme, and a minimalist’s perspective, Radio Rooftop’s design has a sleekly modern appeal coinciding perfectly with the occasional light shows visible from the setting.
Accessible only via a private lift, the Coq d’Argent is one of the most exclusive rooftop bars in the city. Much like Dalston Roof Park, the Coq d’Argent boasts its own lush lawn; this one is surrounded by immaculately trimmed hedges framing the ringed walkway.
Situated in the city’s center, the rustically elegant Coq d’Argent provides a haunting view includes St Paul’s Cathedral as well as the Gherkin. Not willing to sacrifice quality for style, the Coq d’Argent’s menu offers some of the most delectable French cuisine in the city, as well as a vast array of spirits. Your path to these paradisiacal perches, from Sushisamba to Radio Rooftop and beyond, begins with a selecting a luxury vacation rental in London.