There’s nothing like a rooftop bar in summer – and while old favourites like Frank’s Cafe in Peckham, Radio in Covent Garden and The Boundary in Shoreditch are timeless places to drink, it’s always worth trying somewhere new. Here are a raft of fresh rooftops that have recently opened, all well worth raising a glass on this summer. Cheers to listless sky-high summertime evenings.
A short walk from the City into Shoreditch, TT Liquor is a charming oddity. Inside, it’s essentially a bottle shop, with countless varieties of spirits made by quirky independent producers. There’s also a bar downstairs for subterranean sups. But now there’s a place to take a friend or date outdoors – onto their newly repurposed rooftop. Given how intimate the bar downstairs feels, the rooftop is surprisingly vast. With covered and open areas, it serves a seasonal cocktail menu from the afternoon until late at night. Views of east London aren’t the highest, but it’s a vibey spot nonetheless.
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The former BBC Building in White City is an iconic location to raise a glass. With the original white circular design detailing still intact from the days when this place was the filming location for all manner of weekly entertainment shows like Breakfast with Frost and Jonathan Ross, now there’s a new rooftop bar, Aerial Rooftop, to enjoy drinks and BBQ food. There’s also a range of summer events, with DJs on Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturdays, as well as rooftop yoga – hopefully with a spot of sun.
Okay, so Savage Garden opened in 2018, so it’s not technically brand new – but it’s new enough that we’re still excited about it. With more excellent City views, the rooftop of the DoubleTree by Hilton London at Tower Hill has one of the best London rooftop bars, with a classic cocktail selection, and there’s more room to move than some rooftops, with two spacious terraces to explore. Then there’s the intriguing bar food menu, teasing that it’s “bar food, but not as you know it.” In reality, they’re rather more ordinary-sounding: buttermilk chicken sliders, roasted cauliflower and charred octopus makes the current menu.
If you’ve got friends who smugly boast about how great life in Tooting is, now’s the time to finally visit. While most of the best London rooftop bars are in east London, this new rooftop spot in Tooting is well worth a visit. Right in the thick of it, minutes from the food market where fresh food traders rub shoulders with contemporary restaurants and bars in an intimate, undercover market setting. But end your visit at Corin Tooting, where an extensive calendar of summertime events includes jazz and blues chillout nights Mondays through to Wednesdays, live jazz on Thursdays, blues brunches on Sundays and DJs every Friday. Drinks-wise, it’s all about cocktails celebrating London’s mixology scene.
For a new perspective of the City of London, try Glasshouse. A short walk from Holborn station, the bar has incredible views of the City’s towering skyscrapers, and a retractable roof just in case the heavens open. It’s on the roof of the trendy NYX hotel, where design plays a big part, so expect bold colours and eccentric design pieces. Cocktails are spins on the classics, and we’ve got our eye on the Orb Fashioned, with Highland park single malt, Disaronno Amaretto, pistachio syrup and chocolate bitters.