Its officially rooftop season, and those scattered about the Square Mile are not holding back this summer as they host a huge array of parties in the sun.
Long days and warm nights are finally upon us people. Get excited. This is when the City comes alive, and it’s probably the only time we Londoners get our recommended daily dose of Vitamin D.
For but a few months each summer, we’re able to lay about on rooftops and terraces during the day, getting brown (or pink) and dehydrated while drinking plentiful amounts of Pimm’s and G&Ts.
The balmy nights then make for superb outdoor parties above the City skyline, or even for a cheeky rooftop film screening.
And the Square Mile is packed with rooftop bars and restaurants which boast views of the area’s most iconic landmarks. Check out our top picks.
This is a relatively new rooftop for the City, situated on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel. From the sky-high terrace, you can look out on Tower Bridge, the Shard, the Walkie Talkie and the Gherkin all the while sipping on a whole host of signature cocktails. And if it rains (because let’s be honest, this is London) they still have plenty of indoor seating by the floor-to-ceiling windows. Check out the weekly cocktail masterclasses for extra summertime indulgence.
14th Floor Dorsett City, 9 Aldgate High Street EC3N 1AH
Wide open rooftop spaces are almost unheard of in the Square Mile, but Coq d’Argent has somehow managed to put vast lawns up on theirs in Bank. It’s the perfect green retreat within a concrete jungle. You could spend an entire day and night up here, tucking into world-class French cooking, cocktails aplenty, and even some luxury caviar for the classier diners out there. All they need is a croquet set to tie it all together.
No.1 Poultry EC2R 8EJ
London’s newest public rooftop garden has got to get a mention. It forms a great part of the Corporation’s City Plan 2036, in which more economically inclusive and environmentally-friendly developments are being encouraged around the Square Mile. Plus, it adds a bit more fun to the whole area, making it far less business oriented. For now, you can bring your own food and drink up to the Garden at 120, but by the end of the year D&D will have launched a whole new bar and restaurant on the premises. It’s only going to get better.
120 Fenchurch Street EC3M 5BA
Come here for pure luxury. The restaurant and lounge bar just scream cool and class – as do a lot of the guests who casually sip on Champagne for breakfast and lunch. Come for drinks, tapas and the spectacular views overlooking the Thames and surrounding City. Just make sure you dress up when visiting, as they don’t let just any riff raff up to the top.
336-337 Strand WC2R 1HA
This public rooftop is best known for its association with the Madison restaurant and bar which shares the space. But few know that you don’t need to dine here to enjoy the views overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral throughout the week. And for summer, they also host yoga classes up above the City skyline, as well as free screenings of Wimbledon matches. So, come up here to stretch and wake up with a little vinyasa before watching tennis greats play some sets, and then end up at Madison for late night drinking and eating – it’s all too easy.
One New Change EC4M 9AF
Sadly, this one isn’t named after the Australian pop duo – so don’t expect any Truly, Madly, Deeply to be playing in the background. But do get around rooftop afternoon teas, weekend brunch menu, meaty food boards for all the City carnivores out there, as well as the obligatory summertime cocktails.
12th floor, Doubletree by Hilton, 7 Pepys Street EC3N 4AF
Up on the 38th floor of Heron Tower lies the highest outdoor terrace in Europe. You’ll certainly get a little vertigo as you take the glass elevator up to the top, quickly rising above the Square Mile. But it’s totally worth it. Sit out under an impressive tree shaped artwork, lit up by the luminescent bar, before heading inside to feast on a blend of Peruvian, Japanese and Brazilian food in their huge restaurant. And if you’re looking to stay super late, head up one floor to Duck & Waffle for 24-hour dining (but sadly no outdoor seating).
110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY