Top 5: Rooftop Bars in London

Sian Brett

Summer is edging its way round the corner and we are itching to get outside for drinks in the sunshine. In our opinion, there’s nowhere better than a rooftop bar to enjoy the dwindling sunshine of an evening, as all of London stretches out in front of you, and getting up for work the next day feels like a distant far off problem that belongs to someone else…

Skylight

This bar at Tobacco Dock is not only a soon to be opened summer hot spot but in the winter months it’s the home of ice skating, fondue and ice hockey, making it the perfect outdoor bar spot all year round. Reopening in early May for fun in the sun, Skylight offers stunning views and tasty cocktails, as well as croquet and pétanque for the more competitive amongst you. The relaxed benches and greenery make it feel like you’re chilling in your pals back garden, but with the added joy of bar staff on hand to mix up a cocktail and with the gherkin twinkling in the distance.
 
Skylight Bar reopens 4 May and is located at Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street, Entrance, St Katherine’s and Wapping.
 
Frank’s Cafe
Frank’s Cafe, on top of a multi-storey carpark in Peckham ©Mark Dodds

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Frank’s Cafe, the bar that Peckham stalwarts might think at the heart of the rejuvenation going on. Between May and September, you can find stunning views of London atop a car park in Peckham, as you surround yourself with every Goldsmiths student and Peckham arty type imaginable. Weave your way through the car park stairs with their baby pink walls, ceiling and floor, (stopping to get a photo for the ‘gram obviously) and emerge onto a rooftop bathed in sunset. This year sees the team at Frank’s hiring new chefs so await the exciting new food on offer too.
 
Frank’s Café reopens on 18 May and is located at Bold Tendencies, 7th-10th Floor Multi Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST.
 
Bar Elba
Bar Elba (c) Finch Interiors

Located just opposite Waterloo Station, Bar Elba is named after the island Napoleon was exiled to, alongside 600 of his closest friends and his horse Marengo. If that’s exile then we want in. Luckily Bar Elba offers the chance. Happy hour every day of the week, fairy lights strung up everywhere, a paradise theme and a view of the heart of London all combine to make a chilled out party atmosphere perfect to while away the hours in, or snuggle up as the sunset glints off the Shard.
 
Bar Elba is located at Rooftop Mercury House, 109-117 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8UL.
 
Piculpeper at The Culpeper

Sat on the roof of the beautiful Culpeper pub, Piculpeper is home to a cucumber garden as well as a bar, making the most of the East End sun to cultivate a roof garden that not only has cocktails and food but also workshops on everything from astronomy to gardening. Piculpeper is at The Culpeper in collaboration with Studio London, whose founders were intrigued by the anthropomorphic quality of cucumber plants and have turned the whole rooftop into a celebration of them. If greenery is your thing, then this is the rooftop bar for you.
 
Piculpeper is located at 40 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LP.
 
The Boundary

Another bar, another stunning view. The Boundary sits in the perfect position for a view of the City, as you sit cosily in their orangery surrounded by tiny orange trees that make you feel like you’re not in London at all. If you want to escape the inside and get the true rooftop bar experience, the bar, grill and outdoor terrace awaits. From spring to summer the menu at the boundary is inspired by the Mediterranean, full of fish and fresh salads, whilst come winter it takes its inspiration from the Alpine regions, offering a ski resort feel as you sit cosily inside.
 
The Boundary is located at 2-4 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DD.
 

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