Where to Drink: Rooftop Bars in London

Billie Manning

Every week we highlight a new opening and the best of similar bars in London. This week, from cosy chilled-out spaces to high-end glitzy restaurants overlooking the city’s skyscrapers, we pick out some of the best rooftop bars you should be spending your summer evenings at.

Spotlight on: Near & Far, Camden
If you want a taste of California in your backyard, Near & Far will definitely tickle your fancy. The new location in Camden expands on the group's signature retro Cali vibes, and the venue covers an impressive four floors, with two bars, a dining area, a lounge and most excitingly, a palm tree-filled roof terrace - perfect for getting away from the always buzzing hustle and bustle of Camden Market below, or relaxing after some shopping with some summery cocktails.

Other than cocktails, there'll be a wide selection of wines, beers and mocktails to enjoy, and while you're sipping you can nod along to the music: the bar will be hosting DJs every weekend, with the focus on Latin and Balearic house music. Food will be provided by South Eastern Mexican street food purveyors Elote, whose entirely gluten-free menu includes their signature Eloté de Callejeros (juicy chargrilled corn with creamy chipotle and queso), vegan chickpea chips and more tacos, quesadillas and tostadas than you can shake a tortilla at.


Best of the rest:
Frank's Café
What? The bar at the top of that infamous South London car park
Where? Peckham
Why? This is the best view south of the city, and the car park is always filled with opportunities for fun activities. Frank's reopens in May
What? That bar that had the rooftop ice rink in the winter
Where? Tobacco Dock
Why? Skylight redesigns the space every season, offering different activities, food and cocktails each time, so you can be sure to feel sunny as all hell as soon as you step foot into their summer theme with croquet, pétanque and street food. Skylight reopens in May
Bar Elba
What? A bar named after the island Napoleon was 'exiled' to with 600 of his mates...
Where? Waterloo
Why? Happy hour every day of the week, a paradise theme, fairy lights and a beautiful view - what more could we ask for?
The Culpeper
What? A rooftop bar above a pub
Where? Spitalfields
Why? Last year, the Culpeper brought the piculpeper into our lives, a giant anthropomorphic pickle (which you can still get a glimpse of right now). This year, they're bringing a new rooftop surprise, and we can't wait to see how they top last summer

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