10 best rooftop bars in London to enjoy outdoor cocktails at, as lockdown eases

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  • Come 12th April, restaurants and pubs will be serving customers outdoors again - as long as you're seated at a table.

    Public service announcement: after a long, cold, dark winter, lockdown restrictions are finally easing in England next week, which means one thing, and one thing only: it’s time to book a table at one of the best rooftop bars in London, stat.

    According to the latest from the government, pubs and restaurants will be legally allowed to reopen in England from Monday 12th April. This is under the provision that customers are served outdoors and order, eat and drink while seated at their table.

    You can go with up to six people, or an unlimited number of people, as long as you belong to two households. The government are advising people to stick to social distancing rules and wear a face covering when not seated.

    Gyms are reopening, as are lidos, beauty salons, hairdressers, high street shops, spas and more. In a word: hooray!

    So, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best rooftop bars in London offering everything from cosy corners, to stunning views, to space for six, to unforgettable food.

    Not sure you fancy it? Look at it this way: rooftop bars offer a lovely spot to while away a balmy spring evening, drink in hand. Plus, they offer the opportunity to eat food you haven’t cooked yourself – what a treat – and a chance to reconnect with friends you might not have seen for the best part of a year.

    If you’re looking for a hangout to enjoy a cocktail or two, then look no further than our roundup of the best rooftop bars in London. It’s time to head skywards and leave the City behind…

    10 best rooftop bars in London

    1. Skylight Rooftop, Wapping

    Best rooftop bars in London: a Skylight igloo

    Credit: Chris Orange

    Opening? Monday 12th April

    Fairy lights? Check. Igloos? Check. Delicious food? Check. Skylight is London’s largest outdoor venue and the ultimate rooftop playground, too. There are igloos and huts full of fluffy pillows and blankets so that you can enjoy a drink or two under the stars. Worried the weather might take a turn as it’s still, ahem, April?  You’re outdoors but under cover here, and able to enjoy irresistible food from their assortment of street food trucks.

    On the COVID front, they share: “Full table service will remain in place in all areas until 21st June – sit back relax and let us bring delicious food & drinks straight to you. Our games will resume on 21st May.”

    For more information, visit www.tobaccodocklondon.com/skylight

    2. Seabird, Southwark

    Best rooftop bars in London: Seabird in Southwark

    Credit: Seabird

    Opening? Monday 12th April

    If you’re looking for a rooftop bar and restaurant with incredible panoramic views of the city, an impressive food and drinks menu and some serious Gatsby decor, look no further than Seabird. Head to the top floor of The Hoxton and wrap up on the rooftop with the Rubis cocktail in hand (trust us, it’s divine). Surrounded by lush plants, glittering fairy lights and a beautiful outlook of the capital, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better skyline spot for a tipple and delicious Portugese and Spanish influenced plates.

    Sample some of the freshest fish dishes – start with a selection of fifteen delicious sweet or salty oysters (they’re the proud owners of London’s longest oyster list) from the UK to France to Portugal. Then dive into a number of small plates – the mouthwatering octopus roll and heirloom tomatoes are highly recommended. And no visit is complete without tucking into a sensational seafood main, whether you’re tempted by the Cornish plaice or mackerel. Treat yourself to a dessert cocktail as you sit back and enjoy the lively atmosphere until midnight during the week and 1am on weekends.

    You’ll be seated outside in a COVID-secure environment, the hotel reassures.

    For more information, visit https://thehoxton.com/london/southwark/restaurants-and-bars/seabird

    3. Rooftop St. James, Trafalgar Square

    Best rooftop bars in London: The Rooftop at St James

    Credit: The Rooftop St James

    Opening? Monday 12th April

    Head to the West End and prepare to get your cosy at this sky-high rooftop. Outside, you can tuck yourself under a blanket and order a St Moritz to sip under the stars. As you look out on the twinkling city lights, you’ll soon forget about the stress of the last year, instead soaking up the sights from this central London spot.

    And it’s not just a hangout for a quick cocktail, either. Settle in and order some sharers – the Pork Rillettes, Gnocci Gratin or Macaroni Cheese will go down a treat.

    For more information, visit https://trafalgarstjames.com/the-rooftop

    4. Boundary London Rooftop, Shoreditch

    Best rooftop bars in London: Boundary

    Credit: Boundary

    Opening? Monday 12th April

    Hidden atop the Boundary Hotel on a quiet Shoreditch street is a beautiful rooftop offering a heated glass Orangery and cosy outdoor terrace. Enter through a fairy light tunnel where you’ll be greeted with fur-lined seats, ceilings adorned with plants and gorgeous views of east London. With the option to sit under cover or beneath a heater in the open, it’s a quiet little spot in an otherwise busy corner of the city – perfect for a first date, catch up after work or simply because you want to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen because of lockdown.

    Pop open a bottle of wine, order the salt and pepper calamari or spiced monkfish tempura to whet your appetite. Relax in the hippest area in town – seriously worth the visit.

    For more information, visit https://boundary.london/rooftop/

    5. Coq D’Argent, Bank

    Best rooftop bars in London: Coq d'Argent

    Credit: Coq d’Argent

    Opening? Monday 12th April

    Zip up the glass elevator at 1 Poultry and head to Coq D’Argent, a gorgeous rooftop bar, restaurant and terrace. It’s under cover but still out in the open, and you’ll be able to view the sparkling skyline whilst enjoying a number of classic cocktails. Unforgettable views and rich green foliage make this a must-visit spot during the summer months.

    Sample the bar menu until 11pm during the week. There’s a creamy hummus on offer, as well as Cajun buttermilk chicken with spicy mayonnaise and a Savoyard charcuterie platter.

    For more information, visit https://www.coqdargent.co.uk/

    6. Frank’s Cafe

    Best rooftop bars: A photo of Frank's Cafe

    Credit: Frank’s Cafe

    Opening? Tuesday 13th April

    Arguably Peckham’s best rooftop bar, Frank’s Cafe has legendary status in South London. It’s huge, with space to enjoy stunning sunsets over the city while socially distanced from other people, and is the perfect place to sit, relax and refresh after a long day. Offering everything from evening drinks, to daytime small plates and brunch, too, there’s something for everyone.

    It’s also got an interesting history, being the first big project from Practice Architecture. It was once an abandoned car park, now transformed into one of the best rooftop bars in London. Neat.

    For more information, head to www.boldtendancies.com

    7. Radio Rooftop 

    Best rooftop bars: The view from Radio Rooftop

    Credit: Radio Rooftop

    Opening? Monday 12th April.

    There’s a reason Radio Rooftop is one of the most iconic rooftop bars in London – we mean, just look at that view. It’ll be found on the tenth floor of the ME building, and as you can see, has gorgeous views of central London. Head for breakfast, lunch, drinks or dinner.

    This one is much fancier than Franks, but a great spot for a date night or dressing up with friends. Do note, there is a dress code – they ask you to be both ‘smart and glamorous’.

    For more information, head to www.radiorooftop.com

    8. Queen of Hoxton

    Best rooftop bars in London: Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch

    Credit: Queen of Hoxton

    Opening? Monday 12th April

    Located in – yep, you guessed it – Hoxton, this popular city bar is also a club by night. Sadly, the club won’t be open for the foreseeable, but you can enjoy live music, DJ sets and neon signs galore, all from the comfort of your table on the roof. You can order everything from fruity cocktails, to Moet slushies, to local lagers and wine, too. If you get hungry, they serve both kitchen and BBQ food – think burgers, fries and hot dogs – and the view over London is pretty impressive, too.

    Guaranteed to be a fun and buzzy night out. Enjoy.

    For more information, head to www.queenofhoxton.com

    9. The Abbey Tavern

    Best rooftop bars in London: The Abbey Tavern

    Credit: The Abbey Tavern

    Opening? Monday 12th April

    If you live near Camden or Kentish Town, you’ll have been to The Abbey Tavern. It’s one of the biggest rooftop bars in the area, with an outdoors beer garden, to boot, and promises both a buzzy atmosphere, drinks on tap, and delicious pub-style grub from Nanny Bill’s. Think burgers with gravy bowls to dip and mac and cheese croquettes.

    It does get busy, so make sure you book when you can – we can only see it getting booked up for the summer months.

    For more on how to book The Abbey Tavern, head to their website: www.abbey-tavern.com

    10. NT’s

    Best rooftop bars in London: NTs in Hackney

    Credit: NT’s

    Opening? Thursday 15th April

    NT’s is your best bet if you live in East London or spend a lot of your time in Hackney. Situated in Netil House, it’s a bit of a speakeasy in that it’s hidden away – you wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew.

    Asides from being inconspicuous, it’s a big space with loads of rooms for enjoying a drink at a social distance. You’ll get to soak up the views of East London and enjoy a heated roof terrace which, at this time of year, will actually be pretty game-changing, we reckon.

    Enjoy your standard beers, wines and spirits, and a

    For more information, head to www.ntbar.co.uk

    So there you have it – some of the best rooftop bars in London. Bookings will fill up fast, so do make sure you book your table ASAP. What are you waiting for? Get booking!

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