Sun is shining, weather is is sweet, which can only mean one thing – after-work drinks. It’s funny how at this time of year, your usual Thursday night slump in front of the telly becomes a glittering itinerary of parties, events and catch-ups – here at BOWER, we’re all for it. London might not have the same beach situ as San Antonio, but it makes up for it with a bunch of great rooftop bars to eat, drink and be merry with your work mates.
Shutdown your laptop and dust of your sunnies with our pick of the best rooftop bars in London for warm, late nights after long work days…
Perched on top of a multi-storey car park at Tobacco Dock (one of our favourite event spaces) you’ll find Skylight – an ‘urban lawn club in the sky’, as they like to put it. Open Thursday – Sunday throughout summer, expect good drinks, a watching-Wimbledon-in-the-sunshine vibe and even croquet and boules (nothing like some friendly competition after sharing a bottle of wine, eh?) If you’re tasked with planning a work event, this is a good one to choose.
A top pick for food and drink, the Culpeper grow their own vegetables on their rooftop garden and the bar is basically placed around it. In other words, it’s more like a garden with a bar, than a bar with a garden. Their entire menu (of the food and cocktail variety) is seasonal, using ingredients grown on their rooftop garden and they’ve always got unusual events on – like rooftop astronomy or make your own pom-pom peony classes (which we think would go well with some Pinot Grigio, just to continue the alliteration). The open greenery is a welcome contrast from the sweaty confines of the tube (let’s not even think about it) and the seasonal menu is an all-round winner.
Just a hop, skip and shuffle from London Fields, this chill, rooftop bar is by the team who brought you Night Tales and Fat Baby. Big, open space, 360 degree views of the city (as you probably guessed by the name) and surrounded by other cool hangouts, if you want to
pull a sickie the next day make a night of it.
If you’ve got someone to impress (like the big boss, or some boujee clients) take them here – it’s quite posh, but in a good way. In their own words “the rooftop is the perfect destination for lazy lunches, afternoon cocktails, balmy evenings and cozy night alike” – consider us sold. They have a rooftop orangery, a great food menu and a private dining space, which again, could make it an amazing summer event pick.
Set in the heart of Peckham, Bussey sits on top of an old industrial building. Expect lots and tables and seats (YES!) with a killer street food menu and an entire section dedicated to pimped up chips – enough said. There’s a great, laid-back vibe that doesn’t make you feel like you need to own a yacht to be there and they often team up with Rooftop Film Club for viewings of your favourite movies – Cruel Intentions anyone? A BOWER favourite every year.
Hovering above the madness of Oxford Circus, you’ll find this rooftop escape. Aqua Spirit has two beautiful terraces and an extensive cocktail menu. It’s right in the city centre and pretty fancy, but well worth a visit if you’re nearby, have something to celebrate or just want to feel like a celeb.
A buzzy spot (sorry) that’s ideal if you want to sit and chat – it’s not too crazy and loud. The rooftop is a colourfully-lit terrace with a retractable canopy (incase it rains for 10 minutes) and even a fire-pit for when the sun goes down. Happy Hour is Tuesday-Thursday from 5pm – 7pm, which sounds like pretty perfect timing to us.
If like us, you spent most of last summer in Pergola Paddington, you’ll be excited to hear they’re back with a new venue in Kensington! All we know so far is that there are loads of plants, three restaurants, two bars and amazing views over the city. Oh and three restaurants include Mamalan (for some seriously good Chinese food), CLAW (who first started serving up lobster and crab treats at Kings Cross Market) and Jeffries (fried chicken by burger gods, Patty & Bun) So yeah, save us a seat, we’ll be there at 6.
Named after – and inspired by – Napoleon’s exile to the island of Elba, where he basically partied with 600 of his mates for 300 days, Bar Elba lives up to its namesake. If you’ve ever been to its sister venue, Tonight Josephine, just head up the stairs for this fun, lively, go-with-your-best-work-mates hotspot. Their motto is ‘Liberté, Egalité, Rosé’ – which we think we might adopt as our own.
With panoramic views across the Thames – where you can see pretty much every London landmark from the one spot in Kensington – Radio Rooftop Bar is a must for someone visiting London, or a local who just wants to appreciate their home city. It’s open for afternoon tea and drinks late into the night, with a cool, Ibiza, VIP vibe (there’s a dress code and everything). Another good place to take clients (especially out-of-town clients) or for an all-out payday night out with friends.
We can practically hear the ice clinking in our glass already. Are there any we’ve missed? Get in touch to be added to our black book.