The best London rooftop bars for summer 2021

By Tempus | 29 Jul 2021 | Indulge, Travel

Take to the skies at these buzzing nightlife hotspots

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In the wake of "Freedom Day" and the lifting of lockdown restrictions in the UK, millions of Londoners have been looking to get back among the hustle and bustle of the city's peerless nightlife, which has been abuzz with the communal excitement of being able to once again experience the city's vibrant social scene.

But while you may have a soft spot for your local pub or neighbourhood bar, why not commemorate this unique summer (and treat yourself after a difficult year) by taking to the skies and with your friends for something a little more extravagant? Here, Tempus takes a look at the best rooftop bars in London serving now.

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Radio Rooftop, ME London Hotel’s iconic bar with panoramic views of London re-opened on in spring, allowing guests to enjoy the changing views of the capital stretching from the Shard and St Paul’s downstream, to the London Eye and Big Ben in the west.

Located a stone’s throw from the bustling streets of Soho, Radio Rooftop presents an incomparable space in London, where guests can enjoy live music and DJ sets along with a sophisticated food and drink offering.

Guests can pre-book afternoon or evening sessions to ensure they’re in the prime spot for sun downers and a spot of alfresco dining.

336 Strand, London WC2R 1HA

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Sabine, London’s newest rooftop bar, opened in the heart of St Paul’s on Godliman Street on 20 May. With spectacular views of the cathedral and its own destination entrance, Sabine is a stunning venue with a chilled vibe and botanical interiors  – a verdant oasis in the heart of The City. From afterwork drinks to weekend lounging, Sabine offers two outside terraces, one with a retractable roof for all weather drinking and dining.

The menu features accessible and seasonally-changing small plates that take you to warmer climes, from burrata with white peach, pistachio and toast; and chilli and lemon crab sticks with brown crab ketchup; through to larger sharers of grilled octopus with Mojo Rojo sauce. Cocktails, like the décor, take a botanical theme, and sit alongside a range of craft beers, local gins, premium spirits, wines and champagnes. Escape the concrete jungle and head to London’s hottest sky bar.

Unit 7, 10 Godliman St, London EC4V 5AJ

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Leicester Square’s famed open-air bar, The Rooftop at The Hippodrome Casino, is open for business. Perched five stories above London’s glittering West End, The Rooftop is The Hippodrome’s latest opening and is open until 2am, making it one of London’s few late-night al fresco destinations.

Spread across three spacious floors, The Rooftop offers an open-air oasis in the heart of the West End - the perfect spot for socially distanced drinks and light bites with your five favourite friends. Retractable roofs and terrace heaters mean you’re covered – literally – if we have more miserable August rain showers hit.

Make up for nights lost to lockdown with signature cocktails shaken and stirred – try the Double Trouble (Ketel One vodka, crème de cassis, orgeat syrup, blackberries, lime and mango) or a Lychee Tang (Bombay gin, peach liqueur, lychee, peach purée and lemon). The bar will also stock an extensive selection of draught and bottled beers and ciders, spirits and mixers and light, summery wines and champagnes hand chosen for al fresco evenings by Head of Wine, Salvo Russo. 

Cranbourn St, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7JH

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Skylight Rooftop, known for its panoramic and uninterrupted views across London’s skyline and expansive space, came surging back to life in April after a long period of isolation. Up here, Londoners are finally be able to meet up with friends and family at one of the city’s favourite outdoor venues while soaking up the sun and enjoying food, drink and good times in a safe, clean, open-air environment.

The popular tropical beer terrace by Mexican pale lager Corona has returned, situated on Skylight's highest level and boasting some of the best views of the city. The terrace not only is decorated with tropical (and instagrammable!) foliage, it's also home to cushioned seating areas and garden booths as well as a pop-up bar serving pints of ice-cold refreshing lager. Skylight also welcomed back its games schedule throughout the spring and summer, starting with Pétanque since 17th May and followed by indoor and outdoor croquet since 21st June.

Tobacco Dock, Wapping, London E1W 2SF

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Sunborn's pitch to pandemic-weary socialites is hard to turn down, inviting patrons to enjoy the easing of lockdown measures on the top deck of London’s only superyacht hotel.

The team at Sunborn London are excited to announce that their outdoor bar and lounge experiences, for a max capacity of 100 people across its three decks, are now open and in full swing. Get onboard for a unique experience on the UK’s only luxury yacht hotel, boasting stunning cityscape views from each of the four decks. Guests can enjoy the mesmerising London skyline whilst enjoying an expertly prepared cocktail and delicious food.

Additional features such as outdoor heaters and awnings mean that a chill in the air or a bit of rain won’t dampen any spirits.

Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1AA

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With two terraces to choose from, Londoners can return to this famed Baker Street hub to reunite with loved ones and to indulge in a romantic, cosy evening on the secluded terrace nestled amongst the rooftops of Marylebone.

A playful selection of cocktails are available on the terrace, served by expert in-house mixologist Peppe Corallo (Mr Foggs, Aqua and Nobu). New additions include Enola and The Saffronita, which combines Tequila Tapatio Blanco and Italicus Bergamot liquor with lemon juice, grapefruit juice, Oleo Saccarum and egg white (or Aquafaba) to reflect the Mediterranean flavours featured on the menu.

Other popular staples such as Sherlock’s Pipe and the herbal hibiscus and elderflower infused K T Time, served in a teapot as a nod to Ms. Hudson’s teatime ritual, will also impress, thanks to the theatrical experience delivered with each serve. Furthermore, the wine list is a journey of old and new world with famous chateaux and exciting smaller producers which will give oenophiles plenty of interest.

108 Baker St, London W1U 6LJ

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Not to be confused with The Rooftop at The Hippodrome, this fabulous terrace bar features iconic views of the London skyline, with guests able to catch glimpses of Big Ben, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square. 

The outdoor space with the view of Trafalgar Square has been available for booking since April, with a menu that includes small sharing plates as well as substantial mains from the grill taking inspiration from Japan, Korea and beyond.

2 Spring Gardens, St. James's, London SW1A 2TS