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Best Rooftop Bars in London

With a skyline as iconic as London’s, a gem of an activity is to brunch, lunch or watch the sunset from the capital’s eclectic, welcoming rooftop bars, clubs and lounges. Because picture-perfect memories are important, here are the best rooftop bars in London for every occasion. 

Garden Rooftop Restaurant and Bar London

In London, there’s all too often an urge to hurtle down Oxford Street to shop, get those I’ve-been-there photos at the Tower, Millennium Bridge, Buckingham Palace. But better is to take a moment to live the experience, sharing company, good food and a stunning view – and give yourself a break.

On Charing Cross Road, high above Leicester Square is the lush, botanical Garden Rooftop bar and restaurant. Floor to ceiling windows, which open wide as the city heats up in summer, give every seat in the house its own unique view, with the Eye, the Shard, the Cheesegrater peeping out behind trailing foliage and abundant window boxes. 

Its bottomless weekend brunch is an incredible way to set up for a day of shopping in Covent Garden then catching a matinee in Theatreland. Come evening, its Saturday Supper Club weaves an adventure of cocktails and bubbles, DJs, live entertainers and a two-course Italian menu.

LSQ Rooftop Cocktails London

High above the treetops and wide streets of the West End, LSQ Rooftop has an air of club sophistication, with a typically British version of understated glamour and a view that sits supreme through tinted windows and beyond the wrap-around balcony.

That London skyline inspires the astonishing collection of signature cocktails. Take a chocolate-coffee creamy Big Ben, enjoy an exciting twist on the colonial G&T with The Shard, a mix of gin, basil, cucumber and egg white. To celebrate England’s seafaring history, the humour of a Nelson’s Tower, with Kraken rum and passion fruit, is exquisite.

LSQ Rooftop is fabulous if you’re in town for a Leicester Square premiere or you just fancy some effortlessly chic pre- and post-theatre cocktails or nightcaps to bookend opening night on Shaftesbury Avenue.

12th Knot Rooftop Club London

With delightful confidence, 12th Knot brings colour to a most incredible skyline. From the bright-and-breezy Southbank, across the Thames, plush sofas, banquettes and impressively modern chandeliers pay tribute to the cocktails rolling out from the shiny gold bar. 

There’s a sense of Great Gatsby and roaring 20s hedonism in this bar very much for the socialites of this century. It has a vibrant energy equal only to the lights glittering across the water of the world’s longest public art commission, Illuminated River, “an orchestrated series of light works that span nine London bridges.”  

Sip on your season-celebrating ingredient-led cocktail while a saxophonist plays gentle Sunday jazz or make a night of it as London’s hottest bands and DJs bring the party with live music from Wednesday to Saturday. 

Alto by San Carlo at Selfridges Rooftop Lounge London

For a rooftop lounge in London, Alto by San Carlo is up there – pun intended. The jewel in the crown of Oxford Street’s first ever department store, the famously classic Selfridges, Alto by San Carlo is a Mediterranean dream. Inspired by the Amalfi coast, its citrus plants and cooling sea breeze, chic beach huts and hanging vines above woven bamboo furniture, Alto by San Carlo transports you from the bustle of London to the Italian coast.

Here, that dream of a crisp lunchtime glass of Gavi playing a stunning supporting role to plate grilled seafood comes true. Here, that evening Aperol Spritz tastes all the better as the sun dips beneath the western horizon under a mackerel sky. Here, dishes are perfect for sharing and the exceptional ingredients are artfully designed and prepared to engage all the senses.

When the sun’s out, so is the sky. If the English weather does what it does so well and changes, the roof closes the rain out but keeps the view front and centre.