London is home to some of the most remarkable towering buildings and skyscrapers in the world, and you only have to plant yourself anywhere in the central area and look up to appreciate their prominent and striking presence. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of London’s rooftops aren’t simply empty spaces, but have been used to house some of the capital’s most exclusive and breathtaking bars and restaurants. They may hopelessly cling onto the optimism of British weather’s good fortune, but if you’re coming to London in the summertime and have caught the sun out with this hat on, our favourite London alfresco bars are definite hotspots, and a better place than any to get that perfect holiday snap:
1. Radio Bar
337 The Strand, West End
2. Queen of Hoxton
1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch
3. Vista at The Trafalgar
2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, West End
4. Aqua Spirit
240 Regents Street, West End
Part of the Aqua Restaurant Group company, the Aqua Spirit bar lies in the same vicinity as their Japanese cuisine, Aqua Kyoto, on the fifth floor of the old Dickins and Jones department store on Regent Street. The interior bar that first greets you as you is impressive enough, decked out with rich Japanese textures and an uber-chic and stark candlelit design. But there’s another reason why Aqua Spirit has won a Bar of the Year award; its outside terrace, which also has a bar where two of its cocktail makers whip up the dazzling concoctions on the diverse menu, offer spectacular views over the bustling West End streets of shoppers below. If you’re visiting the capital for a vacation in London, you may be one of those shoppers yourself! So when your feet are aching and simply cannot carry any more bags, pop up and try the Aqua Kyoto cocktail - It won’t be like anything you’ve had before.
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch
Another Shoreditch sensation (you have to go there now!) awaits you at this LA/Meditarranean style terrace. It certainly makes you feel like you’re on holiday, and its modern decking, canopy, wooden decor, focal fireplace and quiet surroundings (music is always at a minimum) creates the perfect chill out zone on a warm Summer’s evening. It’s not huge but the area is more organised than most with proper laid out tables for drinking and dining. Again, the drinks (and food) are a bit pricey, especially for an eastern London location, but being that side of the river gives not only stunning views over the Thames but also out to the Barbican and canary Wharf. Heard of rooftop jumping? The rooftop bar at Shoreditch House is across the road.
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