London’s Best Rooftop Hangouts

The weather is about to get nice (trust us) so it's time to start thinking about taking drinking and eating to the skies again

Auto Draft 78
Auto Draft 78

South: Frank's Cafe

Open May 19 This 10-storey-high spot has glorious unbroken views of The Shard, London Eye, and ominous high-rises like you see in The Bill and Skepta videos. It's always busy, so you can count on a great atmosphere – but there’s nowhere to cower when it pelts down, so do check the forecast. Grab a burger and head to the Campari bar to drink more Negronis than a divorcing actress.

When it rains, escape to: The Rye

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Central: Notch

Open May 5 You need it. You need it so much it terrifies you. And now you can have it! Yes, Notch serves Old Fashioneds in tuna cans. There’s lovely Japanese street food from Fudo Shack too: things like short rib steamed buns and sashimi pizzas. It’s a rare treat to huff those above Oxford Street, rather than in a crumbling mine near Clapton.

Rain escape: The Carpenters Arms

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West: Lyric

Open now Probably the most sophisticated rooftop out there, loved by the theatre set, with their shortbread-coloured blazers and House Of Lords haircuts. It looks like a pinball machine from above, which gives you an abundance of places to perch, and on Fridays from lunchtime they drag the BBQ up there for a meaty hoedown.

Rain escape: Hammersmith Ram

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East: Boundary

Open now Unparalleled in terms of luxury seating – everything has the creamy sponginess you’d get on a steel magnate’s superyacht. Happy landings guaranteed when gin cocktails attack your balance. Boundary’s just thrown its winter menu off the roof and replaced it with Mediterranean tapas like octopus and chorizo skewers.

Rain escape: The Owl & Pussycat

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North: Dalston Roof Park

Open Saturday The party one. The one that soundtracks every second with aggressive, neck-knocking funk. The one where, after a few excellent home-brewed pale ales, you start dancing and think “hey, XOYO isn’t that far” even though you’re 12 years too old to go there. Just ride it out and enjoy the monthly rotation of food pop-ups, which kicks off with Le Bao.

Rain escape: Farr's School Of Dancing