After a sunny bank holiday last week, it seemed that summer had finally arrived in the UK and that means that every outdoor space in London will be taken up with sun-worshipping drinkers in the balmy evenings.
And even better than an outdoor space is a roof terrace, here is my guide to the best ones in London.
Angler at South Place Hotel
In the heart of the city where green space and peace and quiet would appear to have been replaced with sky scrapers and busy commuters, the bar on the 7th floor of recently opened South Place Hotel is a lovely little suntrap. The views aren’t as good as some roof terraces due to only being seven stories up but this doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. In my opinion a crisp rose is the sign of a good bar and this one delivers with a pale pink number from the Languedoc. The furniture is stylish with marble tables and chairs by Patricia Urquiola, and herby window boxes and lavender plants on each table make for a lovely aroma in the air. Get here early, especially on a sunny Friday as it is strictly first come first served and the terrace is not huge.
Vista at the Trafalgar Hotel
Although the lowest on our list at only six floors up, Vista at the Trafalgar Hotel makes the grade because of its location. Right in the middle of Trafalgar Square, the Vista bar has views over Big Ben, the London Eye but most impressively Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery plus the fountains and people in Trafalgar Square. You can almost count the pigeons! There is the prerequisite bottle of rose on the menu for me, (only one though and a Sancerre so you might flinch at the £12.50 a glass/£48.00 a bottle price tag). The light bites menu is full of tasty treats, some of which are marinated in cocktails, like “daiquiri seared tuna” and “lobster cosmopolitan” to create an interesting twist. I also like the added touch of blankets on the chairs in case it gets a bit chilly once the sun goes down.
The roof terrace at London’s hottest new restaurant has the impressive accolade of being the UK’s highest outdoor roof terrace (and quite possibly Europe), beating the former record holder (Oxo Tower) by 30 whole stories. These views are outstanding and it is worth the expensive drinks’ prices (£12 for a cocktail) because let’s face it, you are really paying for the view too. You could go down the road to the Shard and pay significantly more (£30!!) to get a similar view and at least here you get a cocktail out of it too. Even if you aren’t coming here to eat, the terrace is a destination bar in its own right with cool tunes and in its centrepiece a huge fairy-lit tree seemingly growing out of the drinks display. Just try not to feel too smug when looking over at the Shard knowing you got the better end of the deal!
Now all we need is the sun to make a reappearance!