Like most Londoners, I have a weak spot for rooftops. If it’s on a roof, I don’t care what it is, I’m in. Drinks, wigwams, yoga, films, more drinks, BBQs, gardens. You name it. Here are a couple of my favourites.
For posh-ness: Vista at the Trafalgar. It can get booked up and it costs a fiver to go up, but the view is so worth it and it is pretty shnazzy.
For winter or summer: Queen of Hoxton. This has been one of my favourites since I first moved to London. I’ve had a couple leaving dos here. It’s fantastic because during the winter they have a wigwam with mulled wine, s’mores, roasted meat, and fire pits and during the summer it’s a faux-grass oasis. They also host Rooftop Film Club which is my absoluuuute favourite thing. Films. Roofs. Drinks. What more do you need? Unrelated: Queen of Hoxton also has ping pong downstairs and they host a ukulele night.
For a variety of activities: Netil 360. This place has it all. Coworking spaces, hammocks, bean bags, bars, food, yoga, private hire, a spanning view of East London from Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street and beyond.
For you hipsters: Dalston Roof Park. Another respite in the East End – they also boast a shockingly green faux-grass rooftop with drinking, yoga, films and live music.
For after work: Madison at One New Change. Another one that is good for winter and summer. It’s a restaurant and cocktail bar that’s great for post-work drinks. Also, it’s right next to my favourite bit of architecture: St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Whilst these two are not exactly “rooftops”, they are pretty high up (both on my list and elevation wise)…
For high elevation and an airport vibe (in a good way): Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street). The free alternative to the Shard. The views are truly magnificent. I could not stop taking pictures. There are plenty of spaces to sit and have a drink or dine. My friend, Phylicia (who writes a food and fitness blog here), and I ate at the Darwin Brasserie – spectacular. Book ahead for both the Sky Garden and dining.
For a historical vantage point and a bit of exercise: St. Paul’s Cathedral. This has always been my favourite cathedral – gorgeous inside and out. Back in the day it was free to climb to the top, then £8 and now £16, but pro tip: if you’re a local, ask for your ticket to be a year pass. Sometimes I’d climb the 528 steps to the top just for the exercise 🙂