UPDATED JULY 2018
This summer, Rosewood London has teamed up with The Botanist gin to create a greenhouse in the middle of its Edwardian courtyard. Decorated with foliage and hanging terrariums, the Foraging Greenhouse will provide an al fresco hideaway from the West End. Guests will be able to garnish their cocktails with herbs grown in the space – we like the sound of the ‘Loch Indaal’, a mix of The Botanist gin, Octomore whisky and salt solution.
252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN
Located between Granary Square and Regent’s Canal, the two-floor Lighterman offers great views of the square or tranquil waterfront, depending on where you sit. On the lower ground floor, the canal-side bar and terrace offer extensive outdoor seating. Kitted out with wooden furniture, parasols and beautiful planters, the terrace is perfect for al fresco dining. We’re a fan of its courgette, mint and ricotta flatbread.
3 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH
Established in 1790, this longstanding neighbourhood pub continues to be a cornerstone of Clerkenwell. Restored in January this year, The Coach has been taken over by ex-Racine chef Henry Harris and his partner James McCulloch. Now, it’s an upscale boozer that focuses on food. A pretty garden hits the mark once the sun comes out to play, and the bar’s homemade sausage rolls are an event in themselves.
26-28 Ray Street, Clerkenwell, EC1R 3DJ
Opened at the end of in June, Savage Garden (we’re a fan of the name) is a dramatic sky-high destination bar located in the City. This all-day bar and cocktail lounge offers 360-degree vistas that take in some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks. These views are best seen from its Wildside terrace, which comes with a retractable roof. Innovative cocktails include the likes of Devil’s Advocate; a twisted take on a margarita, made with tequila, grapefruit juice, crème de cassis, lemon and sugar, finished with sage leaves and a drop of ‘Savage Hot Stuff’.
7 Pepys Street, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AF
A hidden sun trap in Notting Hill, Pomona’s has launched its new-look summer terrace, complete with a dedicated gin and oyster bar. Guests can enjoy a plate of Maldon oysters, freshly sourced from Goldhanger Creek and River Blackwater in Essex, and settle down under a canopy of wisteria with one of the bar’s gin specials: classics include south sides (gin-based mojitos), negronis and Pomona’s take on the G&T; made with elderflower tonic, strawberry and black pepper.
47 Hereford Road, Notting Hill, W2 5AH
The restaurant where renowned chef Skye Gyngell made her name has opened a multi-purpose dining destination in Covent Garden. Housed within the aptly-named Floral Court, the standout spot is the rustic, flower-filled courtyard, where alfresco dining is an option. Sipping on a botanical cocktail in the secret garden-like courtyard, which combines a traditional country garden with Italian elegance, on a warm summer evening, it’s hard to imagine that the usual bustle of Covent Garden is just moments away.
27-31 King St, Covent Garden WC2E 8JB
Mr Fogg’s Residence
This summer, Victorian-inspired Mayfair bar Mr Fogg’s Residence has opened its quintessentially British garden, overflowing with beautiful blooms, botanicals and bric-a-brac. The garden features a retractable roof, meaning come rain or shine guests can enjoy the foliage. SL’s pick from the cocktail list? ‘Wave to the White Cliffs’ (Hendrick’s Orbium gin, lapsang souchong-infused Martini Rosso, sweet vermouth, Drambuie honey liqueur, homemade vanilla syrup and lemon juice).
15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD
Churchill Bar & Terrace
Inspired by Sir Winston Churchill’s travels with the Admiralty yacht HMS Enchantress from 1911 to 1915, this award-winning al fresco terrace that bears his name has transformed into a maritime oasis, kitted out in vintage nautical decorations. Aiming to bring visitors a step closer to the shores of Malta, Gibraltar and Capri, new cocktails include ‘Churchill’s Tot’ (a whisky and sweet vermouth concoction aged in a wooden barrel) while a Mediterranean menu will serve the likes of fruits de mer platters and dressed crab salad.
30 Portman Square, Marylebone, W1H 7BH
Until the end of September, VII Hills Italian Dry Gin will be taking over the open-air terrace at Bōkan to create an aperitivo menu to be sipped overlooking the panoramic views of the city. Guests can recline on sofas, soak up rays and listen to live music and DJs while enjoying a menu that the team promises will ‘rival any found in Italy’.
40 Marsh Wall, Canary Wharf, E14 9TP
Bringing the buzz of the Balearic Islands to the heart of Soho is Aqua Nueva’s new Formentera Terrace. Expect plenty of greenery and chilled-out vibes at this urban jungle rooftop.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), Soho W1B 3BR
Who says you need to travel out of London in search of golden sands? Fulham’s first Thameside beach spot will play host to sun seekers over the summer. As well as sand and palm trees, there are beach huts and day beds available to rent with optional butler service – they’ll bring bespoke cocktails from the mixology trolley, so you won’t even have to leave your bed. For those watching the pennies, feel free to bring your own food and booze, but with the glut of mouthwatering street food stalls including Le Rac Shack, The Duck Truck and Taco Dave, you’ll almost certainly want to sling your sandwich in the bin.
Albert Wharf, Fulham SW6 2TY, open from 3rd May, Wednesday – Sunday, tickets from £5
Frank’s Café Peckham
Peckham’s hottest roof terrace will swing open its doors for another summer of sunshine, cocktails and street food.
10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4GT, opens summer 2018
Following a successful two-year run at the Television Centre, Pergola on the Roof has relocated to Paddington for spring/summer 2018. The hidden al fresco garden offers a fun party spot for drinking and dining in west London, and with room for 850 guests, it's a great spot for groups. Decorated in the same verdant style, the colourful venue holds plenty of banquet-style dining tables for guests to feast on food from the likes of Patty & Bun, Canard, DF/Mexico and Mam.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington, W2 6PY
We’re becoming ever-more enamoured with the restaurants and bars atop the Sky Garden. That might have something to do with the fact all the plants and trees planted in 2014 are gradually growing and blooming. Darwin Brasserie is our pick of the bunch when it comes to views over the urban garden itself, whereas the 36th-floor City Garden Bar is an all-day drinking and dining spot that looks down on the capital.
20 Fenchurch St, Moorgate, EC3M 8AF
We reckon this spot has got the best views in London – down onto the Thames and across to St Paul’s Cathedral, the City, Royal Festival Hall and Tate Modern. And while the verdant spot is great during the day, it really comes to life at night. Expect British-American inspired cocktails and food, live music on Wednesdays and DJs Thursday to Saturday.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PD
Ham Yard Hotel
On the fourth floor of this cool Soho hotel, there’s a large, leafy rooftop garden with sweeping views over the London skyline. The garden is also home to two beehives, tended to by its dedicated beekeeper, Camilla. Expect a lounge area scattered with Whitman benches and upholstered seating, and a bar with plenty of hanging plants and lanterns.
1 Ham Yard, Soho, W1D 7DT
South Place Hotel
There’s not one but two pretty terraces within this City hotel. The first is part of its Michelin-starred seafood restaurant Angler, where pre-dinner G&Ts are a must (a retractable roof and blankets make an appearance if the weather turns). In the very centre of the hotel, you’ll find its secret courtyard. The surprise oasis is filled with waterfalls and palm trees, and specialises in champagne, cocktails and cigars.
3 South Pl, Moorgate EC2M 2AF
Bluebird White City
This newbie from D&D London is one to get excited about. We recommend heading to Bluebird’s second outpost for brunch on the terrace. Expect eggs any style, breakfast bowls, bottomless bubbles and lobster rolls. From 11am a DJ will be on hand to kick things off.
Television Centre, Wood Ln, White City, W12 7FR
A sister site to nearby hotspot Tonight Josephine, this cool new bar resides atop Mercury House in Waterloo. Survive the six flights of stairs, and you’ll be treated to an extensive range of cocktails and plenty of Insta-ready vistas. Its motto is ‘Liberté, Egalité, Rosé’. We can get on board with that.
109-117 Waterloo Rd, Waterloo, SE1 8UL
Head to the trend set’s favourite al fresco hangout at the Boundary Hotel’s rooftop terrace. The terrace basks in the Shoreditch sun by day, but evening is when the rooftop really comes to life, with blankets, log burners and fairy lights twinkling above.
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch E2 7DD
With unparalleled views stretching right across the city, Aviary’s swanky Shoreditch roof terrace is a must for after work cocktails in the sun.
Montcalm Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, The City EC2A 1DX
Located in the heart of the city, Coq d’Argent’s stunning rooftop garden serves an all-day French menu and evening cocktails.
No.1 Poultry, Bank EC2R 8EJ
Radio Rooftop Bar
With an all-white Ibiza vibe, lounging beds, laser shows most nights, 2am closure from Thursday to Saturday and a 180-degree view, Radio Rooftop Bar is the ultimate al fresco hangout any time of day.
ME London, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Botanical Gin Garden at the Rotunda
Gin fans should head to King’s Cross this summer, to sample the juniper-infused delights at the Rotunda Botanical Gin Garden. A charming riverside setting scattered with fresh herbs, beautiful blooms and comfy deck chairs, for the ultimate al fresco fix.
Kings Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross N1 9AG
Temple & Sons
For top-notch gin cocktails in a quintessentially English setting, head to Jason Atherton’s charming gin garden at Temple & Sons. With scatterings of lemon trees, this serene setting is the perfect pit stop for an afternoon drink outside. There’s even Fever Tree Garnish Garden where you can pick your own herbs to customise your G&T.
22 Old Broad Street, The City EC2N 1HQ