London from the sky: The best rooftop bars to spend your summer evenings

If there is one thing Londoners do well, it is making the most of the infrequent rays of sunshine that grace out cobbled streets. These rare sunny moments are greeted with luminescent naked torsos and obnoxiously loud sunglasses and, more often than not, some sort of alcoholic beverage.

And where better to spend those lazy summer evenings, albeit all 3 of them, then on a rooftop with a G&T in hand and a beautiful view.

Skylight, located in Tabacco Dock, has views of The Shard and Canary Wharf

So here is a list of a couple of rooftop bars I’ve come across this ‘summer’ which I think hit the trifecta of affordability, great views and location.

Lets start with Pergola On The Roof making its debut to Shepherds Bush this summer. It has attracted a lot of attention so far, not least because a quick registration and a sacrifice of your least-used e-mail can get you a free drink on arrival.

Pergola on the Roof can be found on BBC’s ex-car park in Shepherds Bush

The bar, located on the roof of the ex-BBC car-park, is already very popular so it is preferable to book ahead. The catch being that you can only book ahead if you are a party of more than 4. However a short 5-10 minute queue will get you in no problems (and what Brit doesn’t love a good queue).

Although I can’t honestly say Shepherd’s Bush has stunning views of the London skyline, I can tell you that once you are in the bar you feel like you have been transported to the Mediterranean. It also helps that drinks aren’t crazy expensive ranging between £5-10 for a beer or a glass of wine.

queen elizabeth
South Bank’s Queen Elizabeth Rooftop bar is on top of the Southbank centre

Next on the list is the Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar and CafeWhile this bar has a much more relaxed feel to it it is no less popular. Located along the bustling South Bank, this outdoor area has view from the London Eye to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Drinks are what you would expect for any bar along South Bank, and if you are really stealth you can sneak past security on entrance with a little bottle of wine. Although seating is limited there is a grass area where you can picnic and busk in the sun.

Back to converting car parks into edgy bars, Skylight has recently appeared on my radar. The bar located a short walk from Shadwell Overground station in Tabacco Dock, East London, looks over canary wharf and London Bridge boasting a beautiful view of London’s skyline.

Skylight has a stunning view of Canary Wharf from its East London location

A double G&T will only set you back £7 as you sit and watch the sun set on a comfy bean bag, not-so-comfy-but-quite-cool-looking stalls or a very average picnic bench. If you get a bit antsy just sitting around, the bar also facilitates a croquet and petanque court for those who grew up on a French estate.

Entry to these bars are completely free, and you don’t have to exploit your bank account for a quick drink. If you enjoy a view with your drink, these three rooftop bars are fantastic little spots to hang out with friends, or even impress a date.




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