A Roof with a View: London’s Top Terraces

Book through WeAreYourCity by Joanne Beckham and enjoy cocktails at altitude this summer.


This eastward-facing suntrap on top of South Place Hotel on the borders of Shoreditch is still relatively unknown. Even those who have dined at the Michelin-starred restaurant may not have been aware that there’s a terrace at the end of the airy dining room – they’d have been too distracted by the fantastic cooking. The outdoor space is open to non-diners and careful attention has been paid to the summery drinks list – the Brits Spritz #2 with Kamm & Sons aperitif, rhubarb vodka and rhubarb bitters topped up with Chandon is note-perfect and the perfect accompaniment to the sunshine.


Looking out over the top of Somerset House, this is one of the most unique vistas from any of the bars on our list and you can tick off all the stars of the London skyline. It’s now coming into its fifth summer since it opened in 2013 and is as popular as it was on day one. The large outdoor seating area is filled with comfy spaces and gin and tonic should be the order of the day – it comes in numerous varieties, with different brands of gin, fruit infusions and flavoured tonics. Bar snacks are available, but if you’re hungry contact us to secure a table at STK on the ground floor where you and your guests will receive a glass of Champagne on the house.


Sprawled across the top of a Victorian warehouse turned boutique hotel, this venue has enviable views which span from the spires of East London to the skyscrapers of the City. As well as a lounge area with an open fire, wicker sofas and an inspired cocktail list, there’s a 48-seat grill restaurant in the heated orangery, which serves Mediterranean small plates and sharing platters until after sunset. The rooftop doesn’t take reservations, but contact us if you are interested in private hire for a special occasion.

Aqua London

Aqua deals an ace card when it comes to central London outdoor drinking. Guests arrive in an Asian-inspired bar with a circular counter at its centre and semi-circular booths lining the left-hand wall. The terrace at the end of this large space is where people flock to in good weather to take in views over Regent Street. The Spanish side of the complex is slightly more formal and offers cocktails inspired by drink traditions in northern Spain. Here, another large terrace offers similar views and a small balcony hidden at the back looks across to the Thames and the London Eye.


Sushisamba’s private glass elevator whisks guests to the reception on the 38th floor in under 10 seconds, providing a taster of the incredible views which accompany the cocktails on the open-air terrace. Here, the top of Gherkin seems so close you could touch it, and views stretch to the river, the Shard and beyond. Bartenders put together simple but well-mixed drinks under the shade of a central metal tree that glimmers with fairy lights after dusk. In summer terrace tables are hard to come by, but we have a great relationship with the reservations team, so call us to book on your behalf.