by Leighanne Bent
Rooftop season is finally here. To ensure you get your fill of vitamin D this summer, we got in touch with DesignMyNight for the lowdown on London’s best sky-high hangouts. Whether you’re doing a spot of flamingo watching at The Roof Gardens or sipping G&T cocktails at London’s hottest hangout, Aviary; these spots are sure to make you feel on top of the world.
The Bird of Smithfield has transformed its terrace into a Spritz Garden for the summer, and it’s never looked so charming with its wall of jasmine trees and cute tables and chairs. Keeping in with their theme, the cocktails are all spritz-based but make sure to try the honeysuckle fizz – it’s made with Belvedere vodka and fresh muddled plums.
If you’re after classic cocktails and stunning views of the capital, there’s only one place for it: Aviary. Only opening in December last year, this little gem is perched on top of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel and is one of the hottest hangouts around. Sink into one of their colourful couches, sip on a cocktail and soak up the skyline views from their 10th floor vantage point.
We’re not sure if you’ve heard, but the Rumpus Rooms had a dramatic interior makeover a couple of months back, and now fronts bright retro-style seating and tonnes of pretty foliage. This bar sits on the 12th floor of the Mondrian London at Sea Containers but the intimate terrace is what makes this place so special. It has jaw-dropping views of the city, including the iconic St Paul’s.
Madison is one of Europe’s largest open-air roof terraces and it attracts a glamorous crowd all year round. Make a pit stop at their Manhattan-style restaurant for some drool-worthy bites before heading outside to catch some rays. You’ll have tremendous views of St Paul’s Cathedral and a long list of cocktails to keep your boozy shenanigans going all night long.
Being London’s first ever rooftop bar and club, we had no choice but to include The Roof Gardens. This swanky spot is every hedonist’s paradise with three different gardens to wander around, all of which are packed out with flowers and exotic trees. Whether you’re sipping hand-crafted cocktails and keeping an eye out for the rooftop’s resident flamingos, or tucking into some grub from the BBQ, you’re guaranteed a fantastic time at this Kensington plot.
Proud Camden have ditched last year’s Alice in Wonderland theme to bring a quintessentially English garden to north London revelers. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Camden, the hidden terrace now fronts a flower-laden pergola and a collection of water features. They have a stream of acoustic sessions lined up for summer too, with DJ sets taking place a little later into night.
The Queen of Hoxton are no strangers to thinking outside of the box. Their rooftop is forever evolving and this summer is quite possibly their best installation yet. Decked out with a Lost Boys’ Bar and a pirate ship, Bangarang is inspired by Peter Pan and it’s just as magical as it sounds. Ascend to the clouds this summer and make it your business to work through their lip-smacking street food and mermaid slushies.
It might be a little out of the way but Roof East is more than worth the tube journey. Their rooftop is like one massive adult playground with Birdies Crazy Golf, American-style batting cages and London’s first ever rooftop roller disco. There’s a never ending stream of activities to keep you busy and an unobstructed view of London’s skyline that’s guaranteed to make you gooey eyed.