By Niamh Brodie
Let’s face it, there’s nothing better than a cocktail in the sunshine. London is brimming with beautiful alfresco spots, and what with it already being August, it’s absolutely essential that you get out and try them. We’ve called on our friends at DesignMyNight to give us a hot to trot list of these hangouts, so we can make the most of the last leg of summer (weeps). From a desert island-themed rooftop in Waterloo to a Cuban-inspired beach in Brixton, it’s time to go outside.
No 197. Chiswick Fire Station is one of the prettiest venues in West London, so it’s no wonder its al fresco spot is just dreamy. Make your way into the garden and you’ll find a cute space decorated with green foliage and festoon lights. There’s cushioned benches and wooden stools to sit on, and they serve coffee and breakfast through to cocktails and dinner.
Cameras at the ready, because there’s a new Insta-worthy rooftop in town: Bar Elba. Celebrating the rebellious ways of Napoleon, Elba was his place of exile party island, so you can expect non-stop tropical vibes. French slogans are also emblazoned on various walls in colourful paint, and wooden benches are scattered around the roof, all for you to sit on whilst you admire Waterloo’s views. Serving a 20 cocktail strong menu, including frosé, it’s a little slice of paradise in London.
When it comes to cool places to drink outside in London, a Cuban-inspired beach is pretty up there. Brixton Rooftop is here to cater to your summer-loving needs; expect palm trees, colourful Havana-inspired bars and food stalls, as well as a sandy beach with plenty of deckchairs to sit on. An unstoppable summer force, head on down for party nights, music, frozen cocktails and more.
If you’re after an amazing alfresco spot in London, The Roof Gardens has got not one, but four stunning gardens to drink in. Whether you want to sip a Candy Gin Fizz in the vibrant Spanish gardens, or try a Pistachio Sour with their resident flamingos in the wildlife section, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this plush, rooftop hangout.
If you want to dress up and enjoy some alfresco drinks in style, there’s no better place than Aviary. Located on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Hotel, the outdoor terrace is what dreams are made of. Covered in bright sofas and stylish armchairs, and boasting antics from breakfast through to an afterwork frosé, this is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors while basking in some serious City views.
It might be August, but it’s not too late to visit the summer cabanas at Coppa Club. Located on Tower Bridge, they’re covered in purple wisteria and festoon lights, all with cutesy wicker armchairs and sofas to sit on. For an added personal touch, there’s Sonos speakers for you to play your favourite tunes, and they’re open from breakfast through to evening cocktails.
No alfresco drinks list is complete without a mention of Pop Brixton. This mini village-like plot in South London is made up of colourful sea containers full of bars, restaurants and street food vendors with a community led spirit. There’s plenty of places to sit outside; take to one of the benches under festoon lights in the main square, or head up another level to sit under colourful lanterns.
It’s time to buy that outfit you’ve been pondering over, because there’s a pretty-as-a-picture drinking spot in East London that you need to visit. Proud East has a beautiful terrace with different levels of cushioned benches to sit on, and it’s right next to Regent’s canal, so stunning waterside views are a given. It’s also decorated with tonnes of colourful flowers, which will look an absolute treat on Instagram. Come in for breakfast, or later in the evening to catch one of their DJ sets.
Pick out your best summer look, because there’s a Thameside beach pop-up in Fulham that’s calling your name. Covered with sand, deckchairs, cutesy beachside huts and plenty of day beds, it’s the perfect place to go for date night or with a group of friends. Street food will be on offer from the likes of Le Bao and the entire event is BYOB, so you can bring a tipple of your fancy to enjoy.
Hush Mayfair’s courtyard Riviera pop-up is the perfect excuse for a new outfit. Prepare for out-and-out sophisticated St Tropez vibes, because the glamour of the Côte d’Azur has been reimagined in Mayfair through stripes, lemon trees, bunting and nautical trinkets. The French theme will be reflected in the menu, where you can expect fresh French bread with a sundried tomato tapenade, served best with a glass of Taittinger rose, of course.
For more info on what’s on in London, and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.