Rooftop bars and beer gardens: London’s best sunlit watering holes

When the sun’s out in London, its locals flock to the best patches of light where you can enjoy a refreshing tipple while basking in its rays. Let’s face it, we need to make the most if it while we can here.

Since the summer’s finally on its way, we’ve put together a list of our favourite sunlit beer gardens and rooftop bars in this fine city. Here’s where we’ll be hanging out come the warmer months:

  1. Radio Rooftop Bar
    For something a little fancy, or a special occasion, set your sights on this open-air locale.
  2. Crate Craft Beer Brewery
    Sitting pretty along the canal, and neighboured by the industrial warehouses of Hackney Wick, Crate boasts a sun-drenched outdoor area where beer lovers unite. Pull up your narrow boat and enjoy a pint and a pizza.
  3. Madison Terrace Bar
    This fresh, breezy space allows you to get close and cosy with St Paul’s Cathedral while imbibing a freshly swizzled cocktail on the roof of Madison hotel.
  4.  The Eagle
    A hub for young Antipodeans craving the sunshine of their Southern Hemisphere homelands, Shepherds Bush’s The Eagle provides the comfort of a homely backyard: think deck chairs, lounges, private pergolas and comfort food.
  5. Dalston Roof Park
    As it describes on the tin, this Dalston summertime hangout is a rooftop park space where sun seekers can dance, eat, drink and relax among the greenery.
  6. Sushi Samba
    Look out over London while chowing down on some seriously good sushi at this well-loved location. Dappled in sunlight, guests can while away an afternoon with a Smoked Plum Negroni in hand.
  7. The People’s Park Tavern
    Well known by locals, The People’s Park Tavern sits perched on the edge of Victoria Park’s green lawns. The food is fun, the staff are friendly and the atmosphere is laid back. Just get in early to find a good spot!
  8. Vivo
    Nestled between the eateries and stores of Islington’s Upper Street is Vivo, a modern Italian restaurant. Head upstairs to its rooftop bar and you’ll find a little slice of urban oasis amid the bustle of the streets below. Stay for the Apple Strudel cocktail; just trust us.
  9. The Ship
    In the heart of Wandsworth lies a quintessentially British pub with an enviably sprawling outdoor seating area. Tuck in to a Scotch egg, order a crisp white wine and watch the waters dance beyond the deck.

What are your favourite beer gardens and rooftop bars for times when the sun shines?

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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