As we have been enjoying some rather lovely sunshine of late, we thought it was time to share our favourite rooftop bar hangouts. What’s not to like, a cocktail with a view!
You may know, as headhunters our favourites must be stylish or at least cool and to save the heels, not far from a tube or overground station. We like a good cocktail menu, tasty snacks and of course, a fabulous view.
Just in case you have missed our ‘Headhunter’s Hangouts’ series, we have shared our favourite restaurants in London for the best business lunch, London’s coolest bars for meetings, our pick of London discreet coffee haunts that are just our cup of tea, and most recently the best breakfasts in town.
Oxford Street, W1C
Only a 3-minute walk from Bond Street and Oxford Circus
Willows says: “Located on the rooftop of John Lewis on Oxford Street, Willows on The Roof provides the ultimate sanctuary from the mayhem of shopping. Sit back and enjoy a seasonal cocktail and Willows House Menu courtesy of Kitchen Ventures. All whilst soaking up the panoramic views across central London.”
We say: “The perfect casual setting for an early evening Aperol (clearly a sponsor as there is a lot of orange branding). Buzzy and laid back rather than stylish. It’s quite a big space with quite a few tables you can reserve. The VIP area is the one to book if you are with a small party of people with some comfy sofas. Finding the entrance outside of John Lewis is the biggest challenge - we ended up walking through the store which is handy if you want a ‘quick shop’.”
St Paul’s, EC4V
A 4-minute walk from City Thameslink and 5 minutes from St Paul’s, Mansion House and Blackfriars
Sabine says: “Serving spectacular cocktails and stunning views, Sabine brings a new garden sanctuary to St Paul’s. The secret garden is an oasis from The City, allowing guests to transport to a hidden space away from the busy London streets, where you can enjoy beautiful views of St Paul’s. With an outside terrace and a glass domed roof, Sabine Rooftop bar is the place to be for a great night out.”
We say: “What a find. You’ll need to book as it is incredibly popular and for good reason. The views of St. Paul’s are incredible – it’s pretty much just across the road. Having a glass of wine in the afternoon with a client, sitting in the sunshine, overlooking St. Paul’s, reminds you why you love London. You can easily move inside if it starts to rain so your meeting won’t be a washout.“
St Paul’s, EC4M
Only 5 minutes from Bank and 3-4 minutes from Mansion House and St Paul’s
Madison says: “Arrive at the Penthouse of One New Change and step out on to the rooftop terrace for breath-taking views of the London skyline. Renowned for its atmosphere, with entertainment from our DJs and live musicians, and spectacular views, it is the ideal spot to catch up with friends and colleagues while enjoying great food and cocktails.”
We say: “Another amazing view of St Paul’s Cathedral from the top of One New Change shopping centre. There is quite a youthful party vibe going on here with music events and DJs. Whenever we have been, half of the space is often cordoned off for a private party – in fact, we had a team drink there and it was fun. Great cocktails. A mix of standing room and a few prized tables which you can book. Apparently, they host yoga, HiiT and boxing sessions in August if you fancy an early morning class with a view. I wonder if they serve a Bloody Mary with that!”
Only 5 minutes from Covent Garden or Temple station or a brisk walk over Waterloo Bridge.
Radio Rooftop says: “Radio Rooftop is one of London’s most iconic venues situated on the 10th Floor of ME London, with striking views across the River Thames and London’s impressive skyline. From sunrise to sunset guests can enjoy the changing views of the capital stretching from the Shard and St Paul’s downstream, to the London Eye and Big Ben. The perfect setting for a casual lunch with family and friends or to impress business clients in a relaxed yet refined atmosphere. Experience our seasonal, locally sourced menu curated by our Chef. End the day by sipping Champagne or one of our inspired cocktails whilst admiring the sunset.”
We say: “The panoramic views from the radio rooftop bar are inspiring. With London’s iconic skyline as a backdrop, the bar provides a great perspective of the city’s most famous landmarks. The ambiance is undeniably chic; sleek and modern decor coupled with the comfortable seating arrangement creates an inviting and cool atmosphere. Excellent cocktails and the small plates are great for a light snack (served all day). If it rains there’s plenty of indoor spaces making it suitable for those wet and dreary London days too. You will need to book as it gets super busy.”
A quick 2 minute walk from Southwalk, or 8 minutes from Waterloo and 9 minutes over the bridge from Blackfriars
Seabird says: “Enjoy panoramic views in the heart of Southwark. Featuring an array of sea-to-table offerings inspired by the Mediterranean with sprawling city views.”
We say: “Hidden above The Hoxton Southwark (which is great for a coffee meeting), head upstairs if you want to enjoy the great views over the City at the fish restaurant, Seabird. The views are fantastic, the restaurant is great for lunches/dinner (not open for breakfast) and the outside bar is as beautifully decorated as the inside. You can’t help but be impressed by the display of fish in the restaurant as you walk out to the bar. Great oyster and cocktail menu with a fabulous view.”
5 minute walk from Shoreditch High Street or 10 minutes from Liverpool Street
Boundary says: “Open come rain or shine, the Rooftop is the perfect destination for lazy lunches, afternoon cocktails, balmy evenings and cosy nights alike. On the top of the building you’ll find the Rooftop Bar & Grill, housed within a stylish glass extension offers stunning views across East London and is open all year round.”
We say, “This place is super cool and quite special. It used to be really hit and miss if it was open or not when it launched years ago, as the roof was exposed to the elements. Now there is quite a lot of covered space but still lots of comfortable sofas and lounging chairs in the sun. A more residential and industrial view adds to the vibe. Good music, panoramic views and mixologists who can make any cocktail you can think of. What’s not to love? “Wondrously slick and modern” is the verdict by Tatler, and we agree!”
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