Hidden out of sight above street level, London has a number of rooftop venues that offer great views and good fun. From buzzing bars with games to riverside oases, here are five you need to explore.
Frank's Cafe in Peckham, southeast London
Leave behind the bustle of Stratford and go eight floors straight up, and you’ll find a colourful playground waiting for you.
Roof East is more than just a rooftop bar. It's a cinema, a bowls club, a yoga class venue; it’s a place where you can practice your Jenga skills or simply read a book on a deck chair.
Located at the top of Stratford multistorey car park, it’s also just one stop away on the Central Line from our Mile End Campus or, if you're up for a walk, just under an hour on foot via Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Open: Tuesday to Friday 4pm - 11pm, Saturday to Sunday 12pm - 11pm.
Just a short distance away in London Fields is another hidden gem. Netil360 has been around for a few years and offers everything you'd expect from an East London rooftop bar: great views of the city, delicious food in partnership with local restaurants, some workspaces, and a well-stocked bar.
But this isn't your average rooftop hang-out. The venue recently announced they’ve installed six Finnish saunas with a 'hot rainfall shower', cold water experience, and fire pit seating area.
Netil360 operates on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning you won't be able to reserve a table or book an area. Entry is free and there’s a virtual queueing system for when capacity is reached.
Open: Monday closed (open when sunny), Tuesday closed (open when sunny), Wednesday 12:00 - 23:30, Thursday 12:00 - 23:30, Friday 12:00 - 00:30, Saturday 12:00 – 00:30, Sunday 12:00 – 23:30.
One of the drawbacks of rooftop bars is that sometimes you end up paying for the view. Not so at Frank's Cafe.
Perched atop another multistorey car park, this Peckham institution is a true budget venue that still offers gorgeous panoramas and a great night out.
Particularly popular with students, drinks are very reasonably priced and food options range from light snacks to full meals. Frank's Cafe is open throughout the summer months until late September. It’s known to get very busy so a good tip is to go easy on the complicated cocktails orders.
Open: Thursday to Sunday, 11am - 11pm (until 18 September).
From the budget-friendly to the high-end. With its expert mixologists and smart dress code, Southbank’s OXO Tower definitely falls into the ‘special treat’ category. However, if you are feeling flush then this iconic building is well worth a visit.
The eighth-floor terrace bar gives you a gorgeous riverside view of the capital, with the best of the London skyline on show.
Unlike a lot of rooftop venues, the OXO Tower is open all year round so you can take in the city at its wintery, atmospheric best, as well as in summer.
Open: All year round.
On the other side of the river in the heart of the city you’ll find the Culpeper Rooftop.
This easy-going and relaxed Aldgate venue is home to a pub on the ground floor, and a lush, rustic bar on its roof. Here, you’ll find the plant inspiration behind many of the dishes on the food menu.
Extremely popular and due to its cosy size, the Culpeper Rooftop is fills up quickly. The good news is you can make reservations, which we’d definitely recommend doing.
Open: Monday to Thursday 12 - 11pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm - midnight. You can book a table on the rooftop between 12pm and 8pm.