Like pigeons, chimneys and cyclone victims, we can always be found up on a rooftop. And unlike the all above, we’re normally to be found clutching a glass of Champagne and enjoying one of the best views in the world as London stretches away beneath us. Here’s a link to a fuller guide to London’s towering rooftop bars, but if you’re only interested in the new and the recent, here are some openings that have just arrived onto the rooftop scene…
The Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment has been undergoing something of a makeover of late, first US-themed meat restaurant POTUS launched, and now the rooftop bar and restaurant Mezemiso. Unusually fusing Lebanese and Japanese cuisine, the luxury rooftop is stylish and offers diners and guests panoramic views across London’s iconic skyline as it overlooks the Houses of Parliament and the Thames.
Signature cocktails are inspired by historical stories and folklore, honouring, for example Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran with a combination of Sumac infused gin, Lillet blanc, fig liqueur, Arrack and Mymoune orange marmalade.
Where: 10-11 Albert Embankment, Lambeth, SE1 7SP
If you’ve not yet ventured to the new Bankside Hotel, you should; it’s a gem set just a little way back from the riverside and with an artsy feel that’s surprisingly charming. And the downstairs restaurant, Art Yard Bar & Kitchen (worth a visit even if you’re not staying) just got better as the all-day dining restaurant and bar ventured out on to the first floor rooftop overlooking, among the backs of various buildings, the towering structure of St Paul’s Cathedral. Perfect for a summer terrace in partnership with Hampshire vineyard Hambledon.
Where: Bankside Hotel, 2 Blackfriars Road, South Bank, SE1 9JU
B&H, no not the tobacco brand but trendy East-end Bourne & Hollingsworth, have recently transported their clean living concept over to the West End and opened their new rooftop bar on the 10th floor of the Assembly Hotel. The rooftop bar and restaurant features a ‘living bar’ (lots of dangly plants) and dining beside large plate windows overlooking the streets below as you sip your herb and spice infused cocktails.
Where: 10th floor, above Assembly Hotel, 31 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0LS
Hotel Xenia harks, not to the almost eponymous Warrior Princess but “to a time when people believed the Gods lived among them”. With scattered garden furniture and a cigar terrace in sponsorship with cigar makers Hunters & Frankau, it’s not exactly Mount Olympus but a perfectly serviceable second-best. A stone’s-throw from the V&A and Natural History Museum, it’s well worth a visit if you’re collecting London rooftops.
Where: 160 Cromwell Road, London, SW5 0TL, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Earls Court (0.4 miles)
Boutique hotel Vintry & Mercer opened in just February and has already made something of a mark for itself as more than just the new kid on the block, but a hotel with serious ambitions. And certainly not least on its ‘why you should take us seriously’ list of attributes is the rooftop offering, a bar and restaurant serving al fresco modern British meat and fish. The view is, needless to say, excellent.
Where: 20 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2AU