We love to complain about the weather here in Britain. When it’s cold, we want the sun. When the sun finally comes out, it’s too hot and we can’t handle it. The only time we don’t whinge about the weather is when we’re sat, cold drink in hand, out in a beer garden complaining about something else.
If you want to have a whine, we say whine, but do it somewhere fabulous. London is full of amazing rooftop bars where you can sip down a few mojitos, enjoy the heat (or not) and moan til your heart’s content.
Here are a few we suggest.
Aqua Spirit - Soho
Apart from being outside, there’s nothing much more to this roof terrace. For its central London location, there isn’t much of a view. However, there is something else to draw you here besides the extra sunshine: an insanely extensive cocktail list.
Aqua Spirit is much more a premium cocktail bar that happens to have a roof terrace than a traditional rooftop bar, which makes it one of the best places to visit.
The cocktails themselves vary from contemporary takes on the classics to new concoctions that will leave you speechless (eventually, depending on how many you drink).
Get on it: 5th Floor, 30 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7EB
The Driver - King’s Cross
While it’s fenced in with little to see, the Driver’s rooftop beer garden is the perfect sun trap.
During the summer, the folks at the Driver fire up the BBQ to keep you well fed as well as sufficiently lubricated with fine drinks. If you don’t fancy the barbie, there’s a gastro kitchen downstairs. Soak up the rays and sip down the cocktails before heading out into London from this well-connected part of town.
Get your tan on: 2-4 Wharfdale Road, N1 9RY
The Carpenter’s Arms - Fitzrovia
Right in the heart of West London, The Carpenter’s Arms brings a hint of the traditional to the rooftop scene. This quaint space has room enough for 30 people, with plenty of shade available for when you’ve had enough vitamin D.
The bar’s forte is most definitely its strong real ale selection (14 specialities), but there’s also a varied wine list and plenty of cocktail options available as well.
Get your drink on: 68-70 Whitfield Street, W1T 4EY
Frank’s Cafe - Peckham
Down in the south, Frank’s Cafe only opens during the summer and, to be honest, it’s so popular it probably only needs to for a few months a year.
The winning combination of sensational skyline views, dedicated cocktail-trained staff and plenty of decent beer have come together to make this one of the hottest tickets in town, despite the fact it’s located at the top of a car park.
As it’s no longer anything close to a secret, the queues can be quite daunting at first, but if you’re after atmosphere and plenty of summer sun, this is the place for you.
Get your view on: Level 10, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
Dalston Roof Bar - Dalston
Another annual roof terrace, Dalston Roof Bar is the epitome of summer fun in the sun. There's decking, a garden and, of course, a well-stocked bar.
But it’s not just about drinking in the sunshine, there’s also yoga, film screenings, gigs and supper clubs planned for the coming months.
Right in the heart of trendy east London, this bar is ideal for those who live in the area.
Get over it: Print House, 18 Ashwin St, London, E8 3DL