With the weather finally starting to catch up and the glorious May bank holiday weekend behind us, it’s time to head up to a nearby rooftop to celebrating the longer days and to start building up your tan. East London is home to some of the best rooftop bars in London, many with spectacular views. Here’s our pick of just a few for you to try…
Netil 360 – London Fields
Ben Revill, a carpenter and designer, opened Netil360 in 2014 as an informal, ‘bring your own bottle’ bar, until it was granted a license in 2015 by Hackney Council. Now it’s a workspace, café, gallery, and rooftop bar, with its very own rooftop dog, Tres!
Open from midday Wednesday – Sunday, Netil360 has a no-exclusivity ethos – they don’t take bookings, so get there early. There’s no guest list, and entry is free.
As well as a large selection of drinks, they also serve pizza and lunchtime specials, with new recipes every week. All of their packaging is made from plant based materials.
Transport: London Fields overground or Bethnal Green tube
The Culpeper – Spitalfields
As well as being a pub, kitchen, and guest house (there are five rooms on the second floor), the Culpeper boasts a beautiful rooftop greenhouse and dining area. Here you can enjoy amazing drinks and food from their wood fired grill, plus a number of events and workshops throughout the year, including astronomy nights and gardening workshops.
The relaxed, rustic environment makes it a perfect place to have lunch, dinner, or just have a catch up with friends over a drink. During the summer months, they do not take booking – so make sure you arrive early to avoid missing out.
Transport: Aldgate East tube
Dalston Roof Park
Dalston Roof Park began as a collection of allotments cared for by a group of local volunteer gardeners, and has now grown to one of the hottest rooftop venues in Shoreditch. With many famous acts gracing the astro-turf of this trendy rooftop bar – including Rudimental, Jessie Ware, Johnny Flynn, Basement Jaxx, and Disclosure – it’s the perfect place for music lovers. The bar is run by the Bootstrap Company, who aim to provide workspaces to a diverse mix of tenants and help them grow. The profits made on the bar and on the door all go towards funding the Bootstrap Company’s charitable aims.
You can book the entire roof for a big event (it holds 210) but not individual tables/areas.
Transport: Dalston Junction overground
Roof East – Stratford
For those who like a bit of entertainment with their cocktails – this summer, Roof East will transform once more into a hugely popular adult playground, with an outdoor cinema and a crazy golf course.
Roof East was formerly an empty rooftop car park, but with support from The GLA Pocket Park Fund and the Stratford Renaissance Partnership Urban Space Management, who teamed up with Groundwork London, an Urban Park was installed on the rooftop. Recycled pallets and scaffold boards and recycled decking from the Olympic Park footbridge were used to make planters full of shrubs and saplings to decorate the space. In a nod to the former car park, there are also three cars on the rooftop filled with plants.
They also have a busy calendar of events and activities that’s filling up fast, with something for everyone: from morning yoga classes, acoustic sessions, to disco nights and community screenings.
Transport: Stratford tube/overground/DLR
Golden Bee – Old Street
Just a few minutes’ walk from Old Street station is Golden Bee – a stylish cocktail bar and roof terrace. If crazy golf at Roof East isn’t your cup of tea, this is a much more sophisticated option. Perfect for winding down after work by the fire pit during the week, or dancing the night away at the weekend, Golden Bee is always busy, with a great atmosphere.
The Golden Bee has a happy hour from 5-7pm on Tuesdays-Thursdays, with 2 for 1 cocktails and discounts on beer, house spirits, wine, and champagne.
It’s worth noting that Golden Bee is an over 21 venue.
Transport: Old Street tube
Boundary – Shoreditch
Boundary is a combination of three award-winning restaurants and bars, twelve individually designed guest bedrooms, five studios, lofts and suites, a British food store and a bakery, with a welcoming, homely vibe.
The rooftop bar offers an amazing panoramic view of East London, and the heated orangery is filled with a variety of citrus trees including lemon, clementine, calamondin, and mimosa trees. When the weather is good, the rooftop also provides a garden space, making it the perfect place to relax in summer. If the evenings get chilly, there are blankets and a fire pit to snuggle around.
You can book a table here.
Transport: Shoreditch High Street overground
Shoreditch Sky Terrace
Crowing the top of the Courthouse Hotel, which used to be Shoreditch’s original magistrate’s building, is the rooftop bar, accessed via a glazed bridge from the hotel.
As well as taking in the incredible views over the city and snapping some photos of Canary Wharf, The Shard, and the BT tower as the sun sets, you can listen to DJ sets and sip on bespoke cocktails, such as the Ball and the Chain (sloe gin and prosecco), or for those who like more of a kick, the Solitary (rum and chilli).
Bookings (including large groups and exclusive hire) can be made by calling 0203 310 5555 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transport: Old Street tube and Shoreditch High Street overground
Of course, if you’re lucky enough to be a member or to know one, there’s always the ever popular Shoreditch House, with its rooftop pool, bar, and restaurant…