Soak up the sunshine – and the spirits – at London’s top alfresco bars
As London basks in the glow of long summer days, the city’s workforce yearns for respite from the increasingly oppressive confines of their offices. With air conditioning proving an inadequate substitute for fresh breezes, why not swap the hum of electronics for the gentle clinking of ice-filled glasses at one of the capital’s top alfresco bars? Let us take you on a tour of ten outdoor gems where you can bask in the sun while savouring an array of meticulously crafted cocktails, an eclectic variety of wines or a chilled, frothy pint. Each offering a unique London backdrop, these alfresco bars promise an invigorating sensory journey, catered to every palate, be it for the classic enthusiast or the adventurous imbiber. So here’s our toast to a British summer, characterised by stylish refreshment and unforgettable views.
Studio Frantzén: Panoramic pleasure
Nestled high above the animated streets of Knightsbridge, Studio Frantzén is an outdoor sanctuary offering sweeping views of London’s impressive skyline. At this upscale bar and restaurant chef Björn Frantzén’s team merge sleek Nordic elegance with delicate Asian touches, presenting an indoor-outdoor experience that is pure gastronomic delight. From artfully concocted cocktails to a culinary fusion of dishes that excite your palate, the restaurant ensures a sensory feast that’s as unique as it is sumptuous.
To book a table at Studio Frantzén visit their website here.
Sustainable margarita terrace at The Stratford: Conscious cocktails
Initiating summer with a twist, Cointreau and The Stratford Hotel this year unveiled their sustainable margarita terrace, geared to become East London’s newest sensation. Open seven days a week, Terrace E20 combines eco-conscious design with alfresco dining and drinking. Enjoy a range of innovative margarita variations, along with wood-fired pizza and an enticing selection of sharing dishes. The bar proudly champions sustainability, resulting in a 95 per cent reduction in single-use packaging waste. Offering more than just delicious drinks, there’s also the unique opportunity to “pedal for your Margarita”, blending fun and fitness in the summer sun.
To book a table at the sustainable margarita terrace at The Stratford visit their website here.
Boundary Shoreditch: A Mediterranean escape
Boundary Shoreditch transports guests to a Mediterranean haven right in the heart of London. The Rooftop & Bar boasts a panoramic view of the city, a lush garden terrace, and a glass Orangery restaurant that opens to catch the summer breeze. Head Chef Roberto Branca introduces a fresh Mediterranean menu, featuring charcoal-cooked meats and fish, simple salads, and enticing seafood. The bar offers a comprehensive selection of cocktails, wines, beers, and Champagnes, providing a scenic spot for those seeking to escape the city’s hustle.
To book a table at Boundary Shoreditch visit their website here.
Terrace on the Plaza at Pan Pacific: Luxurious lounging
Located on Bishopsgate Plaza, Pan Pacific London introduces the Terrace On The Plaza, in collaboration with St-Germain. This delightful al fresco seafood and cocktail bar brings a splash of sun-kissed beach bliss to the city centre. With St-Germain’s elderflower-inspired cocktails and a seafood menu that combines freshness with an Asian twist, guests can soak up the ambience amidst verdant foliage while enjoying the sun set over the city skyline.
To book a table at Terrace on the Plaza at Pan Pacific visit their website here.
Whispering Angel at Bar Aviary: A Provençal getaway
Escape to Provence without leaving the city at Whispering Angel Rosé Sky Terrace at Bar Aviary. This summertime partnership promises Londoners the pleasure of signature drinks paired with French sophistication and fantastic views of the capital. Decorated in Whispering Angel’s signature style, the terrace is a must-visit summer spot. The special menu includes a range of Château d’Esclans’ rosé wines and Aviary’s classic cocktails, as well as delectable dishes that perfectly complement your wine choice.
To book a table at Whispering Angel at Bar Aviary visit their website here.
Sushisamba Heron Tower: Panoramic perfection
Soak up the sun or dine under the stars on the picturesque outdoor terraces at Sushisamba Heron Tower. Offering two outdoor terraces and one of the best panoramic views in London, Sushisamba provides a unique experience for guests. The reimagined East Terrace with its colourful design is ideal for skyline views, while the Tree Terrace lures guests with its iconic 26-foot sculptural orange tree, seasonally inspired dishes, innovative cocktails and DJ sets.
To book a table at Sushisamba Heron Tower visit their website here.
The Roof Terrace at The Sloane: Summer soirée
Promising a celebration of alfresco dining at its finest, The Roof Terrace at The Sloane offers a fresh and vibrant British/Javanese menu. Enjoy light dishes celebrating British summer flavours with an exotic twist, all to be paired with refreshing cocktails. This lush outdoor space, part of The Sloane Club, offers an evening of live music with the weekly Sloane Sessions. The Roof Terrace also offers exclusive hire for private soirées, making it an unmissable summer experience.
To book a table at The Roof Terrace at The Sloane visit their website here.
Vineyard Terrace at Gaucho Piccadilly: Argentine aesthetics
For all wine aficionados and sunshine lovers, the Vineyard Terrace at Gaucho Piccadilly presents an authentic Argentinian summer experience. The terrace, adorned with hanging vines and twinkling festoon lights, will transport you to a scenic vineyard. With its stunning setup and delectable South American menu, the Vineyard Terrace offers a serene spot to retreat from city life and enjoy the finest Argentine malbecs in an Insta-worthy setting.
To book a table at Vineyard Terrace at Gaucho Piccadilly visit their website here.
Wagtail: French elegance in the sky
London’s luxurious 360-degree rooftop bar, Wagtail, introduces its stunning summer rooftop terrace in partnership with Minuty. Located in one of London’s grandest art-deco buildings, the terrace exudes French elegance and brings Provençal vibes to the city. Offering a selection of popular rosès from Château Minuty and a new à la Carte menu showcasing British produce, guests can enjoy the spirit of St Tropez without leaving the capital. With Wagtail’s iconic bottomless brunch and live entertainment, it’s a summer hotspot not to be missed.
To book a table at Wagtail visit their website here.
Cloudy Bay Summer Terrace at OXO Tower: New Zealand spirit
In collaboration with the iconic Cloudy Bay vineyard, the terrace at OXO Tower offers a six-course tasting menu, each dish thoughtfully paired with a distinct Cloudy Bay wine. Bask in the natural aesthetic, accentuated by verdant botanicals, providing a serene retreat from London’s lively pace. Savour dishes like Dorset crab, slow-cooked pork belly and dry-aged beef fillet, alongside wine and cocktails mixed to perfection by OXO’s accomplished bartenders. Whether it’s a special occasion or a simple Sunday lunch, the Cloudy Bay Summer Terrace brings together the art of dining and the joy of shared experiences.
To book a table at the Cloudy Bay Summer Terrace at OXO Tower visit their website here or call 020 7803 3888.