Radio Rooftop Bar
You’ll want to keep Radio Rooftop Bar a secret. This chic new bar on the top of Covent Garden’s ME Hotel hasn’t reached the tourist guidebooks...yet. ME Hotel is triangular-shaped (it’s London’s answer to the Flatiron Building), so take your pick from sweeping views towards Big Ben and Covent Garden on one side, or the Thames and The Shard and St Pauls on the other. Snuggle under a furry throw on one of the plush white banquettes and sip a margarita as you watch sunset creep across the city. Open till 3am, 7 days a week.
Address: Radio Rooftop Bar, ME Hotel, 336-337 The Strand, London WC2R 1HA, 808 234 1953, melia.com
High above the hubbub that is Trafalgar Square is the newly refurbished Vista bar at the Trafalgar Hotel (pictured above) . It’s a stylish maze of shrubbery and chic seating, and come sunset the whole of London is illuminated (you can see from Nelson’s Column to Big Ben to the London Eye). The cocktail list is seriously extensive – try out the Leila Lavender Martini, with gin, thyme, rosemary and basil or the Mojiterraneo with a twist of oranges and basil from the rooftop’s herb garden. With weather like this, it’s the ultimate way to feel like you’re on holiday without even leaving the city.
Address: The Vista at the Trafalgar, Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, SW1A 2TS, 020 7870 2900, the trafalgar.com
Tucked away on the fifth floor, the rooftop lounge bar at the Sanctum Soho is an oasis of calm; in fact, it’s so calm you probably wouldn’t even believe you were in Soho at all. In keeping with the ethos of the hotel, it promotes relaxation to the highest degree. Think sink-into sofas, soothing music and its very own alfresco Hydro-Spa. Wall to wall glass doors open out onto the plant-filled garden, there are two seating areas; one for sun worshippers, one for those who like the shade and come sunset the place is filled with candles. Best of all, the rooftop is open 24-hours day. So, whether it’s a post-work drink or after-partying nightcap, we know where we’ll be heading.
Address: Sanctum Soho, 20 Warwick Street, Soho, W1B 5NF, 020 7292 6100, sanctumsoho.com
With its hot location, just a stone’s throw from the equally cool rooftop bar at Shoreditch House, and the laid-back Owl and the Pussycat, the Boundary is a bit of an ELLEuk favourite. Why? It’s super-chic for starters. The space has a huge sail-like canopy and festoon lighting, over its 48-seat grill restaurant and tons of smart-white seating around the huge fireplace. You can relax with a glass of something and soak up the 360-degree panoramic views from Canary Wharf to the Barbican. They’ve even got Welsh blankets to wrap up in, if it gets cold.
Address: 2-4 Boundary Street, City of London, E2 7DD, 020 7729 1051, theboundary.co.uk
Paradise by Way of Kensal Green
With its chaotic yet oh-so-cool decor, Paradise by Way of Kensal Green is trendy without being exclusively so. Built in 1892, it has huge windows, high ceilings and some very quirky chandeliers. We love its sanded wood floorboards, cosy candlelit alcoves, and reading room. However, after a relaxed Sunday roast with the papers, it’s to the rooftop we’ll be heading. The intimate terrace is the perfect place to round off a sunny summer weekend, sundowner in hand.
Address: 19 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green W10 4AE, 020 8969 0098theparadise.co.uk
Looking for something else to do in London? Check out our pick of the best art house cinemas in London.