There is something perfect about London in the summer. The city has the perfect mix of stone buildings and the new glass super structures that make staring out onto the city scape one of the most breath-taking experience’s you’re ever likely to have. But what makes the city infinitely more pleasing to the eye is a drink, and in summer there are any number of rooftop bars to enjoy the city from. Here are the favourites of the London editors, Malachy and Frankie.
Malachy’s Favourite: Rooftop, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, up the yellow stairs
That sounds like a vague position, but it’s the most accurate way to describe it. So you’ve ventured up the yellow brick road, helpfully arranged into stairs to help you reach the roof, and there are two possibilities that will greet you – a swarming mass of men in suits (I’m sure there were women there too, but the other good thing about rooftop bars are that they attract pretty men in suits) or only a vaguely busy spectacle of people. If it’s sunny, it’ll be busy. The best bit about this bar is the sudden relaxation – there is a grass section in the centre where you can feel like you’re in Victoria Park (just with a better view), picnic tables that you and friends can share whilst basking in the sun or you can even just stand and enjoy the gentle breeze whilst you enjoy a drink.
It’s a strange oasis that feels unique, a not so secret spot but somehow you’re all enjoying wine or a cocktail together. Okay, fair warning, it’s not the cheapest place – but unlike an £9.50 cocktail at a bar where you might only get a thimble full, here, at least, you get what you pay for. So pull up a chair, or a spot on a picnic table, or a spot on the grass and enjoy a glass of wine or (my favourite) a passion fruit mojito.
Frankie’s Favourite: COPPA, top floor of the Hot House in Hackney (entrance via Martello Street)
Summer is the time when that desire for a barbeque really kicks in, and there is no better idea than mixing great food with great drinks. This would be why my personal favourite on the rooftop bar front is COPPA, bar and rosticceria. To begin with, the view of London fields it has, from the top of the Hot House in Hackney, is a truly stunning sight to behold, and it complements the place beautifully. The food at COPPA is a really worthwhile, although not necessarily everyday student priced. Providing a wide range of Italian-style antipasti, for those in search of a light sharing lunch with friends, its main attraction is still its rosicceria side (or rotisserie chicken to the rest of us). This fall-off-the-bone stomach filler will satisfy that barbeque feeling.
Now to the highest order of business: the drinks. COPPA has a great range of up-to-minute cocktail favourites, like the Aperol Spritz, and still keeping the classics, like a traditional delicious Bloody Mary. Looking for something to chill with? Its boozy granite serves this purpose, as an icy and trendy dessert meets cocktail mix (there’s a lot of crushed ice involved). There is also a seriously tasty range of wine, and though there is only one beer on tap, if you’re looking for something more than your standard Carlsberg and Ruddles, this is definitely the place.
I’ll admit, this bar would be a treat evening, as its not ideal student prices, however it’s really the best way to treat yourself. Sipping a Rosemary Julep, staring out over fields, and enjoying the sunshine? Perfect.