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Best rooftop bars in the UK

We've rounded-up the best rooftop bars across the UK from slick hotels to hipster street food spots and everything in between. Read on to find out more

We’re lucky if summer lasts a whole weekend in the UK, so when we do get a glimmer of sunshine, you need to know exactly where to go to make the most of it. With that in mind, we’ve put together our pick of the best rooftop bars across the UK, places with great drinks and even better views. Read our round-up below.

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1.     Frank’s Café, London This is about as trendy and hipster as you get, but in the best possible way. On top of a multi-story car park in Peckham, Campari is the drink of choice here (try it in a sbagliato if you find it too bitter), but there are also other cocktails and the obligatory Pimm’s and lemonade. Snacks are pretty good, too, so get some smoked paprika sweetcorn or sardines with tomatoes and oregano to have alongside your negroni. Frankscafe.org.uk


2.     The Sky Bar, Edinburgh The Sky Bar at the top of the Hilton sits between the Old Town and Lothian Road in the centre of Edinburgh. It’s only open on the first Thursday of each month so get there early to bag yourself a table and enjoy one of the best views of the city (the panorama includes Edinburgh’s iconic castle) with a craft beer, a glass of wine or a glass of fizz. doubletree3.hilton.com



3.     Rumpus Room at Mondrian, London The Tom Dixon-designed Rumpus Rooms are so sexy they’re worth a visit for the décor alone. Everything here feels luxe, with red leather and purple velvet seating and gold tables. It sounds over-the-top but it works. There are floor-to-ceiling windows for when it gets chilly, but head out onto the terrace for views over the Thames to St. Paul’s while you sip champagne or a gin punch. Nibbles include lobster rolls and there are DJs from Thursday to Saturday; what more could you want? rumpusroomlondon.com 

4.     Bambalan, Bristol The latest opening from the team at Hyde & Co, Bambalan is an industrial space made welcoming with bright blue booths and a huge, colourful mural. It’s open all day, with food cooked in a wood-fired oven, charcoal robata grill or rotisserie. The drinks menu is equally good, with coolers, vermouth and tonic pairings and jug cocktails the perfect pairings for the restaurant’s sunny roof terrace. Bambalan.co.uk


5.     Dinerama, London OK, so this isn’t technically a rooftop, but it’s a great vantage point from which to watch people queuing up for the likes of Yum Bun, Breddos Tacos and Fundi Pizza. There are plenty of boozy offerings too, from craft beer to killer cocktails. Streetfeast.com


6.     Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, Birmingham Set in the strikingly modern Cube building in Birmingham’s Mailbox district, this restaurant is 25 floors up with panoramic views across the city. To make the most of it, head out to its newly opened terrace and sip a glass of Laurent Perrier from their dedicated bar. mpwrestaurants.co.uk. For more great views, head to Rofuto, the newest opening from Des McDonald, the man behind the ever-popular conceptual restaurants on the roof of Selfridges Oxford Street. This latest project is a modern Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant and bar  with panoramic views.  The Kurabu cocktail lounge sits alongside with a bespoke cocktail list featuring drinks like Red Lotus (shochu, tequila, cranberry and lychee sorbet), and an extensive sake list. Rofuto.co.uk



7.     Pergola on the Roof, London It’s not just the East End that’s turning its car parks into foodie hot spots. Shepherd’s Bush is getting in on the action with Pergola on the Roof on top of the multi-storey at Television Centre. With whitewashed woods, fairy lights and a giant pergola covered in blossoming vines you’ll feel like you’re on holiday. The food is great, too, with pop-ups from Salt Yard, Patty & Bun, LeCoq and Rabbit. pergolaontheroof.co.uk

 


8.     Rooftop Playground, Manchester Perched on top of The Old School House hotel, this south-facing rooftop oasis genuinely used to be a boys’ playground. There are plenty of sun loungers to relax on while you take in views over the city or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, step into the on-site hot tub. Food is available from the BBQ to munch alongside cocktails before the partying really starts. eclectichotels.co.uk


9.     Varsity hotel and spa, Cambridge With views out over many of the university colleges, this sky-high hotel bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a bit of lazy sight-seeing. It is a big space, with different seating areas including sofas to sink into as you consider the bar’s extensive champagne list. There are BBQs every Friday-Sunday from 12pm: order a classic bun or try a tuna steak burger with Niçoise relish. Thevarsityhotel.co.uk


10.     Sushi Samba, London A vertigo-inducing 38 storeys above London, you’re guaranteed some of the best views over the city at this Japanese/Brazilian/Peruvian mash-up. The crowds gather quickly but make it through the scrum and you’ll be rewarded with fantastic cocktails from Richard Woods. Think padrón pepper caipirinhas, Green Tea-ni and the much talked about Kobe cocktail; a take on an old fashioned washed with kobe beef fat and stirred with maple and salted caramel. Sushisamba.com


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