London’s best rooftop bars, cinemas and pop-up gardens

Dalston Roof Park

Dalston Roof Park

If you’re sick of battling for tables in beer gardens or straddling gutters in order to enjoy a pint on a balmy summer’s eve, try these temporarily transformed spaces for something a little different.

Dalston Roof Park
Just off the gritty, main drag of Dalston on the rooftop of a former factory, you’ll find the little urban oasis that is the Dalston Roof Park, complete with vibrant green AstroTurf and a wee shack serving beverages of a cooling and alcoholic nature.  Check the website for oepning times and a full list of evening events including outdoor cinema, theatre and music. To access the Roof Park, you’ll need to become a friend of the Dalston Roof Park by filling in the online form or collecting a member’s card in reception. Membership is free.

Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar
It’s not often you plan to spend an evening on the roof of a multi-story car park, but then most car parks don’t play host to a cafe, bar and sculpture exhibition. South of the River Thames, down Peckham way, Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar has been set up as part of the Bold Tendencies Sculpture Project, an exhibition with 15 large-scale new works by international artists. The cafe is open Thursday to Sunday 11am-10pm and food is served 12-2.30pm & 6-10pm.

Urban Physics Garden
Beside the railway line in Southwark, in an otherwise derelict space, the Wayward Plant collective have created the Urban Physics Garden, a pop up garden with a focus on medicinal plants. Throughout the week you can attend workshops, have a mini-consultation with a medical herbalist and even pledge a plant to the garden. Enjoy a spot of brunch on the weekends at the Rambulance Cafe, a decommissioned ambulance which serves as the kitchen for the pop-up supper club, Rambling Restaurant.

Dishoom Chowpatty Bombay Beach Bar
This is a little slice of Chowpatty Beach, right in the heart of London. As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Festival of Britain, a Bombay Beach Bar has popped up on Southbank, serving Bombay style street food and all kinds of tasty tipples. In keeping with the ramshackle vibe, the bar has been built jugaard-style (Hindu for ‘making do’) with recycled materials, furnishings and decorations. The bar is open Monday – Friday from ‘noon til late and Saturday, 10am til late.

Queen of Hoxton’s Roof Top Film Club
The panoramic roof top at the Queen of Hoxton is a firmly established option for a bit of daytime rooftop skylarking in the summer months: it’s Pimms, BBQs and deckchairs all the way. When then sun drops behind the city skyline, grab a cold beer, a few tasty snacks and take in a cult classic film on the big screen. Films are shown five nights a week and you’ll need to buy tickets in advance. Check the website for a full programme and sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss tickets.

Thursday to Sunday 11AM–10PM
Food served 12-2.30pm 6-10pm

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3 Responses to London’s best rooftop bars, cinemas and pop-up gardens

  1. You missed out the best and most exclusive of all –

    Five and Nine Rooftop

    The funny thing is they have done really well to keep themselves a secret hidden space and run some incredible events and photoshoots there.

    • Dan says:

      Hey Millie! Five and Nine is indeed a hidden gem but I think it’s only available for private hire, which is why we haven’t included it in the list.

  2. Thanks mate, i learned a lot about rooftops bars here in london. Were just newly arrived here in london and were searching for some happy tripping here.