Canopy covered come winter and a must-try in the summer, The Rooftop St James in Central London is a perfect date night scenario for those looking to drink outside in a little luxury, complete with views, bubbles, fondue and small plates galore.
Where To Drink Outside in London
In a city teeming with skyscrapers and jammed roads, it's no wonder that Londoners flock to some of the city's green spaces and rooftop for a drink outside come summer, or winter. But where can you find these gems? From beautiful rooftops in Peckham, to brimming beer gardens in East London, here are our top picks for some of the best places to drink outside in London.
The perfect pitstop after a stroll down the Grand Union Canal, Smith's Bar & Grill's outdoor terrace boasts gorgeous views and beautiful floral installations. Sip on a range of cocktails or dig into a selection of premium steaks and burgers.
It might not be by the sea, but that hasn't stopped The Leather Bottle's beach huts from winning us over in both summer and winter. The Earlsfield pub has a whopper of a beer garden, which is also available for private functions if you fancy going all out.
Head to the Vicinity terrace where you'll find one of London's most spectacular views. This riverside spot sits in the shadow of Tower Bridge and serves up a delicious menu of street food-style eats, alongside an impressive selection of cocktails, wines and Champagnes.
Hidden behind London Bridge Station, Vinegar Yard is a cool drinking and dining hotspot. Boasting a number of street food vendors and bars serving cocktails, wines and craft beers, the venue also has a massive outdoor seating area for some sun-soaked sips.
Offering another top-notch option for city drinkers is Aviary; the rooftop bar and restaurant in Finsbury Square. Stylishly designed by Russell Sage Studio, the terrace is a mix of laid back sofas and incredible views alongside winter igloos. If you get peckish, head to the glass-encased restaurant for hearty British fare.
Located in the heart of Farringdon, Bird of Smithfield ticks all the boxes. Meaty mains and British dishes? Tick. Stunning views with a leafy rooftop? Check. This is one for date nights, after-work drinks and the lot.
Searching for places to drink outside in London? You could do a lot worse than this East London gem. Serving up takeaway Aperol spritzes and tramezzino sandwiches, El Garito is also welcoming in a line-up of performers for a series of outdoor live music sets.
Thought Flight Club was just a haven for social darts? Oh no, their Victoria outpost also happens to feature one of London's prettiest rooftops. Take your mates for a quirky night out complete with games, drinks and dining before heading to the terrace for some alfresco cocktails.
Boasting one of the best beer gardens in North London, the Abbey Tavern is a must-visit for anyone looking to get a side order of fresh air with their drinks. Located in the middle of Kentish Town, there's a sprawling outdoor space and rooftop terrace for all your alfresco drinking needs.
A must for charcoal pizzas and vampire interiors, it's not just a love of slices and cocktails that we can give fangs for at Lost Boys, head to their heated garden space this winter to enjoy leafy surrounds and more premium Camden vibes.
In case you missed it, London Bridge is a great place to grab a few pints outside and Bunch of Grapes proves it. Hidden away down a side-street, this chilled out spot is perfect not only for British pints and plates but also a heated garden should you want to head outside.
With a beer garden the size of a small park, this pub (next to the much loved Victoria Park) has one of the best outdoor drinking spaces in London, and definitely the best al fresco dining in east London. Along with numerous tables for drinking, eating and whiling away the summer months, there's also a whole crazy golf pitch to have a go on.
On the hunt for alfresco drinks in Southbank? Look no further than The Green Room - a stunning glass-walled restaurant adorned with National Theatre memorabilia. Bringing the outdoors in, the terrace here is an extension of the dining room, with lawn space to stretch out in too.
Head to this hidden Knightsbridge gem for an afternoon of alfresco drinks in a luxurious setting. Along with a stunning cocktail menu, The Hari Hotel Bar & Terrace also sports a retractable roof, so you're guaranteed to stay dry in all weather.
Head over to Tobacco Dock where this unique outdoor drinking and dining spot is waiting to save your winter. With booths, benches, heaters and daybeds spread across the rooftop, Skylight offers multiple bars for all your beer and cocktail needs, alongside street food and entertainment.
A favourite on the outdoor drinking scene, Jin Bo Law is fast becoming one of London's top daytime party spots. Think live DJs, gorgeous City views, amazing cocktails and snap-worthy interiors should the weather take a turn for the worse.
Based around the theme of Napoleon's exile, the 600-capacity Bar Elba is London's own little party island. With awesome cocktails and epic views of the Thames, this Waterloo rooftop bar is a perfect outside drinking space in London. For 2020? You can even book their very own rooftop igloos.
Looking for somewhere to drink outside in South London? Fulham Beach is a firm choice with its stunning pergola, bookable beach huts and stunning outdoor seating with prime views of the Thames. That's not all though as they'll be hosting parties, supper clubs and boozy brunches.
There's just something about drinking alfresco that we can't resist. If you're after thirst-quenching drinks with delicious British dishes, head to Hackney Wick where this waterside barge gives you gorgeous views in a unique setting. From the fairy lights to the quirky location, Barge East has it all.
With an outdoor space that looks more like a fairground than any beer garden you've ever seen before, this is one of the best outside drinking spots in London. A perfect sun trap in summer, but with plenty of covered booths to huddle under when the rainy months arrive, Aeronaut is an ideal location for fans of al fresco drinking and dining.
Home to one of the best beer gardens in South London, this traditional British boozer is one of Southfields best drinking spots. Head over on sunny afternoons for the chance to soak up some vitamin D in their pretty yard, as well as soaking up a few pints in the process.
Hidden under the railway arches of Hackney Wick, Night Tales really is a gem in London's nightlife community. With a large outdoor space that opens up at the back, the venue is home to a selection of stunning street food vendors, cocktail bars and live music.
Part of Paradise Row, London Cocktail Club lies on one of Bethnal Green's hottest stretches of outdoor space. Tucked under the railway arches, the party bar has an outdoor terrace, perfect for making the most of the generous weekend happy hour.
Take your alfresco drinks to the next level as this Clapham outpost of Vagabond brings you a stunning outdoor terrace lined with candlelit tables and fairy lights hanging overhead. Soak up over 100 wines with tapas-style small plates, charcuterie, steak and more.
When it's not busy keeping us up until the early hours, Cargo is ensuring we stay hydrated in all outdoor weather climates. Check into the outdoor drinking space and check out foosball tables, BBQs and some cool Shoreditch vibes.
From outdoor cinema pop-ups through to a seasonally-themed rooftop, if you haven't been to Queen of Hoxton yet, what have you been doing?! The Shoreditch stalwart puts on a different theme every year, alongside bar snacks and cocktails that don't disappoint; this winter, head on over for hot cocktails and warming fires.
The Phene prides itself on catering for all occasions. Whether you're gearing up for a huge night out, enjoying a lazy weekend in a cosy armchair or tucking into a traditional pub dinner, this Chelsea favourite won't disappoint.
Looking for places to drink outside in South London? Head to Brixton where The Prince of Wales is offering a mega two-tiered roof terrace and tasty cocktails. What's more, they've also got a regular line-up of DJs to bring the beats and keep the atmophere high.
Who knew shipping containers could be so sexy? Pop Brixton did, that's who. The South London hangout is sporting a huge variety of street food traders, retail boutiques and bars, meaning you've got plenty of choice when you're looking to drink outside in London.