London is a crowded city. Despite the huge parks dotted around, Londoners are still quite squeezed for outdoor space. So when the nicer weather comes, they head up onto the roof. Here are some suggestions:
A gritty urban summer rooftop experience is watching films at the Queen of Hoxton (1-5 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3JX). This place is very artsy with fake turf and lawn chairs. They serve great grilled jerk chicken, and provide wireless headphones to film watchers so the London traffic doesn’t interrupt full immersion in the viewing.
Aqua Kyoto (30 Argyll St, W1B 3BR) is at the other end of the spectrum with lots of understated Japanese –style grey décor and a great view over Regent Street, including the Apple store just to top off that high-modern ambience.
The pick of the views has got to be the appropriately named Vista on top of the Trafalgar Hotel (2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square). Yes, it overlooks Trafalgar Square, and if you peer over the edge carefully you can spot the National Gallery and St Martin in the Fields church.
And finally, back to the arty and impermanent. Dalston Roof Park (18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL), a green lawn laid on top of an old paint factory. There’s an art gallery downstairs, and Café Oto, an arts venue/bar next door. It’s worth the climb.