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Saturday
May262012

Top 10 for Sunshine Drinking

Inspired by the five days of sunshine we had last week, which I'm praying will return and continue indefinitely here is my list of top places to soak up sunshine and alcohol. In no particular order...

1) The Boundary

Outside of my usual haunt, in Shoreditch, but so worth it. It's perhaps the most beautiful rooftop ever. Although the views aren't particularly stunning, the attention to detail makes up for it. Food, barbecue fare mostly, is nothing worth writing about, but will help soak up the alcohol. Seats are comfy, heaters and blankets are provided for when the sun begins to set. All in all it's a truly beautiful place. Obviously this comes with a queue, as do most good places in London, so it's worth heading there early. Bookings are possible with a minimum spend.

 

2) Vista

Much closer to home, right on Trafalgar square, putting the bar on level with Nelson, with views over the National Gallery and Big Ben. The bar is chic, and was expanded last year. Drinks are expensive, the "Sunshine premium", but nevertheless it's a lovely spot to enjoy a drink.

 

3) The Chelsea Farmers Market

Another favourite spot, although this time at ground level. Halfway down the King's Road, it's basically a hut serving as a kitchen with a load of picnic tables outside, and yet when it's sunny there's always a queue. It's an easy place to spend hours with a bunch of friends, drinking and eating the generally average food.

 

4) Aqua

Back to the rooftops. This one on top of the old Dickens and Jones just off Regent Street very close to Oxford Circus. There's actually two rooftop bars here both identical, one attached to each of the two restaurants. The second one, off the Spanish restaurant, isn't visible from the entrance and uses therefore ever so slightly more quiet. This is more of a standing place and less relaxed than the other three.

 

5) Coq d'argent

In the heart of the city, on top of bank station, with a clientele that are poster people of the one percent the crowd is a bit lacking. Rock up in anything other than a suit on weekdays and you will illicit stares. Despite this, theres a lawn on which to lie, lots of seating and plants climbing every where. It's blissfully peaceful until the city boys hit their third glass when the noise level rockets. There's only two very small lifts, so around fiveish on weekdays a queue begins to form.

 

6) Soho Sky Terrace 

On top of the Soho Hilton, its a distinctly average rooftop finished in an ever so slightly tacky fashion but its in the centre of town, and relatively unknown so theres less chance of running into a queue.

 

7) The South Bank

Not a bar, per se, just a space, and on weekends a food fair with every possible food, and a load of restaurants.

 

8) Laduree Covent Garden

Another close to home. In the middle of Covent Garden, with access to plenty of sunshine. They won't let you sit for just tea and cakes for a the majority of the day, lunch is required but regardless it's a good place to soak up the sun and street theatre.

 

9) Madison at New Change

Another city location, filled with bankers. Lovely views over St Paul's, although space is minimal. Bookings are available with a minimum spend of £500.

 

10) Kensington Rooftop Gardens

Restaurant, Bar, Gardens. Gorgeous.

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