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Written by Mae Bristow - 02 May 2024

Our selection of the best rooftop bars in the City of London

It may be the oldest part of London, older even than its medieval streets, but the City of London’s skyscrapers have created an iconic present-day landscape and are prime real estate for extraordinary rooftop bar experiences – with price tags to match.

Those with a fear of heights might not agree it’s worth the cost, but for the rest of us, the thrill of sipping cocktails from rooftops with views of the City skyline – or from rooftops within that skyline, should probably be experienced at least once.

So we crawled out of our usual basement drinking dens to get tipsy from high on up.

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afternoon tea at mercer rooftop bar city of london
mercer rooftop bar city of london rooftop bar

1. Enjoy the spectacle of the City lights: Mercer Roof Terrace at Vintry & Mercer

Mansion House, London

Near Mansion House Station, the Mercer Roof Terrace is located on the 7th floor of the Vintry & Mercer boutique luxury hotel and offers some of the finest views of the London skyline. Mercer’s commitment to quality and hospitality is what makes it stand out from the crowd.

Cocktails include inventive recipes using house-infused spirits presented and take presentation very seriously. The food menu celebrates the best of British cooking, using the highest-quality sustainably sourced meat and fish from the British Isles paired with English wines. Notable mention: the roof terrace offers one of the finest traditional afternoon teas in London.

The terrace at this City rooftop bar offers a range of private hire options for up to 36 people, and during winter it offers igloos and glasshouses for guests to wine & dine within whilst surrounded by twinkling lights and the City skyline.

view from at wagtail rooftop bar and restaurant city of london private dining
cocktails at wagtail rooftop bar and restaurant city of london private dining

2. 360° views of iconic London landmarks at this City of London rooftop bar & restaurant: Wagtail

Monument, London

Right near Monument Station in the heart of the City of London, Wagtail Rooftop Bar and Restaurant is split across two levels of a gorgeous 1920s building and offers panoramic views of London’s most iconic landmarks.

The restaurant has two private terraces, a fully heated and covered rooftop terrace bar, and in the cupola crowning the building there’s an exclusive private dining room – all combined make for one of the most luxurious rooftop bar and dining experiences in the City.

Wagtail can accommodate up to 120 people for private hire, it’s ideal for summer parties and also weatherproofed for winter events. You also get the private dining room in the cupola as part of your hire. A top-notch seasonal food menu and cocktails created with simplicity, sustainability, and seasonality in mind make Wagtail a top City rooftop bar.

view from sabine city of london rooftop bar
view from sabine city of london rooftop bar

3. A botanical rooftop bar: Sabine

St Paul's, London

Cool, modern, and a bit more casual than other rooftop bars in the City, Sabine is the kind of place tourists (and more than a few Londoners) like to visit for Instagrammable photos of the London skyline with an out-of-focus cocktail in the foreground (or vice versa). It’s also wildly popular for private hire with people who like to go big when celebrating a special occasion.

Like all the City of London rooftop bars, it’s picturesque, and the views are killer, both from the roof terrace and under the glass dome ceiling. Get up close and personal with St Paul’s or admire the skyscrapers of the City and the Shard just beyond. And like all the other rooftop bars, expect cocktails priced mid to expensive, but also expect original flavours and enjoyable sips that almost make the price worth it.

people at jin bo law city of london rooftop bar
view from jin bo law city of london rooftop bar

4. The City views from within: Jin Bo Law Skybar

Aldgate, London

On the 14th floor of Hotel Saint in Aldgate, right next to Aldgate Station, the Jin Bo Law Skybar is one of the many buildings that make up the City skyline. From the rooftop bar terrace, you can see fantastic views of Tower Bridge, the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie, the Gherkin, and more.

A sleek and contemporary interior with small touches of yellow and a contrasting dark marble floor all blend to create this Asian-inspired bar. The curated cocktail menu features unique ingredients used to create unexpected sips, such as the Blooming Fire and the Old Tokyo Fashion. All in all, not too fancy and not too casual with the right amount of City views.

iris bar at searcys at the gherkin city of london rooftop bar
sunset and people at iris bar at searcys at the gherkin city of london rooftop bar

5. Be part of the iconic London skyline at the IRIS Bar at Searcys at the Gherkin

Aldgate, London

Perched high above the City, the IRIS Bar was previously the site of a members-only bar, but now it’s open to all and offers an extensive cocktail menu as unique as the setting, making it an iconic City of London rooftop bar.

Searcys’ expertise in exquisite champagne, English sparkling wine, and cocktails, alongside unrivalled London views, all make the IRIS Bar one of the most outstanding locations for a special occasion. It is breathtaking to sip a cocktail under the glass roof of the Gherkin whilst the twilight fades into the City lights beyond the windows.

city garden in skybar city of london rooftop bar
city garden in skybar city of london rooftop bar

6. Let’s not forget the extraordinary rooftop views at the City Garden at Skygarden

Monument, London

It goes without saying, but the Walkie-Talkie building’s world-famous Skygarden offers the City Garden on Level 36 for private hire. This spacious City rooftop bar is accessed through the stunning gardens of Skygarden. Whilst it’s a little too spacious for us to have a casual drink in, it is such an iconic place for private hire for a special occasion that we can’t not include it on this list.

City Garden can accommodate up to a whopping 300 guests standing for several types of events, making it the ideal rooftop bar for a large event or celebration. It’s a mostly blank canvas, customisable for private hire bookings. Like the Gherkin, if you want a truly spectacular location for a special occasion, the City Garden is a bar with views hard to compete with.

Enjoy the views from the best rooftop bars in City of London

Few places in City of London evoke the same feeling as a rooftop bar. A sprawling cityscape, a drink in hand, the setting sun. If this sounds like the perfect backdrop to your City of London rooftop bar event, then you're in the right place. We've scoured the skyline of City of London to bring the very best rooftop bars around. Search, match and book easily with HeadBox's rooftop bar selection.

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Your ultimate guide to renting a rooftop bar in City of London

Elevate your event experience by holding it on a stunning rooftop bar in the heart of the City of London. With breathtaking views of the iconic skyline, a vibrant atmosphere and chic ambience, rooftop bars offer an unparalleled setting for any occasion, from corporate meetings to social celebrations. In this comprehensive guide, we'll look at everything you need to know about hiring a rooftop bar in the City of London, including pricing considerations and seating options.

1. Research rooftop bars in the City of London

Start your search by researching rooftop bars in the City of London. Use HeadBox to explore the options available. Consider factors such as location, view, capacity, ambience and reviews to narrow down your choices.

2. Define your event requirements

Before contacting potential rooftop bars, clearly define your event requirements. Determine the type of event you're hosting, the estimated number of guests, the preferred date and time, budget constraints, and any special amenities or services you require. A clear understanding of your needs will help you find the perfect venue.

3. Contact rooftop bars for availability and pricing

Contact shortlisted rooftop bars in the City of London to enquire about availability and pricing for your preferred date and time. Provide detailed information about your event requirements, including the number of guests and any specific decor requirements. Request a venue hire quote and enquire about any additional services or amenities offered for events.

4. Understand pricing structures

Rooftop bar hire prices in the City of London can vary depending on factors such as venue location, size, facilities, day of the week, time of day and duration of hire. Some rooftop bars may offer special packages or premium pricing for events with exclusive access to certain areas or VIP services. Review pricing structures carefully to ensure they are within your budget.

5. Explore seating options

Consider the seating arrangement that best suits your event objectives and guest preferences. Rooftop bars in the City of London typically offer a range of seating options including lounge seating, high tables, cocktail tables and standing room only. Choose a layout that encourages mingling, socialising and enjoying the panoramic views of the city skyline.

6. Assessing amenities and facilities

Evaluate the amenities and facilities provided by each rooftop bar to ensure they meet your event requirements. Look for features such as a well-stocked bar, professional bartenders, audiovisual equipment, heating or cooling options, and restroom facilities. Confirm that the rooftop bar can accommodate any special requests or arrangements needed for your event.

7. Checking for additional services

Inquire about any additional services or support offered by the rooftop bar to enhance your event experience. Some rooftop bars in the City of London may provide onsite catering, customized drink menus, entertainment options, event planning assistance, and security services. Discuss your specific needs with the bar's management to determine what services are available.

8. Confirming logistics and setup details

Once you've selected a rooftop bar for your event, finalize logistical details with the venue's management team. Coordinate setup and breakdown times, access for vendors or entertainers, and any specific decor or branding requirements. Ensure that the rooftop bar can accommodate any special requests or configurations needed for your event.

9. Reviewing contracts and policies

Before signing a rental agreement with the rooftop bar, carefully review the contract terms and policies to ensure you understand and agree to all the terms and conditions. Pay close attention to details such as the rental fee, deposit requirements, cancellation policy, liability waivers, and any additional fees or charges.

10. Planning for a memorable event

On the day of your event, arrive prepared and ready to host a memorable gathering at the chosen rooftop bar in the City of London. Coordinate with the venue's staff, vendors, and guests to ensure everything runs smoothly. Enjoy the breathtaking views, delicious cocktails, and lively ambiance for an unforgettable experience.

Renting a rooftop bar in the City of London offers a unique and unforgettable event experience, with panoramic views of the city skyline serving as the perfect backdrop for any occasion. By following the steps outlined in this guide and working closely with the rooftop bar's management team, you can create a memorable event that delights your guests and exceeds your expectations. Here's to hosting an unforgettable event at a spectacular rooftop bar in the City of London!

Frequently asked questions

It's advisable to book a rooftop bar well in advance, especially for popular dates or during peak seasons. Aim to book several weeks or even months in advance to secure your preferred date and ensure availability.

Some rooftop bars may have guidelines or restrictions on decorations and set up to ensure the safety of guests and preserve the ambience of the venue. Discuss any decoration plans with the venue management and follow their guidelines to avoid any issues.

Rooftop bars often have contingency plans for inclement weather, such as retractable awnings, covered areas or indoor spaces. Discuss the venue's policies and options for weather contingencies with management when booking your event.

Many rooftop bars offer site visits for prospective clients to view the venue and discuss event details in person. Arrange a site visit with the venue management to get a first-hand look at the space and ensure it meets your event requirements.

Accessibility features, including wheelchair access, should be considered when planning your event at a rooftop bar. Check with the venue management about accessibility options to ensure all guests can comfortably access the event space.

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