Too much alliteration? Sorry.
So this isn’t exactly the most insightful post (and mainly just an excuse to post more pictures than is socially acceptable on Instagram), because unless you’re a self proclaimed drinks connoisseur, which I assure you I’m not, there’s not a whole lot to be said on sipping pints in the sunshine. But what else are you meant to do on a bank holiday/weekend/any day when the weather is nice –
Define “nice weather”
- Most countries: hot, sunny
- Britain: above 15 degrees, not raining
– I joke, but the past few weekends have actually been sunny (like 28 degrees-lets all complain it’s too hot-hot), which of course means grabbing the nearest fellow human, heading to the pub and feeling absolutely, unapologetically, no shame that you’re drunk at 2 in the afternoon. Like many on this island, I do indeed also enjoy this past time, and recently have been known to frequent rooftops for this very purpose (note to self: three times doesn’t constitute ‘often’). Which brings me to rooftop bar numero uno: Frank’s Cafe.
Frank’s Cafe, Peckham
I have wanted to go to Frank’s Cafe ever since my placement year in London back in 2014/2015. Now, finally back in the Capital on a permanent basis, and looking for a bar to hole up in, Frank’s beckoned. Set atop a multi-storey car park in Peckham, you’ll have to climb several flights of stairs-turned-art installation. Although I doubt you’ll get out of breath, as you’ll be stopping every five seconds to take pictures against the ceiling to floor (and literally everything in between) baby pink backdrop. Your Instagram will thank you later.
Frank’s is perfectly situated for stunning views of London’s skyline, with the Shard of course taking centre stage, but also with decent views of the various city skyscrapers, and if you look closely, the London Eye and St Paul’s. Tip: time it so you see day, sunset and night views. All equally glorious. The place has a casual and friendly vibe as well as relatively cheap drinks. And of course, for the designated drivers, lots of close parking.
Best for: amazing views, cheap drinks
Downside: limited drinks menu
Brixton Beach, Brixton
A few weeks ago I was finally reunited (after two years!) with the girls I worked with at Disney (did someone say “yoohoo, big summer blowout”?!). Taking full advantage of anywhere in London that puts on a free event, we headed to Brixton Beach. As the name suggests, it is a sand-covered, deck(ing chair)ed out haven above the urban concrete of South London.
Among the crowds you’ll find beach huts serving delicious street food and alcoholic slushies. You probably won’t find anywhere to sit, but with the help of the wordless heavy beats coming from the DJ booth, do like Rio and dance on the sand. Unfortunately, this rooftop is not situated as high up as the other two, so really the only views you’ll get are of the Overground passing by. Because hey, despite the Cuban feels, you are still in London after all. But once the train has not-so-speedily disappeared into the distance, you’ll feel that squidgy sand beneath your feet and be transported back to a more exotic place.
Best for: making you feel like you’re on holiday, food
Pergola on the Roof
From South London, cross north of the river and head west. Set atop yet another towering car park – who knew car parks could be so multi-purposeful? – you’ll find the aptly named Pergola on the Roof. With painted-on palm trees and pebbles underfoot, this place has a slightly more sophisticated vibe and the semblance of the infamous Hamptons region of New York, USA. Warning: if you go at peak times you will have to queue. We found out the hard way.
After regrettably taking the stairs, Em and I were met by a loud, buzzing atmosphere. But music and drinking aside, we had one very important target on our minds: food, and more specifically Patty & Bun. One of the great things about Pergola on the Roof is that they have a handful of ‘restaurant kiosks’, hosting some of London’s top eateries. One of them is Patty & Bun which, as the name suggests, specialise in burgers. Now listen up, do yourself and your taste buds a favour and go check them out (they have nine locations across London). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nowhere does a burger quite like London (compared to a very limited tour of some burger places in the UK).
Anyway, enough about burgers. The music was good, albeit a little loud for talking, and the bar serves MASSIVE bottles of rosé (don’t ask me to name those fancy words for wine bottle sizes). The place is mostly covered too, so perfect for days when the weather is not so great. The views definitely don’t live up to those of Frank’s but there are still quirky little areas for all your Instagram needs (see below).
Best for: food, a rooftop venue with (good) music
Frank’s Cafe, Brixton Beach and Pergola on the Roof are all open until the end of September, then they shut their doors for Winter (sigh). So get a move on if you don’t want to wait until next year!
https://www.facebook.com/BrixtonRooftop/ (they do have a website but my browser is telling me it could contain viruses. Enter at your own risk)