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With the mercury rising, it’s time to nab a spot on London’s coolest rooftops. At the first sign of sunshine, Londoners make a beeline for breezy bars high above the hustle and bustle of the city. Up here, everything from stargazing to a game of pétanque is on the menu. From posh cocktail dens with skyline views to converted car parks pouring craft brews, check out our favourite legal highs in the city.

  • Frank’s Café

    10th Floor, Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

    The annual opening of Peckham’s hip car-park bar is as much part of the London summer season as Chelsea Flower Show or Wimbledon.

    Climb the stairs for Campari cocktails, superior bar snacks, art installations and expansive sunset views.

  • Skylight

    Tobacco Dock – Pennington Street Entrance, E1W 2SF

    Best for: Sporty types

    Play croquet or pétanque at this East London behemoth, or catch Wimbledon and the World Cup on the big screens.

  • Sushi Samba

    Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY

    Step into one of the tower’s two glass elevators for some of the finest wraparound views in the City.

    Brace yourself for some serious indulgence; both the fusion restaurant (Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian) and outdoor terrace bar are unapologetically high-end – hence the ‘casual elegance’ dress code.

  • The Culpeper

    40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP

    Escape Shoreditch’s frenetic pace at this verdant roof garden, perched above the Culpeper pub on Commercial Street. It’s known for its imaginative summer events schedule (workshops on botanical drawing or medicinal herbs), modern British menu and rooftop greenhouse, which supplies ingredients for the kitchen and bar.

  • The 12th Knot

    20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD

    Best for: The posh life

    The Tom Dixon-tastic Mondrian hotel is topped off with this sleek, high-spirited bar, whose sunny sliver of balcony looks out over the Thames.

Image credits: © Skylight; © Skylight; © Jamie Lau; © Skylight; © COPYRIGHT JAMIE LAU; © JAMIE LAU; © The Rumpus Room