Helix & Iris
Hattie Lloyd 12/08/19
Restaurants that come with a great view can often be a bit steep.
But we’ve compiled a list of the top restaurants in London with a view that’ll be worth every penny…
Forza Wine | Peckham
Peckham’s Rye Lane now boasts a knock out, red-brick, creative hub. It’s called Market and includes six floors of shops, studios, co-working space, and restaurants. Up on the roof you’ll find Forza Wine, the sister to (you guessed it) Forza Win, except this time – rather than sourdough pizzas and big bowls of communal pasta – their focusing on more refined Italian small plates, as well as, obviously, wine. It’s most wow-ing feature however has to be the outdoor terrace, which, especially at nighttime, serves up undoubtedly one of the best views in Peckham. Suddenly even the chaos of Rye Lane seems beautiful, let alone the glistening cityscape behind.
Details: 5th Floor, The Market, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST | Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday; just lunch on Sunday
Seabird | Southbank
Perched atop of the Hoxton Hotel on the South Bank is Seabird a new seafood restaurant courtesy of the same team behind one of Brooklyn’s finest cocktail and oyster bars, Maison Première. A short elevator ride will whisk you up to the 14th floor where, as well as a big, leafy, bohemian-styled restaurant, you’ll find a huge outside terrace with – in true seabird fashion – a cripplingly good view of London. Our recommendation would be to work your way through a couple small plates: hand-dived scallops with tomato soffrito, spinach, pine nuts, and raisins; as well as couple of oysters off what is currently London’s longest oyster list. Then, before your mains, cocktail or glass of wine in hand, take a trip outside to watch the sunset over London’s iconic skyline, featuring everything from the Houses of Parliament to St Pauls.
Details: 40 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, SE1 8PB | Open Mon-Thurs 12pm-12am; Fri 12pm-1am Sat 12pm-1am; Sun 12pm-12pm.
Decimo | King’s Cross
Decimo comes to us from Peter Sanchez-Iglesias who, up until now, has been running two Michelin Starred restaurants – Casamia and Paco Tapas – in Bristol. And for his first foray into the capital, he’s made quite the entrance, with a restaurant ten storeys up at new hotel The Standard in King’s Cross. You’ll find your way in via its own dedicated, bright red capsule lift that’s accessed from outside the building, and which skims across the hotel’s elegant mid-century facade directly to the roof…
Details: 10th floor, The Standard London, 10 Argyle Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8EG | Open for dinner from Tuesday-Saturday
Aqua Kyoto | Soho
A tranquil oasis right in the heart of Central London’s hustle and bustle, Aqua Kyoto is a zen refuge above the chaotic streets of Soho. The roof terrace bar, Aqua Spirit, makes a perfect nightcap spot after a meal in the dimly lit Japanese restaurant, where you’ll indulge in some of head chef Paul Greening’s extensive and delicately put together dishes.
Details: 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, (entrance on 30 Argyll St), W1B 3BR | Open daily for lunch and dinner
Boundary Rooftop Bar & Grill | Shoreditch
Featuring panoramic views of London, Boundary’s Rooftop boasts some of the best views in town. Decor is laid back luxury, with 100 year old olive trees, a heated glass orangery, an open fireplace and a huge sweeping outdoor bar. In the summer, the menu is Mediterranean in style, serving grilled meats & fish with fresh salads; whilst in winter they honour the Alpine regions with artery-clogging warming dishes like cheese fondue and raclette on the menu.
Details: 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DD | The rooftop is open daily from 11:30am
Duck & Waffle | The City
Half the fun of going to Duck & Waffle, on the 40th Floor of Bishopsgate’s Heron Tower, is the lift-ride up. To summarise; it’s glass, it’s fast and the crescendo of beautiful views is pretty mesmerising. Best of all, it’s a trip you can take in the middle of the night: open 24 hours a day, it’s worth a visit if only for the sheer novelty of being able to eat waffles at 4am.
Details: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY | Open 24/7, year-round
Helix at the Gherkin | The City
Helices are a pretty fundamental element of human life; being the shape of our DNA, the path a charged particle takes in a magnetic field, the motion behind a functioning corkscrew, and the name of the Gherkin’s top (two) floored restaurant & bar. Once open only to members, Helix now offers 360 degree views over London’s skyline to anyone who wants them.
Details: 30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8EP | Open daily, but you’ll need a booking to go along, which you can do online right here.
City Social | The City
It’s got City in the name, so don’t be surprised by the suited and booted clientele here. It’s for pleasure as well as business, though, and dinner overlooking the city skyline doesn’t get more impressive than this.
Details: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ | Open 12-2.30pm & 6-10.30pm Mon-Fri, and 5-10.30pm on Saturdays
Sushisamba | The City
With a unique fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food on the menu, Sushisamba is undoubtedly one of the most pleasant places to eat raw fish in the City. And if the views don’t manage to flummox you, the full-size orange tree they’ve somehow managed to plop into the outdoor bar certainly will.
Details: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY | Sun-Tues: 11.30am-1.30am, Wed-Sat: 11.30am-2am
Coq D’Argent | The City
With one of the most manicured lawns in London, Coq D’Argent is a City favourite, boasting views over St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, Monument and the Bank of England. You’ll have a choice of their hefty 54 pages of wines on offer, alongside classic French cuisine with a contemporary twist.
Details: 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ | Open daily 5-11pm
Sea Containers | Southbank
A cheery spot right on the river’s edge, Sea Containers gives a nod to the “Golden Age of transatlantic travel’; reflected in its Tom Dixon-designed panelled copper walls and mustard and burgundy leather seating. Of course, you won’t be looking at those – instead your eye will be drawn to the riverside views, either from the outdoor terrace or through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The menu is all about sharing; with small and large plates showcasing seasonal Mediterranean cuisine at its best…
Details: Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD | Open daily, with bottomless brunch on weekends. You can book a table on their website HERE
Madera At Treehouse London | Marylebone
For dizzying panoramic views near Oxford Street, head to Madera London. It’s a modern Mexican joint a’top The Treehouse hotel. Up on the 15th floor – immersed in a forrest of hanging and potted plants (all real), strung with filament bulbs – you can feast on the likes of tacos, taquerias, and Mexican-style flatbreads, as well as one of the best 360 degree views of the city.
Details: 14-15 Langham Place, London, Marylebone , W1B2QS | Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Monday-Sunday. You can book a table on their website HERE.
Aqua Shard | The Shard
Home to one of the best panoramas in London, with vertiginous views from the London Bridge railway tracks all the way to the edges of the city. Aqua Shard has left the skyline to steal the show, keeping their decor cool, understated and minimal. Offering the best ratio of pound to pano of all the restaurants in the Shard, they’re open daily for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. And for cocktails… because they’re smart.
Details: 31st Floor, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY | Open daily from 7am (9am weekends) – 11pm, with the bar open 10.30am-1am (3am Fri/Sat). You can book online right HERE
Hutong | The Shard
Boasting a view that’s two floors better than Aqua’s (with a bill that follows suit) Hutong is most certainly one for special occasions. However, if the dollar’s there, it’s a pretty special place. An almost replica of its namesake in Hong Kong, it’s moodily lit and full of the same carved dark woods and red Chinese lanterns, not forgetting a wishing tree inviting you to take a punt at your hopes and dreams.
Details: 33rd floor, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY | Open daily for lunch: Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am-3.30pm; Dinner: Mon-Sun 6-10.30pm | For more information, or to book, visit their website HERE
Smiths of Smithfield | Smithfield
You’ll find SoS opposite Farringdon’s historic Smithfield meat market, in a handsome Grade II listed building that, inside, breaks down into four floors, every one different from the next. And the uppermost of them is No.3, a high end British restaurant. You can get a remarkable Sunday roast, or just pop-up there for a drink – a glass of bubbles, al fresco, overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral….
Details: 67-77 Charterhouse St, Farringdon, London, EC1M 6HJ | Open all-day, all-week | For more information, or to reserve yourself a table, visit their website HERE.
Hawksmoor | Canary Wharf
When it comes to Hawksmoor’s latest spot, it’s really the view of the restaurant that’s the most impressive. It’s entirely floating, linked to land by a bridge joining up to the docks in Canary Wharf. And inside, it’s every bit as plush as you’d expect, with one floor for eating, one floor for drinking, and a private dining room perched above it all…
Details: 1 Water Street, Canary Wharf, E14 5GX | Open for lunch, dinner & drinks, Tues-Sat | Find out more or make a reservation on their website HERE
Last Updated: 2nd December 2021
All about the nice views? Check out our Ultimate London Rooftop Bar Guide and the Best Viewpoints in London
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