Of course food quality is key to a restaurant’s credentials, but there’s nothing like a good view to admire as you enjoy your meal. From sky-high dining at The Shard to off-the-beaten-track riverside pubs, these London hotspots boast some of the best views in the capital…
A new offering from the , the pretty Garden Room is perched on a rooftop in the heart of London’s West End. Vast floor to ceiling windows provide spectacular views of the city, with iconic landmarks like The London Eye and The Shard right there in front of you. The interiors are equally impressive, with a jungle of plants dotted around, fully-grown trees, white-washed floors and wicker furnishings. Cocktails take inspiration from the garden theme with floral hints – ‘Gimble’ for instance is a blend of Four Roses bourbon, dandelion and nettle cordial. Enjoy a seasonal, brasserie-style meal among the plants, with dishes such as cod with braised puy lentils, roast cherry tomatoes & salsa verde, and slow cooked spiced lamb with prunes, chilli & coriander & sweet potato mash. A great spot for date night.
Off-the-beaten-track gastropub The Gun is a bit of a walk from Canary Wharf, but it’s well worth going slightly out of your way for. Perched right on the Thames, the stylish pub boasts lovely views of the 02 and Greenwich – particularly from its waterside terrace, which fills up quickly during the summer months. Despite undergoing a lengthy refurbishment earlier this year, The Gun maintains its history and heritage, with long-cherished features such as open fires and wooden panelling. Head there on a Sunday afternoon for a tasty roast with a view.
No list of restaurants with the best views in London would be complete without some mention of The Shard: the city’s tallest building, towering 306m above ground. Half way up you’ll find Oblix, an upscale, stylish spot with panoramic views of the city. Brainchild of chef Rainer Becker (the man behind and ), the menu offers contemporary British and European dining, with focus on dishes from the wood fired oven, charcoal grill and rotisserie. Unsurprisingly the sky-high location comes with a price tag to match, but it’s a great place for special occasions.
Thanks to its prime location right beside the River Thames, French restaurant Le Pont De La Tour offers picture-perfect views from all angles, day and night. The space used to be a warehouse complex, but in 1991 it was transformed into a luxury dining spot by Terence Conran. Food-wise, expect a blend of traditional and innovative French cuisine, with dishes such as confit chicken leg with black garlic, pancetta and celeriac purée and cep risotto with truffle cream cheese, king oyster mushroom and wild rocket. During the summer the large outdoor terrace is the place to be, but in the colder months opt for one of the indoor table windows.
One of London’s older rooftop restaurants, the OXO Tower is at a lower altitude than its City counterparts – but it proves height isn’t always everything. From this slightly lower vantage point, diners can watch boats drift by along the meandering river while enjoying seasonal British dishes. Highlights include the sea bass, served with squid ink linguine, buttered kale, razor clam and Champagne sauce, and the stuffed loin of lamb with truffle gnocchi, pickled girolles and chestnut purée.
At Duck & Waffle the fun begins in the lifts, which feel like you’re shooting up into the sky. One of London’s highest restaurants, it’s located on the fortieth floor of the Heron Tower – and being open 24/7 means you can catch the stunning panoramic views whenever you fancy. Duck & Waffle makes the perfect special occasion spot, but it’s equally magical for an early breakfast as the sun rises over the sleeping city. Reserve a table well in advance, and be sure to push for one by the window.
The spectacle of the iconic SUSHISAMBA Liverpool Street begins from the panoramic glass lifts, which whisk you up to the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower where the restaurant is located. It boasts one of the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe, but floor to ceiling windows mean you can admire the views from indoors during the winter months.
Located on floor 36 of the iconic Walkie Talkie, the views from the Darwin Brasserie are pretty striking. Although Fenchurch Restaurant – one of Sky Garden’s other offerings – is higher, the Darwin Brasserie has better views thanks to its position further back from the Sky Garden’s atrium roof. A good option if you want to enjoy the sights without the flocks of camera totting tourists.
With its collection of Instagram-friendly riverside igloos, Coppa Club makes the perfect spot for winter alfresco dining. Positioned next to Tower Bridge and close to The Shard, the views from here are best at night, when the city is illuminated with twinkling lights. Book ahead to secure yourself a spot in one of the igloos, or set up camp inside, where big glass windows ensure beautiful riverside views. Food options include everything from pizzas to vegan burgers to small sharing plates, all very reasonably priced, which you can enjoy alongside some of the tasty cocktails on offer.
READ MORE: Best Special Occasion Restaurants in London
Sign up to our Newsletter