London, get ready: here comes the sun (we hope)! It may have been a long, cold, lonely winter, but we're sure that summer's about to show its face, and we're getting ready to make the most of it with trips to the best summer bars in London.
We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite spots for those precious good-weather days, so whether you’re after a classic cold beer or a cocktail concoction, crack out your sunglasses and get ready to soak up the sun in one of these stunning settings.
1. The Oyster Shed
Situated just beside London Bridge, The Oyster Shed enjoys unparalleled views over the Thames and The Shard, cementing its reputation as a sought-after summer spot. There's plenty of space for large parties in the venue's open plan ground floor, and the private Captain's Table and raised Observation Deck provide an exclusive setting for more intimate events.
Location: Monument, City of London
Capacity: 350 standing; 140 sitting
2. Century Club
Boasting a sky-scraping rooftop bar, Century Club gives guests a taste of the high life. Revel on the decking, recline on the comfy chairs, and if it starts to rain? Relax, there's a retractable cover! This venue's set to make sure you have the gathering of the century (or at least, the summer) so sit back, chill out, and drink in the view!
Capacity: 60 standing
3. Gaucho Tower Bridge
With views directly over the Mayor's office and Tower Bridge, Gaucho Tower Bridge isn't short on visual treats. But this venue isn't only a feast for the eyes: Gaucho's famous Argentine menu provides a perfect platter to give flavour to any event, and with fine wines and sophisticated decor, a summer soirée here is sure to go down well with guests.
Location: Tower Bridge
4. Smith's of Smithfield
With sliding doors primed to let in the sun (or - heaven forbid - shut out the rain), Smith's of Smithfield have you covered for all eventualities. Famous for their food, and lauded for their lush views, it's easy to see why Smith's are a staple of summertime in the city. Crack open a beer - or something posher if you're in the mood - and get ready to bask in the restaurant's radiant glow.
Capacity: 80 seated
5. Pergola Paddington
With 3 bars, 4 restaurants, and a whole lot of plant power, Pergola Paddington is the perfect setting for a sun-soaked afternoon. Shake off the past 18 months of lockdown with a cocktail or 3, and treat yourself to a taste of summer with a meal from Pergola's mouth-watering menu. With capacity for more than 800 people, this is the place to bring everyone together.
Capacity: 850 sitting
6. Sea Containers
Miles above most bars, Sea Containers isn't your average events space: drinks on this open rooftop require a head for heights and a taste for adventure! And with panoramic views in every direction across the iconic central London skyline, this incredible sky-high setting is well worth the trip to the top.
Capacity: 200 standing
7. Hope and Anchor
Offering a floral oasis amidst the bustle of Brixton's streets, the Hope and Anchor is a spectacular spot for a sunny afternoon. With a backdrop taking you from street to sanctuary in seconds, this midsummer's dream location is a little bit magical. And with soul food on the menu, and Insta-worthy Tiki huts on tap, summer events here are guaranteed to be blooming marvellous.
Capacity: 500 reception
8. Barrio Shoreditch
Competing for the most colourful venue in London, Barrio Shoreditch brings a pop of Brazilian fiesta to any summer event. If the tropical decor is anything to go by (and trust us, it is), hang-outs here are sure to be wild. Matched by an equally epic cocktail menu, we're predicting that this venue will be hopping with happy customers all summer, so best book your spot as soon as tou-can!
Location: Shoreditch High Street
Capacity: 18-400 reception
9. NT’s loft
Dreaming of an LA vacation? Take a quarantine-free trip across the pond with NT's palm trees and rooftop cocktail bar - that's right, this terrace comes with its very own cocktail bar to cater to your every whim! A music venue by night, you'll find sun-seekers soaking up the rays with a Sangria here through the summer - go on, you know you want to join them!
Capacity: 70 standing
Fittingly found in Camden Market, home of the hippest shops around, Gabeto's warehouse interior and laid-back outdoor area exude cool vibes all summer. Wander the lanes and peruse the wares before ending up here for a well-earned drink at one of the best outdoor tables on the market.
Location: Camden Market
Capacity: 120 seated
It feels like years since the sun's been here, so don't waste a second of good weather when it finally arrives this summer! Get in touch with one of our venue experts today to stake your claim to the hottest seats in the house, or check out some of our other super summer bars here.
Jessamy channels her passion for sustainability and cultural events into shining a spotlight on innovation and inspiration in the events world, and heading up Hire Space's sustainability committee.