London is almost unbearably hot at the moment, especially if you're confined to the office or, worse still, the tube!
However, aside from having some of the most beautiful and surprisingly spacious parks in almost all the world, London also has an array of magical, sometimes super-secret outdoor spaces which are perfect for spectacular, memorable and often breath-taking summer events. So, the hotter the better!
The beauty of such spaces is that they're actually designed to work all year round. From balmy summer evenings to dramatic-skied autumn soirees and even winter cityscapes (behind glass or at least in a toasty heated marquee), they all bring the sensational London skyline and surroundings into play, enhancing your events every time.
So here are some of our favourites, all of which are available for hire:
- Vista at the Trafalgar Hotel – iconic roof bar overlooking Trafalgar Square. Small and intimate but nice and exclusive.
- The Grand Connaught Rooms – a small, secret roof-space adjoining their cute Penthouse meeting room. This used to be a Freemason's apartment and it feels like it!
- Cannon Bridge Roof Gardens – A stunning (and large) lawn on top of cannon Bridge station, with direct views of the Shard and Tower Bridge (amongst other things). Accessed via a spiral staircase from the office block below.
- Home House – not up on the roof but a sensational tented garden nevertheless. Stunning and smart with a nice big BBQ grill. Perfect for watching Wimbledon.
- The Sky Garden – OMG – this is going to be awesome. On top of the massive new 20 Fenchurch St (the Walkie Talkie) and due for completion next summer (2014) this Rhubarb/Heston Blumenthal mecca will be a mature garden at the top of the world!
Will and Heston
- Kensington Roof Gardens – the original classic and deservedly so. Mature Italianate Gardens suspended above Kensington High Street, with mature trees after some 70 years of cultivation – Sir Richard Branson knew what he was doing when he bought it 30 years ago!
- Broadway House – Fulham's latest celebrity haunt with a fine dining restaurant, sports bar, private member's club and two amazing roof terraces – Don't miss BBQs on Fridays!
- Radio at Me Hotel - my current favourite London hang-out! This place oozes style and refinement. You really feel like you are IN the view here (and in the coolest place in town too). They turn away an average of 1,200 people a night but you don't really get a sense of why until you're up there! I'll be there within 2 hours of writing this…
View from The Radio Rooftop Bar at the ME Hotel.