There are few cities around the world that can compete with the London skyline, so sit in a bar with a view of it.
1. ME London
The ME London, a Meliã hotel, features the Radio Rooftop Bar on its tenth floor, with panoramic views of the capital. A cocktail will set you back £13, and the dress code is "trendy and casual."
The property is located on the Strand, giving it views of Tower Bridge, the Shard and the London Eye. The bar is open 12pm - 1am Monday to Wednesday, 12pm - 2am Thursday to Saturday, and 12pm to 12am Sundays.
2. Shangri-la at The Shard
Gong is located on the 52nd floor of the Shangri-la at The Shard and is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the highest bar in London. Designed to show off the “timeless allure of the Orient,” the bar is available for afternoon tea as well as cocktails and features a pool.
Cocktails are either £17 or £18, there is a £30 minimum spend policy per person and tables are allocated for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Gong is open 12pm - 1am Monday - Saturday, and 12pm - 12am Sundays.
3. The Tower Hotel
The Tower, a Guoman hotel, is located on St Katherine’s Way just down from Tower Bridge, and offers the Xi Bar and Lounge.
The Xi offers a view of the historic Tower Bridge across the Thames to enjoy with your cocktail, which will set you back between £9 and £10.50. The Xi also offers a selection of snacks and meals and is open 5pm - 1am Monday to Thursday, and 12pm - 1am Friday to Sunday.
4. The Mondrian London
The Mondrian London offers a rooftop bar known as the Rumpus Room. Inspired by the “Bright Young Things,” a tabloid nickname for bohemian socialites and party-goers in 1920s London, the Rumpus Room offers cocktails between £12.50 - £14, as well as a wide variety of whiskey, gin, wine and specialist champagnes to all smartly dressed over 21 year olds.
The Rumpus Room is open 5pm - 1am Tuesday and Wednesday, and 5pm - 1:30am Thursday to Saturday.
5. The Trafalgar
Billed as one of London’s best kept secrets, The Vista at the Trafalgar lives up to its name in style with a sprawling view of Trafalgar from the sixth floor bar. The property is situated across the river from the London Eye, if those six floors aren’t high enough for you.
Cocktails start at £10, and the bar is open Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 11pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 10pm, although note that the bar is currently closed for winter.
6. Doubletree by Hilton - Tower of London
The Skylounge at Doubletree by Hilton offers both indoor and outdoor seating on the twelfth floor of its central London setting. Just seven minutes from the Tower of London, the Skylounge also offers a selection of burgers and hot dogs.
Cocktails start at £12 and bar reservations can be made for a minimum of 10 people or more. The bar is open until 2am every night, while the terrace closes at 12am.
7. Four Seasons at Canary Wharf
The Quadrato Bar and Lounge at the Four Seasons Canary Wharf offers guests an outdoor terrace serving lunch and dinner 11am - 11pm every day, with some lighter dishes available until 1am. The terrace features a view of the hotel’s own gardens and the Thames. All cocktails on terrace are served with unlimited "posh popcorn."
Note that the property is due to be debranded by Four Seaons brand in April (see news, January 14), but will continue to operate as a luxury hotel.
8. Hilton London Wembley
Perched on the summit of the Hilton London Wembley lies Sky Bar 9 offering tea, champagne and cocktails, as well as a view of Wembley Stadium, which is a two-minute walk away.
Sky Bar 9 is open Thursday to Saturday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 am, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
9. The Sunborn
Some might consider planting your hotel *on* the Thames as cheating, but not Sunborn. A 108m, 136-room yacht moored more permanently in London’s docks, the ship offers views across The Thames towards the O2 Arena.
The Sun Down bar offers a variety of cocktails from £11, and a wide variety of rums, gins, brandies, and whiskies climbing to £26 for a 50ml measure of Hennessy XO. The bar is open 10am - 12am Sunday to Thursday, 10am - 1am on Fridays, and 10am - 2am on Saturdays.
10. The Chelsea Harbour Hotel
The Chelsea Harbour Hotel features The Terrace which overlooks the small marina at Chelsea Harbour. The al fresco drinking and dining area is open daily, dependent on the weather, between 7:30am and 12am.
Cocktails range from the simple at £14, to the extravagant at £55.50 for a Classic Champagne Cocktail.