Food + Drink

Up on the roof


I don’t know quite what it is, but there’s something about enjoying a tipple on a rooftop that is unashamedly far more exciting than doing exactly the same in a ground floor bar. From incredible panoramic views to bustling sun-drenched terraces, there really is only one stylish way to take in the capital’s skyline this summer, and that is with drink in hand, atop one of these fabulous London rooftop bars.

by Gemma Dunn

Aqua London

High above the streets of London’s infamous Regent Street, Aqua London sits five floors up in one of the city’s most iconic buildings, the former Dickins & Jones department store.

An upmarket restaurant chain hailing from Hong Kong, the Aqua Restaurant Group epitomises destination dining with a blend of cutting-edge cuisines, über chic interiors and breathtaking views. Moreover, with an ethos such as this, its striking landmark destination in the heart of London’s West End could not be more fitting.

The top floor hosts two world-class restaurants, each serving up their own international cuisine to discerning diners, plus award-winning bar, aqua spirit. The first of the dining experiences is aqua nueva, a celebrated restaurant that offers its guests contemporary northern Spanish dishes, overseen by highly acclaimed chef, Alberto Hernandez. Meanwhile, the second – and the one that I had the pleasure of visiting – is aqua kyoto, a venture that exudes Japanese cool, transported straight out of Ginza, Tokyo, with its fabulous sunken sushi bar and spectacular sumibiyaki charcoal grill.

Serving up contemporary Japanese cuisine under the skill of executive chef, Paul Greening, aqua kyoto really is the perfect remedy for a sunny midsummer afternoon. Therefore, peach Bellini in hand, my colleague and I enjoyed breathtaking views from the restaurant’s sun-soaked terrace, before heading inside for a spot of lunchtime dining. Although, happily seated beside its floor-to-ceiling windows, we certainly remained in the al fresco spirit.

With the help of the attentive and knowledgeable waiter, we picked an incredible selection of dishes including prawn tempura with udon noodles, chicken and spring onion yakitori skewers with fresh truffle, wagyu sirloin beef with caramelised onion miso, a spinach salad with sesame seeds and goma dressing, plus a selection of salmon sushi rolls.



Beautifully presented and packed with flavour, the quality of each dish was just as innovative and exceptional as the next. To try to articulate the outstanding calibre of the food is near impossible, but let’s just say, it has left me planning an imminent return.

To finish, we shared an assortment of green tea, chocolate and yuzu mochi ice cream, and to follow, a spectacular forest floor, mint panna cotta with raspberry sorbet and chocolate crumble.


At aqua kyoto, each dish is a culinary masterpiece, pieced together by a series of elements that have been designed and crafted by a team of dedicated and skilled professionals. From its dramatic location to its unbeatable social terrace and matchless cuisine, Aqua London’s triumphant concept has injected something new and exciting into the London dining scene, and it is certainly deserved of every success.

Aqua London
5th Floor
240 Regent Street

Where else can you enjoy a cocktail in the clouds? Here are a few more of the capital’s rooftops bars that are well worth the hike.

Vista, The Trafalgar Hotel
2 Spring Gardens
Trafalgar Square
Radio Rooftop Bar, ME London Hotel
336-337 The Strand
Floors 38-39
Heron Tower
110 Bishopsgate
Kensington Roof Gardens
99 Kensington High Street
W8 5SA
Coq d’Argent
No 1 Poultry
The City
The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Southbank Centre
OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie
OXO Tower Wharf
Barge House Street
South Bank
Boundary Rooftop
2-4 Boundary Street
E2 7DD
Dalston Roof Park
The Print House
18-22 Ashwin Street
E8 3DL
Queen of Hoxton
1-5 Curtain Rd


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