Notwithstanding the vagaries of British weather, it's that time of year to dust off the sun cream, smile in the face of sunburn and seek out some of the best spots in London to watch the city come alive from above. London's skyline is amazing and so enjoying a drink with a view is always a pleasure. The trouble with rooftop bars is just that. They're on a rooftop so not always easy to spot from ground level. Worry no more as we've done all the searching for you.
So here we have the Original Dating guide to the best rooftop bars in London.
Madison, St. Paul's
While it may seem the perfect place for the post work city crowd, you'll find a pleasantly eclectic range of punters at this large 2-part bar. It may not seem entirely logical to take a lift in the middle of a shopping centre to the top floor, but once you do you'll be rewarded with one of the best views of St Paul's Cathedral a mere stone's throw away.
A small, heated outdoor area caters to the smokers but it’s the huge panoramic glass windows inside the right hand bar that really take your breath away. And the prices aren't too bad either. Just get there before 5 to grab a seat. Having said that, it's large enough to cater for all but the largest of crowds. And there's a restaurant too.
Madison, St Paul's Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Pauls, London EC4M 9AF www.madisonlondon.net
Situated in probably the second most iconic tower in London after the BT tower, Paramount sits atop Centre Point tower and, as such, commands one of the most spectacular views in town.
It's not the cheapest place on the list but the cocktails are magnificent and the restaurant serves some of the best food in London. Definitely a place to go if you want to impress.
Paramount, Soho Centre Point 101-103 New Oxford Street London WC1A 1DD www.paramount.uk.net
Sanctum Soho Hotel
This roof garden is a little favourite of mine and the perfect place for a date. We don't do particularly well in the outdoor furniture stakes here in the UK but this little gem boasts relaxing, comfortable sofas allowing you to bask in the incredibly well designed sun trap, even on the coldest of days.
And it's never been too busy when I've been there although, as with most bars in the West End, there is always something of a post work crowd. Expect trendy creatives working in Soho or those staying at the Hotel on some infinitely interesting work trip.
Again not the cheapest, but definitely one of the best.
Sanctum Soho Hotel Roof Garden Sanctum Soho Hotel, 20 Warwick Street, Soho, London, W1B 5NF www.sanctumsoho.com
Dalston Roof Park
If you like your bike gears fixed, your clothing 80's retro and your hair cut square then this little piece of brilliance is for you.
Astroturf, grow bags of plants and flowers, a huge solar panel and even a wooden shed that serves as a pop up bar. Grab one of the bright yellow kiddies chairs and a frozen Margherita and enjoy a random event from film screenings, barbecues from local restaurants and theatre productions.
Achingly cool and not too pricey, this one is for the trendies and trendy at heart. The view's not bad either. Note: Membership is required but it's an easy process and it's worth checking out the background to this piece of heaven.
Dalston Roof Park 18 Ashwin Street London E8 3DL www.bootstrapcompany.co.uk
The Red Lion
If you like your cool understated and a little off the beaten track then head down to the Red Lion. Just off Hoxton Square but not yet on the roof top goers spectrum, weekend barbecues, interesting views of East London and reasonable prices make this a little surprise that you'll be returning to more than once.
And with pretty decent prices and no overwhelming crowds, this is one rooftop bar that says down home relaxed with an edge of cool. And it's a pub. Like, proper.
The Red Lion 41 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6NH www.redlionhoxtonst.com
I'm going to go out on a limb here and pick my favourite. So I'm biased towards South London anyway but a bar on top of a multi-storey car park that looks like a cross between an ancient Mediterranean ship and a skint nomad's tent is going to take some beating.
Its industrial grime meets minimalist comfort with bare wooden tables covered by a single red canvas canopy. Drinks prices are very reasonable (although the food is a tad pricey), there's plenty of room, and a wonderful mix of people exhibiting the more relaxed South London style we've come to expect from this part of town.
It does get busy though so don't say I haven't warned you.
Frank's Cafe 10th floor Peckham multi-storey car park Peckham London SE15 4ST www.frankscafe.org.uk
So there you have it. Grab your sunglasses, expose your pasty pins and enjoy.