For every building, there is a roof – and for almost every roof in London, there is a bar. In a heaving scene of sky-high bars and skyline views, one building-topping venue is taking a different approach to their offerings. The Culpeper, over in Spitalfields, is a true gem with quirky cocktails, incredible views of London, and a rooftop garden that provides ingredients for the kitchen and bar. Back in 2021, it was even ranked as ‘Europe’s Best Rooftop Bar‘ by Big 7 Travel.
Naturally, we had to go and have a look!
The rooftop bar spends the winter months in hibernation, but now that the sun is back and the longer evenings are firmly in place, they’ve reopened their lush rooftop garden. It’s the ultimate destination for dreamy summer nights.
Inside the Culpeper
As far as pubs and bars go, The Culpeper truly has it all, which explains why it’s praised so highly by Londoners and travel guides alike. The space is spread out across four floors inside a beautiful old building, in which you’ll find a pub, a restaurant, a tiny boutique hotel, and the winsome rooftop bar. Let’s start from the ground up, shall we?
The ground floor is a classy, chic pub, serving a large selection of wine from the cellar, as well as draught beer and a list of creative cocktails. Here you can grab lunch, or some snacks in the evening, choosing from seasonal dishes like the Dill-Cured Salmon with Daikon & Radish Salad or the Red Pepper Hummus with Almond & Harrisa Pesto, Datterini Tomatoes, and Thyme Crumb. And, naturally, they also serve up a banging Sunday Roast.
On the first floor, you’ll find another light-flooded dining space with large windows and gorgeous interiors. Here, the lunch menu is also available, as well as an evening food selection, with the likes of Spinach & Ricotta Dumplings with Peas, Violet Artichokes, Salsa Verde, and Pecorino, and Pan-Fried Monkfish with Ratatouille, Crispy Polenta, and Herb Salad. There’s also a rotating Aperitif of the Week, designed to get your taste buds ready for the meal ahead!
During the day, guests can enjoy lunch from any one of the venue’s three floors. But come evening, dinner is only available from the restaurant on the first floor. However, there are plenty of bar snacks available in the ground-floor pub and at the rooftop, for peckish drinkers.
On the third floor is an unexpected but delightful little boutique four star hotel with carefully laid out rooms to rival London’s lineup of hotels.
The star attraction
That all sounds pretty fabulous, but we know what you’re here for – that rooftop. Serving up its own set food menu and stunning skyline views, it possesses a truly spectacular ambience. And within the 1,400 square-foot rooftop, approximately 500 square feet are taken up by The Culpeper’s rooftop growing space. There you can see ingredients bloom before they make their way onto your plate, or into your drink.
As such, The Culpeper is perhaps the only London bar with its own gardener on staff. The Culpeper’s green-fingered head honcho is Jack Astbury, who uses the rooftop to grow ingredients for the kitchen and bar. Any ingredients they can’t grow themselves are sourced from farmers and suppliers who put regenerative farming practices at the heart of their work. These include meat from The Ethical Butcher, dairy from The Estate Dairy, and olive oil all the way from Two Fields Zakros in eastern Crete.
The Culpeper also recently announced that they are building their own farm (not rooftop this time) in London, in partnership with their partner pub, The Duke of Cambridge. The 3,500 square foot farm in Deptford will grow fruit and veg for the two pubs, as well as for the local community.
The Culpeper is a truly wonderful little slice of sustainable heaven right here in London, from the little greenhouse to the plant life that surrounds diners. Whether you’re looking for a hit of fresh air and greenery, a sunny lunch among the plants, or a romantic sunset cocktail date, it’s a can’t-miss spot!