We’ve always known that London’s rooftop bar game is strong, but when summer comes around, we truly start to see the best of the best. Take The Culpeper over in Spitalfields; a true gem offering amazing home-grown food, quirky cocktails, and some of the finest views of London, it was ranked as ‘Europe’s Best Rooftop Bar‘ in 2021 by Big 7 Travel. This year? It’s had to settle for a slightly lower place on the list, but the mainstay in London’s sky has still gone and nabbed itself a place in the top 5.
The rooftop bar spends the winter months in hibernation, but this lush rooftop garden is open now for dreamy summer nights, and we wanna be there.
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 on 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. It’s also a fantastic space for a relaxed lunch or dinner, offering seasonal dishes like the smoked mackerel pâté on sourdough toast, ratatouille pappardelle, and wild garlic hummus with flat bread.
On the first floor, you’ll find another light-flooded dining space with large windows and gorgeous interiors, which is open for early and late-night dinners. It turns into a cosy restaurant when the sun sets, serving equally tantalising dishes, like the day boat fish fillet with mussels, sea vegetables, and confit garlic crushed potatoes.
The third floor is home to an unexpected but delightful little boutique hotel, which underwent a makeover in 2021 to add another chic bolthole to London’s lineup of hotels.
That all sounds pretty fabulous, but we haven’t even reached the best part yet: The Culpeper rooftop. With its own grill menu and drinks list, stunning skyline views and a lively ambiance, it’s the ideal spot to while away a sunny day or summer evening with a cocktail in hand. Last winter, Regenerative Agriculture events also took place, in a bid to make the whole building a more sustainable endeavour.
For instance, how many London bars have their 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. They’ll find their way into a new menu from Head Chef Pawel Ojdowski, with dishes such as beef kofta with mint yoghurt and pickled chilli, lamb shoulder with purple sprouting broccoli and romesco sauce, and rhubarb panna cotta for dessert. All the ingredients not grown on the roof have been sourced from farmers and supplies who put regenerative farming practices at the heart of their work, such as meat from The Ethical Butcher, dairy from The Estate Dairy, and olive oil all the way from Two Fields Zakros in eastern Crete.
It’s a truly wonderful little slice of sustainable heaven right here in London, from the little greenhouse to the plant life trailing behind 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, you’ve come to the right place!