The Best London Restaurants With A View

Spots that aren’t always about the best food, but will remind you that London is extremely good-looking.
The Best London Restaurants With A View image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Once you look past the Pret on every corner, it’s easy to remember that London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We have history seeping out of every structure, be it Roman or Brutalist, and a river running through the middle that provides some breathtaking vistas. London’s rooftop options are decent but there are amazing views all across the city. So whether you’re trying to impress a boss, a visiting friend, or you simply want to stare at something cool for a few hours, these restaurants will remind you that London is extremely good-looking.


photo credit: James Bellorini

Modern European

Covent Garden

$$$$Perfect For:Drinks & A Light BiteImpressing Out of TownersCatching Up With Mates
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From the lofty heights of the Royal Opera House’s fourth-floor terrace, you can spy all the best bits of Covent Garden—the street performers, the market stalls, cobbled streets—without all the pigeons and shopping bag-related injuries. There’s a European-leaning menu at Piazza but it’s so tranquil up here—tasteful grey seating, hanging foliage, proximity to ballet dancers—that it’s a pleasant spot even if you’re just having a glass of wine. A drink here is the right way to show out-of-towners Covent Garden, without making you hate yourself.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

With a cold, crisp negroni in hand, the terrace at Southwark restaurant Tavolino can feel like heaven. Rows of green rattan chairs, flirtatious smiles exchanged over courgette fritti, and panoramic views of everyone’s favourite 1886 London poster boy, Tower Bridge. But it is a place that is reliant on the British weather, which is a bit like saying your tax consultant is Jordan Belfort. If the heavens open you can still peek at the bridge against the twinkling night sky from inside the Italian restaurant. Hit up this spot for polite group meals with colleagues centred around a bottle of chianti, or for a last-minute date night that demands tagliolini.

photo credit: Tim Charles



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With Decimo the view is drip-fed to you slowly. In the glass lift, you’ll catch a glimpse of the incredible King’s Cross clock tower as you zoom up to the 10th floor of The Standard, London hotel. Then you’ll take in the six-foot-cacti-filled room. And floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the bathroom mean you’ll see an incredible view of London while washing your hands. While a lot of the food is good but outrageously expensive, this Mexican and Spanish-inspired restaurant—with its red velvet, excessive foliage, and music blasting from the DJ booth—is a guaranteed great night out.

The original Scott’s in Mayfair is all fine and dandy, if uptight, but the Richmond outpost beats it in almost every way. From the art deco-style room that’s perfect for anyone who appreciates beautiful things, to the coveted tables by the window that look onto the river, Scott’s is easy on the eyes. When the sun’s out, the terrace opens and the views of Richmond’s greenery get even better. The menu—a love letter to the big blue sea—is filled with classics like dover sole (always go meunière) that are so excellent that you’ll forget about the view for a second.

Look at those palm trees. And all those pillows. Nobody’s sitting uncomfortably at Seabird. Which is just as well because if you get a seat at this Southwark seafood spot on a sunny day, it’s going to take a SWAT team to make you leave before you’ve spent a couple of hours taking it all in. We know the rooftop is exciting, but you also shouldn’t miss the ice-stacked raw bar inside. They’ve got 10 varieties of oyster to pick from and the servers are happy to guide you through your options with zero side-eye.

An evening gently cruising around the canals of west Paddington is one of the more unexpectedly scenic meals you can have, and London Shell Co.’s commitment to delicate, European-influenced seafood makes it all the better. You’ll pair oysters, champagne, and smoked haddock croquettes with a twinkling evening along the Regent’s Canal. Risotto is spooned and corks are popped, and, although it sounds like a novelty experience, it manages to feel totally and authentically London. They have two canal boats so if you want to be on the move, book The Prince Regent (The Grand Duchess is the static one).

Ugh, another European-leaning small plates restaurant serving biodynamic wines? Well, what about one that’s 200-odd feet up with panoramic views of Peckham and beyond. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? That’s because Forza Wine is. The bar-restaurant-trendy-bird-watching-spot avoids any of the naffness usually associated with rooftop bars and instead has taleggio-topped flatbreads, cauliflower fritti with aioli, and a mean negroni.

Sometimes it feels like there’s a trade-off: good views for bad food. And, in the case of Sushisamba, it’s very much true. It’s got the fusion menu, it’s got the arse-clenching prices, it’s got the clientele wearing very tight trousers. That said, it really does afford some of the most breathtaking views across the entirety of London. Knowing that, you should enjoy the ride up to the 38th floor of the Heron Tower with drinks in mind, rather than sushi rolls topped with melted mozzarella. Play it safe and get dinner somewhere else in Shoreditch.

Sessions Arts Club is for anyone whose dream view is carefully distressed, art-covered walls, and a vast, regal dining room lit solely by flickering, throbbing candles. It’s easily one of London’s most glamorous and grandiose restaurants, and even the reception at this modern European spot in Clerkenwell has a wonderfully hazy Diptyque-ish and boudoir-like feel. The food—crab croquettes, panisse, chocolate tart—is all plate-mopping stuff and feels as special as the space itself. Try and get a booth on the upper level so you can look down on the space in all its dilapidated glory.

photo credit: Endo at the Rotunda

This spot is Temporarily Closed.



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When you step inside the lift that takes you to the eighth floor of the old BBC Television Centre in White City, prepare yourself—and your phone—for the view. Full disclosure, Westfield is part of the view from Endo at the Rotunda, but it also stretches far beyond, over the city skyline. You’ll also quickly realise that Endo—the owner, head chef, and headliner—and his band of chefs are the ultimate view here. They perform behind his 10 or so-seater counter-cum-stage and hand-deliver an unforgettably excellent omakase meal. Yes it’s £250 a head, but this experience is absolutely worth it.

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