The best spots to soak up the sun on Oxford Street

11 July 2024

Summer is finally around the corner (we promise) and so we thought we would share the best spots to soak up the rays on Oxford Street, whether you’re into cocktails, sharing platters or relaxing green spaces.

1 .1864 Rooftop Bar & Restaurant

The newly opened 1864 Rooftop Bar & Restaurant is the latest venue to take residence on the rooftop of John Lewis. It might be situated in the heart of the capital but you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into an English garden. Think the greenest grass, lush foliage and flowers and ‘sheds’ you can sit in. As for the menu, it’s all about small sharing plates including pulled chicken salad and sweetcorn fritters, as well as cocktails, beer and wine.

2. Alto by San Carlo

Even if the sun isn’t shining, you can pretend you’re on the Italian Riviera at Alto by San Carlo, right at the top of Selfridges. The hideaway is decked like an Italian garden, complete with citrus fruit and hanging greenery, and serves morning-to-night Mediterranean dishes such as Burratta and tomatoes, Sicilian Arancini and Milanese veal. Even if you only have time to stop for coffee, make sure you taste their many desserts, like the Tiramisu or their famous pistachio tart.

3. Aqua Kyoto

Aqua Kyoto is amazing throughout the day, but it really comes into its own in the evenings, when the atmosphere is unbeatable. The rooftop bar, decked with cherry tree blooms, offers spectacular views of the London night sky (epic during the day too). You’ll be able to feast on Head Chef Ken Miyake’s summer menu, full of Japanese dishes including tuna tataki with fermented tomato & shiso sorbet and prawn & shiso tempura. If it’s drinks you’re after, you’re in luck. The venue have just announced a partnership with Porte Noire, the champagne and rosé wine maker founded by actor Idris Elba and wine expert David Farber. Cocktails-wise, there are plenty of options provided by Suntory brands featuring The Tsukiyama Garden, as well as non-alcoholic cocktails like the Cherry Blossom with Everleaf Mountain, Shichimi Toragashi Agave, Yuzu Juice, and Soda.

4. The Nest

The Nest aptly takes its name from its location, perched as it is atop the eco-conscious Treehouse Hotel, offering 360-degree views of London. Step into the nature-inspired space, full of natural materials and green foliage, and enjoy one of the market-drive cocktails and bites inspired by the tree. Grab a sun lounger on the wraparound terrace to enjoy the sunset on, you won’t regret it.

 5. Brown Hart Gardens

If you like your gardens terraced, historical and generally gorgeous, then head straight to Brown Hart Gardens, London’s best kept secret garden. The peaceful Grade II listed terraced garden features a water feature in one of the original stone seats, as well as plenty of seating to soak up the sun from. There’s also plenty of planted greenery and trees, and if you’re feeling peckish, there’s a café a the western end of the gardens.

6. Cavendish Square

For a slightly more laid back atmosphere, try Cavendish Square, a circular garden situated directly behind John Lewis. There, you can expect plenty of lawn space you can sit or lounge on, as well as ornamental garden lawns, shrubs and flower beds. Plus, this summer is plays host to the Underbelly Festival, a cultural pop-up festival that brings you the best of circus, cabaret and comedy. It’s free to enter the park during the festival, and even if you don’t catch a show, you can enjoy the atmosphere from the deck chairs and picnic benches. There are also some great street food options like the award swimming Seawise, offering the best fish and chips in London.


7. Grosvenor Square

Famed for its classically-landscaped gardens, Grosvenor Square in Mayfair was one of the first of its kind in London when it was unveiled in the 1720s. It features historical statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, as well as plenty of beautiful benches and colourful flower displays. Tourists, local residents, shoppers and office workers alike enjoy mingling there in the summer months, giving it a lovely sociable atmosphere. Grab a bite from any of the many eateries surrounding it and enjoy a peaceful moment.

8. Hyde Park

The most famous park in London is an unmissable destination all year round, but especially so in the summer. One of the eight Royal Parks, it covers a whopping 350 acres of land and is home to famous landmarks such as the Diana Memorial Fountain, the Serpentine Lake and Speakers’ Corner. You can simply relax and enjoy the sun in the many green spaces, or try out an activity such as boating, cycling, swimming, tennis or even horse riding.

9. Soho Square

Slightly less grand but nonetheless enjoyable, Soho Square is located toward the East of Oxford Street and is a great spot for catching up with friends, having a picnic or simply taking some quiet time to yourself and sunbathing. The cosy park features colourful floral displays as well as manicure grass, benches, and a charming faux market cross building dating back to 1926 as an ode to the square’s rich history.