Rooftop destination is back at Tobacco Quay for summer 2019.
One thing I love about the coming of summer is the opening of London’s rooftop bars. With such an amazing skyline in our capital, along with the lovely feeling of the sun on your face, it’s not surprising these sky-high destinations are a big draw over the warmer seasons. This week, one of my favourite summer destinations, Skylight, opened for the new season with its latest makeover. I went along to the launch in Wapping and checked out the attractions, cocktails, and – of course – the views.
Spread over three floors, the venue combines drinking, (casual) dining, lawn games and events, such as live sport screenings. The venue is well prepared for the unpredictable British summer, with plenty of zones undercover should the weather turn for the worst. Returning this summer are the croquet lawns and Palenque courts. My friend and I enjoyed a few games of croquet, which is significantly harder than it looks, but provided lots of laughs. In addition this year, Skylight has also added some table tennis.
Skylight offers three bars over the different levels, serving a mix of summery cocktails, such as Jalisco Sky, Raspberry Rum Margherita, Apple Sunrise and the Gin Basil Spice. There are also more traditional options, including wine, Bacardi spirits, Moet e Chandon champagne and Sharps Offshore, Staropramen, Wolf Rock IPA, Blue Moon and Aspal Cyder on tap. When you get hungry, there’s two stalls YIRO and Flipside, serving up delicious street food. I couldn’t resist some halloumi fries.
This summer sees even more seating and bookable options than previous years, with daybeds and garden booths available for intimate groups. There is more raised seating so even more people can get a better look at the views, while added greenery gives an urban garden vibe. Sports fans will be able to watch big games, including the FA Cup Final, Wimbledon and the Rugby World Cup. There will also be special events throughout the summer, including Hendricks Summer Solstice party (21 June), Gay Day, Opera and Dog Day.
Skylight was originally launched in 2017 on top of Tobacco Dock’s multi-story car park. Located just east of the City of London a short walk from Shadwell station (only a few minutes on the DLR from Bank), it gives stunning views over the capital’s skyline, with sights such as the Gherkin and The Shard visible. As well as its summer season, it is also a popular winter spot, with a rooftop ice rink on the roof.
- Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell (DLR/TFL Rail) or Wapping. Open from 2 May until (TBA) September 2019. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry, but large groups over 10 are recommended to book. Croquet: Indoor £25, Outdoor £35 (45 min game), Petanque: £15 (2-4 players), Table tennis £5 for 30 mins. Day beds and booths available for booking from £70 for up to 10 people. For more information, visit the Skylight London website.
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Long days and warmer temperatures mean summer is fast approaching. When the sun comes out, then I believe there’s nowhere better to be than a rooftop bar. Boasting one of the best views in the capital is Skylight, which is returning to East London for the summer season. Situated near the borders of the City of London and the East End, Skylight boasts a stunning skyline vista, plenty of food and drink options and the opportunity for lawn games. Having visited the original launch last summer and its winter makeover last November, I returned this week to check out its new summer 2018 look.
Skylight spans three floors of bars at the top of Tobacco Dock’s car park. There’s plenty of space both alfresco and undercover so there’s somewhere to take cover if the weather changes. We particularly liked the top-level, platform bar with its comfortable lounge-style seating and the best views in the place for sunset. The vista includes The Shard, Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie, as well as the nearby Hawksmoor pepper pot towers of the St George in the East church.
The bars were well equipped with a range of drinks to suit all tastes, including seasonal cocktails, spritzes, pitchers, bubbly, wine and craft beer on tap. We tried the refreshing Watermelon Mojito and a traditional G’n’T as perfect sunset downers. There’s also culinary options downstairs in the covered lower floor, with Yiro serving Greek food, while Flip Side is offering burger and chips options. We had some halloumi and salad wraps from Yiro which were nicely chargrilled and tasted lovely.
As well as the typical rooftop options of drinking and eating, Skylight offers a range of lawn games and other activities. There are four croquet lawns and two pétanque courts, as well as a penalty shoot-out football game, with tournaments and prizes giveaways. We tried the croquet and I was just as spectacularly bad as my previous attempt last year – it’s a lot harder than it looks! If you prefer to spectate rather than play, Skylight will be showing World Cup and Wimbledon matches on the big screen. Throughout the summer, there will be regular DJ nights from residents Gold Teeth and Coastal Haze, as well as daytime events such as rooftop yoga.
- Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. Open from 3 May until 23 September 2018. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry, but large groups over 10 are recommended to pre-book. Croquet: Indoor £25, Outdoor £35 (45 min game), Petanque: £15 (2-4 players). For more information, visit the Skylight London website.
For a guide to what’s on in London in August, click here.
Following its launch earlier this year, Skylight became a popular summer destination for rooftop drinking, food and games. Although many rooftop venues have closed for the winter, the Tobacco Quay destination has had a festive makeover. Launching last week, Skylight has been transformed for the winter season with the installation of an ice rink. Although smaller than other alfresco rinks, the Skylight one’s unique selling point is it offers fabulous views of the London skyline while you skate.
I went along to the launch last week having previously visited the venue in the summer and was impressed by how much it had changed. Despite anticipating it would be chilly and windy, I was pleasantly surprised. The top level features two bars – one enclosed in a heated tent and a pergola – heated too – with plenty of seating and blankets if you’re feeling cold. The lower-level is enclosed and include a fondue station, bar, lots of neon and alpine-esque furry seating and day beds. It’s a warm and cosy place which makes a great retreat after a whirl on the ice. There’s also an ice hockey slap shot outside if you’re looking to let off some steam.
The bars serve a wide range of beers, cider, spirits, winter cocktails and mulled wine. We tried the Apple Crumble, a rum and apple concoction that certainly gave us a warm and fuzzy feeling. Meanwhile, cheese fans will be in their element with the fondue station.
Overall, it’s a great, versatile destination for a wintry night out. The abundance of heating means you’re unlikely to be cold for long, which would usually be my main aversion to outdoor winter venues. There was plenty to keep us occupied and it was a nice change to have a great view while ice-skating. Instagrammers will find there’s plenty of material to pose against with Skylight’s neon and stunning vistas.
- Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. Free entry to Skylight. Under 18s allowed until 6pm. Open 2 November 2017 – 14 January 2018. Skating tickets: £10 (45 minutes). For booking, visit the Skylight London website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.
For a guide to London’s open-air ice rinks this winter, click here.
Coming to London’s East End this summer is a new rooftop destination with a lot more to offer than just alfresco drinking. Skylight in Wapping opens on 25 May offering three levels of summer fun with views of the City of London. Styled as an urban lawn club, the nightspot will offer cocktails, street food, croquet, petanque and more.
Coming from the team behind Tobacco Dock and Interact, this new venue is breathing new life into an unused space with room for up to 600 people. Situated above the 19th century, listed Tobacco Dock, Skylight will have awesome views of The Shard, Walkie Talkie and The Gherkin, among other iconic London sights.
On long summer nights, Londoners can head to the rooftop to enjoy an array of indoor and outdoor games. Skylight features two petanque courts, lawn bowls and three croquet lawns.
For those interested in drinking, there will be bars on every level, offering summery spritzes, cocktails and beer. The Blue Moon bar and lounge sky terrace will boast the best views in the place to sink a drink while watching the sunset. If you’re feeling peckish, several street food names have set up camp for the summer, including We Serve Humans burgers and Yiro Greek street food.
- Skylight, Tobacco Quay, Pennington Street entrance, Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. Open all summer from 25 May 2017 on Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry. Croquet costs £20-£30ph for teams up to 6 people, Petaque costs £15 per 30 mins for teams up to 4 people. For more information, visit the Skylight website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in September, click here.