Radio Rooftop is Covent Garden’s exclusive rooftop cocktail bar – but is it worth the hype?
Perched atop the glamorous ME Hotel on Aldwych, there’s a lot of hype about Radio Rooftop London.
After all, a bar that bills itself as an exclusive hideaway and which is renowned for being one of the best rooftop bars in London, not to mention one of the best bars in Covent Garden has a lot to live up to.
And it does, sort of. The cocktails are pretty decent (if a little unexciting), the decor is opulent, the views are incredible but the atmosphere… well the atmosphere falls flat.
Planning your visit to Radio Rooftop? Here’s what you need to know.
It’s not all bad – in fact, it’s not bad at all. The cocktails were well-made – though they really should be at around £16 a pop.
Watching the barmen at work as they whipped up drink after drink throughout a busy Friday evening was testament enough to the fact that these guys have some serious skills.
I opted for the Smoke & Mirrors first – a very drinkable combination of Macallan Fine Oak, Maker’s Mark, Lagavulin, Cocchi Americano White, Antica Formula and Angostura bitters that was as smoky as the name suggests.
Radio Rooftop bar’s menu was nicely eclectic, with something to suit every palate. My particular favourite was the Radio Garden – a nice mix of Hendrick’s, cucumber, basil and elderflower that will be absolutely perfect for sundowners in the summer months.
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It takes special skill to bring a hotel bar to life – to make it somewhere you actually want to spend your time in rather than just another place to see and be seen and, in truth, Radio Rooftop doesn’t quite manage it.
For all of the expensive drinks and the glitzy decor, the bar has all of the atmosphere of a shopping mall before opening time.
The music’s loud enough, the people are talking but it lacks any real feeling (well, perhaps other than the relentless narcissism of some of the posier patrons).
Overall, the service was friendly – I’ve read a lot of complaints about people being held in queues for hours but we had no issue getting in on a Friday night.
There was one member of staff who was out and out rude – so I can well believe the reports of less than perfect service. However, we sat at the bar where the mixologists were unfailingly courteous throughout the night.
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Radio Rooftop Bar London: Practical Information + Map
Radio Rooftop is a perfectly decent place for cocktails in Covent Garden – the views are priceless.
In truth, if you’re not that fussed about the views, but there are better options nearby – I’d suggest starting with the American Bar at The Savoy before moving onto Upstairs at Rules, perhaps with a cheeky late night drink and dance at Blame Gloria.
Looking for more London guides and tips?
- The Covent Garden Bar Guide
- Quirky Shoreditch Bars for Late Night Jaunts
- Cool Things to do in London