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5 rooftop bars you must visit in central London

Don?t say it too loud but London has a summer. It?s true, it really does. This is something that both locals and travellers tend to forget, it also creates something of a quandary when it comes to drinking out; London is great for a roaring fire and cozy hotel bar in the winter, but what happens when the sun is out? Well, one option is to head to one of central London?s glorious central parks. Another option is to find a bar with?a roof terrace. Both great options but in the latter someone will mix the drinks for you, and keep them cold too!

Here are my picks for the top rooftop bars in central London. Enjoy.

Dalston Roof Park

The back story of this uber-trendy Dalston hangout will surprise nobody familiar with London?s most hipster suburb: The outdoor, rooftop space that is Dalston Roof Park, was a functional community allotment in a previous life! Now, the cabbage patches have been replaced with deck-chair lined lawns, the wheelbarrow has been upcycled into some Memphis-style smoker BBQ (that?s a slight embellishment), and only the coolest DJ?s in town don the decks. Oh, so trendy.

Radio Rooftop Bar

Arguably London?s most well-known roof terrace, Radio Rooftop Bar offers the best 360-degree of London?s skyline from slap bang in the middle of town. The cocktails are pricey but the bartenders are excellent and attentive. They?ll rustle you up anything you want whether it?s on the menu or not. Make sure you book ahead and try to reserve a spot on the balcony, you might get a seat if you walk-in but frankly it?s unlikely and you?re better avoiding disappointment.

OXO Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie

The OXO tower is probably the most famous London name on the list but that shouldn?t put you off even if you?re someone who likes to get off the beaten track. This is part of Harvey Nichols ? one of the city?s swankiest shopping centres and the OXO bar and restaurant is of the same ilk. The live music from Thursday to Sunday is great and a better view of St Paul?s Cathdral you will not find! Not Afternoon Tea is also great: for those who prefer cocktails and cakes instead of tea and scones.

Aqua Spirit

This is something of a hidden gem and a good one to make note of. Like most of the rooftop bars on this list, you won?t just stumble across it, so scribble it down! Situated high above Regent?s Street, the location makes it the perfect spot for a bit of retail recuperation. Despite the name, you won?t find a swimming pool but you will find?a relaxed pool of people kicking back and enjoying the sun and feeling rather smug that they've found this place.

Frank's Caf?

What Frank?s lacks in panache, it makes up for in panorama! This converted car park literally offers the best panoramic view of London. Based in a disused car-park in up-and-coming Peckham, the vantage point covers from Battersea power station in the West, to Canary Wharf in the east ? it would be worth the entrance fee alone? if there was one. If the sun is out, this is a London must. There is loads, and loads, and loads of space, live music, huge bars with lots of staff and delicious nibbles.

Rob Stross is Chief Marketing Officer at WeSwap.

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Short stay: The Angel Inn, Corbridge, Northumberland, UK

Short stay The Angel Inn, Corbridge, Northumberland, UK

Our latest weekend getaway was for a sailing event at Derwent Reservoir in Northumberland for which we chose to stay at The Angel Inn in Corbridge, a pretty town just a 20 minute drive away from the venue and 16 miles west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We opted to park on the street rather than in the The Angel's car park because we were towing a boat trailer, before being welcomed at a small reception desk next to a bustling bar.

This historic coaching inn dates back to 1529 and remains a thriving Northumbrian pub and hotel with a handful of rooms. We stayed in The Angel's apartment, still within the main building, which offers a real ‘home from home' experience that is perfect for families.

This self-contained accommodation offers a little more space than the other rooms, and you are greeted by a useful little kitchenette in the hallway as you enter, which has a microwave, Bosch coffee maker, integrated fridge, wine rack and everything you might need to fix yourself a quick snack.

A spacious living area is tastefully decorated, with comfortable seating, local information and a small table where you can eat if you wish (although there is a restaurant downstairs, too). It has its own hearth/fireplace, Shiva TV and Sony CD player/sound system, and we were welcomed with fresh flowers and a generous fruit bowl.

The accommodation also consists of two bedrooms - a double and twin bedded room each with flat-screen TVs...

...and a shared bathroom with heated towel rail, bath with shower over it, as well as Duck Island toiletries

The twin-bedded room is especially perfect for families travelling with young children, with its subtle Beano theme on the beanbag and on pictures on the wall.

It's also equipped with a Playstation 3 and a handful of games and DVDs, not to mention a cuddly toy!

We dined in the restaurant on two evenings. The food was very good although we did feel the larger restaurant area lacked the atmosphere of the main bar where you can also eat, so I would opt for the latter if you have the option. Pictured below is the starter of North Shields fish cake with chilli spiced crab with a coriander pesto.

The Angel Inn also does a range of burgers made from 100% ground pure chuck and blade beef burgers from the chargrill, served in a Geordie Bakers sourdough bun with an onion ring, coleslaw and hand cut thick chips. Pictured is the ‘Hottie' which comes with chipotle ketchup and pickled jalapenos & Emmental.

On another evening I had the whole citrus roasted sea bass, served with asparagus, spinach and samphire, and a fennel croquette, which I would thoroughly recommend.

Breakfast each morning is served in the vicinity of the bar area, with cereals and pastries where you can help yourself, plus cooked options such as Eggs Benedict or Florentine, Craster kipper with lemon butter or a full Northumbrian breakfast, offering a perfect way to start each day.

Disclosure: Our stay was courtesy of The Angel Inn.

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