Summer’s here! Okay, so it doesn’t feel like it right now with cloudy skies, but the weather is (slowly) improving and London’s venues are celebrating the fact by unveiling their 2015 run of outdoor parties. Whether you’re after a rooftop rave or a sophisticated shindig with fine cuisine, there’s an alfresco party with your name on it. Here are five top picks.
If you want to get tropical at a pop-up party…
head to Flamingo Pier: Postcards From Bali
One of the finest pop-ups of last summer, Flamingo Pier is back, which is great news for anyone who likes their partying with a dose of exotic indulgence. The action takes place inside Hackney Wick’s Counter Café, and on the venue’s floating pontoon and moored canal-side boat. There’ll be DJs spinning deep disco and hip house, plus street food and bespoke cocktails themed around different exotic locations. The series launches with Bali, meaning you can enjoy street food from Ayam Happy and Kombucha cocktails, plus Ron Basejam from funky outfit Crazy P spinning funky jams. Counter Café, May 1 (monthly).
If you want a glamorous terrace shindig with posh nosh…
head to Sunday Sunset Barbecues
These weekly Sunday daytime parties are hosted on the plush seventh-floor terrace of super-cool City hangout South Place Hotel throughout the summer. The terrace here just screams ‘buy a cocktail, stand on me in fancy shoes, and look sexy, please’, the vibe is seriously cool, and there’ll be DJs spinning house, funk and disco, plus a spritzer menu and Michelin-starred chef Tony Fleming grilling the fanciest BBQ food you ever did see. South Place Hotel, Sundays (weekly).
If you want to get funky and (hopefully) soak up the sun…
head to Up On The Roof… With Norman Jay
Perhaps the funkiest man ever to be awarded an MBE, Norman Jay will be bringing his years of DJ experience to this awesome roof terrace space in Brixton. It’s a great spot – if the sun is shining you can catch some rays and great views, and even if it’s not, you can retreat under a cover and continue lap up Jay’s soulful, uplifting tunes. As night draws in, the action moves inside to the club space, where long-standing UK house duo X-Press 2 take control. Prince of Wales (Brixton), May 3.
If you want a bit of everything on a hip roof hangout…
head to Netil360 Opening Weekend
The rooftop space on top of arts venue Netil House is opening for the summer as a full-time venue over the bank holiday weekend. It’s kicking off its summer campaign in style, with a four-day extravaganza, featuring live music, DJs, street food vendors, the launch of Skyline Cinema Club, giant Jenga, croquet, massage, yoga, hot tubs and a ‘Reggae and Recovery session on the final day with Dub Plates Kitchen spinning beats and cooking treats. Netil House, May 1-4.
If you want arms-in-the-air alfresco raving…
head to Secretsundaze
This long-standing party has become one of London’s finest clubbing events, so a chance to enjoy the Secretsundaze 2015 opening alfresco is not to be missed. This daytime event (2pm-10.30pm) is Part One of the grand opening and takes place on one of the small but beautifully formed outside terrace spaces at Bethnal Green venue Oval Space. You can catch acclaimed house, dub and disco DJs doing their thing, including Peverelist, Kowton and Sterac, as well as the Secretsundaze head honchos James Priestley and Giles Smith. For nightowls, Part Two takes place from 10pm-6am at nearby venue The Laundry. Oval Space, May 3.
By Tristan Parker
Want more outdoor fun? Check out London’s best rooftop bars.