20 | Aug | 16

Hugh Thomas

In Memoriam

Let’s agree on something – we all go a bit nuts for anything on a rooftop. Remember my first taste of it back in the day, meeting London street foodie Victoria Stewart overlooking London’s East End — Forza Win, I think it was. And it’s now quite a thing. The queues were so long at Pergola On The Roof this weekend that my friend and I were forced to go to Westfield and watch The Shallows instead. Wrong. And WRONG.

But why do we like it ‘up there’? Perhaps we’re seduced by the romanticism of the sun setting over tower blocks, or post-work laughter wafting onto the streets, or eating and drinking among the heavens. Or maybe we just like pointing at people’s bald patches as they walk the streets below.

Whatever our excuse, Britain’s got rooftop-related goings on left right and centre this summer. Like Leeds’ Belgrave Feast, with its queue of residencies from the likes of Nasi Lemak (think slow cooked beef rump in a smoky coconut curry) and Noisette Bakehouse (cake). Like Oxford Street’s Gardening Society, which resembles a B&Q show garden (if B&Q show gardens came with Shotgun barbeque). And like Roof East, which affords hot dogs dreamed up in a Hawksmoor kitchen, all packaged up with glorious views over… Stratford.

Mother Britain hasn’t been especially kind to anyone with ideas of sipping Long Islands on top of a disused multi-storey car park while a DJ bangs out their favourite tunes – our cloudless skies and warm evenings could be a bit short lived.

But at least Britain’s rooftops will ensure they’ll be well remembered.