With summer upon us, I was keen to discover the best rooftop bars Birmingham has to entice drinkers outside.
From classic cocktail bars to more relaxed beer gardens, I found lots of venues with a view, coupled with excellent drinks menus and a wide selection of sharing plates and sizzling steaks.
With many of the top terraces hidden away, here are my picks for you to try out (on days when we have sun in Brum).
The Bureau Bar, Colmore Row
This stylish venue on Colmore Row has the feel of a traditional cocktail bar. However, climb up a winding, spiral staircase and you will find a secret rooftop terrace.
The drinks menu combines classic cocktails with more creative, signature drinks.
I opted for the popular Toffee Apple, which combines salted caramel vodka, caramel syrup and apple juice, and comes served with a toffee apple slice. It was beautiful!
Food includes homemade bar snacks, such as the classic club sandwich, to more decadent, deli plates of locally sourced charcuterie and cheeses.
My personal favourite is their duck scotch egg, served with delicious onion jam.
The view: This Birmingham rooftop bar overlooks the city centre and smart business district. With two tiers of space in which to stand or sit, it perfectly pairs elegance with an easy-going vibe.
During the week it is filled with city workers, and at the weekend live DJs make it the perfect place to party with a cocktail or glass of fizz.
Rofuto at the Park Regis, Five Ways
Rofuto is a Japanese restaurant and chic bar, located 16 floors up within the Park Regis hotel. White cherry blossom prettily adorns a central wooden bar, where I perched.
You can also choose seating from a mix of bar tables, swish sofas and window-side dining tables where you can enjoy Izakaya-style dining with a wonderful view.
The extensive cocktail menu comprises of classics with a Japanese twist, alongside Japanese Whiskies and Sake.
I opted for the Midnight Geisha: like many of their drinks, it incorporates oriental flavours into the mix, and I loved the pairing of raspberry with Chambord.
The view: This is one of the highest Birmingham rooftop bars and has spectacular panoramic skyline views of the city through large floor to ceiling windows. Its elegance – yet unpretentious atmosphere – make it a stylish spot for a date.
The Malt House, Brindley Place
This picturesque pub, by Brindley Place, serves up Great British pub food classics, alongside a wide range of real ales and wines by both glass and bottle.
It once welcomed Bill Clinton, who waved (and drank a pint) from the balcony which looks down upon the canal.
Sitting here, I enjoyed a long, cool glass of Rose; the 2015 Chateau De Campuget, Le Campuget Syrah Grenache Rose is pale pink, with a delicate fresh strawberry nose and a soft finish – perfect for the summer.
The view: This is one of the best views in Birmingham, overlooking the famous canals. From an elegant outdoor balcony you can enjoy your beer whilst watching the barges and boats pass by.
On Sunday afternoons, pair a hearty roast dinner with the sounds of jazz; JazzStrata starts from 1pm.
Marco Pierre White, The Mailbox
The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill is located at the top of The Cube in The Mailbox.
First impressions are spectacular; as you enter the restaurant you experience 360 degree panoramic views overlooking the city.
The drinks menu has an extensive selection of Champagne, Prosecco and cocktails, and if you’re hungry you can dine on a classic British menu, including steaks.
I opted for the bar’s signature drink, The Cube, which perfectly pairs Absolut Vodka, Chambord and Lime Juice with a dash of Prosecco.
The view: This is one of the most trendy rooftop bars Birmingham has to offer. 25 floors up, it provides excellent views across the city centre and out towards Edgbaston, which you can take in whilst seated on a plush sofa.
You’ll need to dress to impress up here, and it is the perfect setting for dates and special occasions.
The Church Inn, Jewellery Quarter
The Church Inn combines the feel of a British pub with influences from New Orleans and Louisiana. If you pass through rooms adorned with French-style posters, you will find a staircase leading to a rooftop bar and beer garden.
On the drinks menu are potent classics such as Negronis, Sazeracs and Old Fashioneds alongside some lesser known Louisianian favourites, and the bar’s own creations.
On offer is also a selection of real ales and fine wines alongside Deep South-style dishes.
The view: With deck chairs, fruit trees and brightly coloured picnic tables, this terrace has a relaxed beer garden feel, and overlooks the Jewellery Quarter. I’d recommend an afternoon Aperol Spritz.
Sky Bar, Resorts World
Located on the top floor of Resorts World Birmingham, the Sky Bar is a sophisticated cocktail bar designed around a theatrical Chef's table centre piece, which has a Teppanyaki and Yakitori serving platform.
The expertly crafted menu, which includes sushi, can be enjoyed both inside or out, as the bar boasts a roof terrace.
The view: One of the newest rooftop bars Birmingham has offer, the 5th floor Sky Bar serves up beautiful views of the Birmingham skyline and beyond.
It’s becoming a popular spot for shoppers and weekend visitors, and offers a romantic venue during evenings, when the buildings are lit up.
High Line, Resorts World
The High Line New York Bar is inspired by the elevated public park that winds through Manhattan's fashionable and historical Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea and Meatpacking Districts.
The menu also nods to the diverse food and drink culture of New York, with crafted dishes that offer a contemporary twist on the old American classics, from the New York El Sliders to the High Line Caesar Salad.
The cocktail menu is full of signature mixes and a few American specials, including the martini-style West Side Cowboy.
The view: Another new Birmingham bar with a rooftop terrace, this one looks over the shopping district and comes with its very own well-stocked bar and fire-pit heaters.
There is a chic quality to this bar, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, resident and guest DJs turn it into an intimate nightclub.
The Button Factory, Jewellery Quarter
Situated in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, The Button Factory has restored and extended one of the quarter’s traditional factory buildings. Exposed brick walls and original beams create a charming New York-style loft feel.
The menu focuses on seasonal ingredients cooked over an open flame taking influences from Argentina to the Middle East.
If it’s drinks you’re after, the menu boats an extensive range of signature cocktails, from the Kraken rum-based Deep Black Sea to the gin-infused Berry Float.
The view: Atop this expansive roof garden and sun-trap terrace you can enjoy lazy evenings or lunches overlooking the creative quarter. Beyond Frederick Street, you can see the Library of Birmingham and the city’s Chamberlain Clock.
The welcoming feel creates a relaxed space, perfect for friends and families, and seats up to 80.
I’d recommend their ‘Bottomless Brunch’ served on Saturdays from 12 noon until 4pm with unlimited Bellinis or Prosecco.
The Wellington, Birmingham city centre
This specialist and lively real ale pub is only minutes away from New Street Station.
From across a chunky wooden bar you can choose from 17 different real ales (which are constantly changing and many are from local breweries), 5 traditional ciders, and over 150 whiskies.
There is a traditional charm and warmth to this very English pub, which seems to breed contentment amongst its guests.
Head outside and it has its very own beer garden, which is both pretty and spacious.
The view: This is a tucked-away, raised Birmingham beer garden (rather than a rooftop bar) but it had to be included for its popular appeal.
It offers drinkers a sun-trap in which to sample the bar’s ever-changing menu of real ales, amongst a pretty oasis of greenery and a hum of conversation.
With plenty of seating, you can relax in the sun or beneath one of the many umbrellas (if it gets that hot!).
This summer, if you find yourself in Birmingham, rooftop bars are the definitely the best place to enjoy food and a few summery beverages, whilst drinking in the view!
Posted by Ruth Millington