When I first saw Roofnic – the pop up picnic-style bar – advertised, I must admit that I chuckled at its exceptionally uncreative name. But you have to hand it to whoever came up with it, calling it ‘Roofnic’ makes it pretty foolproof for understanding what it is: a picnic on a roof!
The bar is designed looking towards childhood and the outdoors as inspiration. There are installations such as a Wendy house to sit in, letter fridge magnets you can spell out naughty words with, (naughty words are optional!) and old-school blackboards with chalk writing on them.
I went to Roofnic with Ben on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was quite hard to find at first, as it’s hidden away so unless you know it’s there you might not stumble upon it.
When we arrived it was a good level of busy; where most of the tables were full but there wasn’t a huge queue for the bar.
The cocktails came served in jam jars – but I’m not quite sure what I ordered!
The board above the bar listing the names of cocktails on offer didn’t explain what was in them, and most people I heard talking to the barmen seemed to order just by describing a cocktail that they had seen the person in front of them getting! I did the same, and went for an ‘orange one’ and a ‘yellow one’.
The orange one had pink grapefruit in it, and the yellow one had pineapple. On my next visit to the bar when the queue had died down, I found out that they were called the Roofnic Swizzle and the Pinesnapple. It’s no wonder we couldn’t guess the ingredients from the names!
Ben and I were fortunate enough to sit in the Wendy house by the balcony, which looked down along Oxford Street. I had a great view of shoppers heading into the Topshop down below, and of a big group of tourists who were loitering on the sunny pavement and wearing matching orange t-shirts.
The next round of drinks we went for comprised of the Lady Garden (gin, elderflower, thyme, apple) and the Ti Te Wow (vodka, passion fruit, tonic). Great names, yet again!
Basking in the sun and people watching from up above Oxford Street was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
I don’t think it would be quite the same if the bar was absolutely packed on a Saturday night, as the bar was quite small so service would be slow, and then you wouldn’t get to appreciate the quirky features of the bar or the view over Oxford Street!
I think Roofnic might be one of those pop-ups that you only really need to go once to experience it – but if you’re looking for a quiet retreat for a drink after an afternoon of shopping – Roofnic is the place!