Taking in the view at Upper 5th Shoreditch

Perched on top of what was once Shoreditch’s original magistrates’ building, Upper 5th Shoreditch is the perfect place to take in the London skyline over a delicious cocktail or glass of wine, and, if you’re feeling peckish, there’s a nice selection of bar bites to choose from including burgers and dogs from the BBQ kitchen during the summer months (weather permitting, of course).

The building itself is steeped in history, having held the Kray twins at the height of their notoriety. Now the Courthouse Hotel, it houses two bars, a restaurant and a members’ bar, as well as a host of other amenities. Before heading up to the rooftop, we took a peek at the Jailhouse Bar on the ground floor, and will definitely be returning to explore that at a more leisurely pace.

The rooftop bar was what we were after, however, and it didn’t disappoint. Boasting a panoramic view – on a clear day you can see the BT Tower, Canary Wharf and the Shard – it offers a relaxed atmosphere with music that adds to the ambience rather than overwhelms: we’re giving bonus points for actually being able to have a conversation without shouting. There’s also a variety of seating; sofas with low tables, a lounging bed and, our favourite, tractor tables with actual tractor seats, which line the railing. Clever, quirky and surprisingly comfortable.

The cocktails are expertly mixed, visually pretty and quite delicious, although a bit on the steep side at £14.00. That being said, this is a hotel bar and in London that’s par for the course. A glass of wine, on the other hand, is quite reasonable at £6.50 and very tasty indeed.

What we had
We shared a platter of Market Vegetable Toasted Flatbread with Spicy Dips (£22), which we liked, alongside a bowl of tasty olives (£4), and washed it down with a Courthouse Collins (£14) a Kiwi Cooler mocktail (£8) and a glass each of white wine (£6.50 each). It should also be mentioned that the bar stocks two local gins – Hoxton Gin and East London Gin as well as East London Vodka.

This is definitely a great place to meet after work for a leisurely drink on a warm summer’s evening, and, as the sun goes down, you can enjoy the London skyline lit up in all its glory.

Upper 5th, Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch
335-337 Old Street

Shoreditch EC1V 9LL


Opening hours
Mon – Fri   15.00 – 23.00 (last orders at 22:30)

Sat & Sun   12:00 – 23:00 (last orders at 22:30)
Group bookings of 6 guests or more
BBQ kitchen during the summer months (weather permitting)