Wednesday, 3 April 2013

4 Great Views From London Bars & Restaurants You've Probably Not Visited Yet

London, from above, with a cocktail in hand, is often the most romantic place to be, as Christian Rose-Day has discovered of late.

I’ve been on a bit of a run lately. I’ve recently enjoyed four fantastic views of London that I previously had not experienced; and these aerial landscapes might be new to you as well.

Even though I suffer from vertigo, I’ve been to many of the best roof gardens and roof terraces in London before. The four new (to me) bars and restaurant below each possess their own particular set of attributes, and all boast a definite sense of romance worth sharing.

(It’s no coincidence that I took an ex-girlfriend, a current girlfriend, a hopefully-future girlfriend, and a no-chance-in-hell girlfriend to each of these fine establishments).

The simplicity of its menu and its only-in-the-know hidden location are but two of the attributes The Rooftop Cafe can boast. Come to this new restaurant on a Thursday or Friday evening and you too can enjoy Waterloo Sunsets like this....

The view from the Rooftop Cafe, looking west towards Waterloo and the London Eye. 

With unrestricted views of The Shard, Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, the Gherkin, Tate Modern, the London Eye, and Somerset House, Radio bar at ME London Hotel (below) is yet another new hidden gem of a bar. And just like The Rooftop Cafe, this bar will come into full resplendency once the summer sunshine hits its alfresco roof terrace, all 180 degrees of it.

The view from Radio bar, looking west towards the London Eye.

The view from Radio bar, looking south towards Somerset House and the River Thames.

The view from the roof terrace at Radio bar.

The view from Radio bar, looking north towards the West End and Covent Garden.

The view from Radio bar, looking east towards the Gherkin and the City of London.

Perhaps a surprise entry in this mini guide is the Icon balcony bar above the Casino at the Empire (below), overlooking Leicester Square. This is ideal people-watching height, and, with the addition of warm blankets for cocktail sippers, this is a vantage point that can be enjoyed at almost any time of the year. A great spot for those big movie red carpet nights if you fancy spying a star or two from above.

The view from Icon bar, overlooking the hoi polloi of Leicester Square.

The best view of all must go to Paramount bar (below) on the 31st floor of Centre Point next to Tottenham Court Road, where we enjoyed a rather splendid gin cocktail competition. This is truly one of the most spectacular angles from which to play giant game of live Where’s Wally (or Waldo, for our American cousins). Even the Crossrail building site below looks strangely beautiful.

The view from Paramount bar, looking straight down at the Crossrail construction site.

The view from Paramount bar, looking south-west towards The Shard and the Tower of London.

The view from Paramount bar, looking west along Oxford Street.

The view from Paramount bar, looking north towards to Fitzrovia.

Paramount images provided by Laura Collins.


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