London is massive, and with all those amazing things to see around town sometimes you gotta get high to appreciate it. So unless you’ve got a problem with heights/lifts then check this lot out.
FROM HIGHEST TO LOWEST…
VERTIGO 42 – Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ
Perched up on the dizzying 42nd floor in the old Natwest building, is a small Champagne Bar boasting some of the most unrestricted views of the city. It’s the highest bar around, so it’s no surprise that your drinks will come with a lofty price tag (kicking off at 14 quid), and like any place with views this good it can get a little touristy at times, but grab yourself a seat by the window, steer clear of the cocktail menu and stick to Champagne, and suck up that view.
DUCK AND WAFFLE - Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY
Take a ride up to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower and you’ll hit one of London’s highest bars. Hang out with The Shard and The Gherkin for company and enjoy the mega views over London. It’s also a 24 hour bar so it promises to be on hand anytime you need, which is just what we need in this city. Their cocktail menu is short and sweet and their signature dish – fried duck egg sitting on a waffle topped with mustard maple syrup is what to order if you hit it in the early hours.
PARAMOUNT BAR – Centre Point, 101-103 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1DD
No longer an exclusive members club, Paramount has learnt to share her toys and stunning views of the now Shard heavy skyline with the rest of us. Reservations are necessary so call ahead and watch the city light up at sunset from the 33rd floor with its leather banquettes and 360 degree views.
GALVIN AT WINDOWS BAR – 22 Park Lane, London, W1K 1BE
Well heeled types sip on truffle oil Bloody Marys as they look out over Hyde Park from the 28th floor of the Hilton Park Lane. These are cocktails at grown up prices, but the views and immaculate service are worth it. BarChick asked nicely (in a very short skirt) and they let her out the door for a proper look, am sure you can too.
OXO TOWER BAR – OXO Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH
With banging views taking in the Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and Somerset House, jazz pianists and well executed cocktails there’s nothing not to like at the Harvey Nics run Oxo Tower Bar. The decor may be a little bit cruise-ship chic, but sometimes it’s what’s on the outside that counts.
VISTA – 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1A 2TS
It’s risky visiting an (almost) all year-round rooftop bar in London, but don’t let the cold weather scare you off, they have heaters and blankets to keep you warm while you’re taking in Nelson’s column, Trafalgar Square and Big Ben. The drinks are great, and filled with many ingredients grown right up there on the 6th floor roof. The heavy prices keep the tourists out, not a problem.
SKYLON BAR – Royal Festival Hall, London, SE1 8XX
Watch the Thames traffic float on by as you work your way through the cocktail menu at Skylon restaurant’s tiny 3rd floor bar. Bar Manager Zoran Peric is one of the best in the city, meaning the drinks are as stunning as the view, definitely worth the trip over the bridge, embrace it, take the boat there.
NETIL 360° – Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, London, E8 3RL
If you’ve seen pictures of this place, you can stop reading. On top of East London’s Netil House, a creative community of fashion labels, artists and acrobats have opened some hippy happening hangout… there are Yurts, plenty of drinks (including hot cocktails) and best of all? On a roof top you can play chimney – so smoke away! Only problem is its licence issues mean it is only open for events, so get online and get up there for the next one!
PORTRAIT BAR AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY - St.Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE
Being all cultural has its downsides: brain overload, museum legs and the sudden need of a stiff drink. Conveniently located on the roof of the National Portrait Gallery is a restaurant/bar which has killer views out over Trafalgar Square and Westminster. We say order the Spiced Sailor with rum, fresh lime, elderflower and coriander and give Nelson and his column a salute whilst you’re sipping.
ARCH BAR – 1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, W1J 7QY
Despite lacking in the height department… it boasts fantastic views from below. The new bar in the ground floor lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane takes its name from the historic Wellington Arch outside the windows. 5.30pm – 6.30pm is Gin Hour when you can sample the bartender’s special of the day. They love their gin here and carry over 25 local brands as well as a large selection of English wines and beers. Barchick likes the glammed-up Mother’s Ruin, made with Bramley & Gage’s Six O’Clock Gin and Champagne. Bring the plastic, cocktails start at £14!