My first visit was to Jin Bo Law Skybar on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel, right beside Aldgate station. It was my first time there, but it was a pretty special one as it was with lovely fellow blogger Paula (City Intrigue – please check out her amazing blog on some of the most unique places to dine and enjoy city life). My first and favourite observation was that it had the most amazing close up view of the City’s most iconic skyline: The Shard, The Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie building, The Cheese Grater, but to name a few (I absolutely love the uniqueness of London’s modern buildings and their nicknames based on what they resemble!). In the distance, to the East, you could also get a view of Canary Wharf which was great to see, but obviously not as amazing as the immediate view of the City. The bar itself was quite narrow and small, so as much as walk-ins are possible, I would highly recommend booking a table in advance just to avoid disappointment, as it does get quite busy. The cocktails are Asian-inspired and very tasty but you certainly pay the price, but it’s worth it for the views. One downside is that the bar does not have any food menu even for bar snacks, so it is probably the perfect venue for a post-work drink or date, but if you want to make a night of it or start getting peckish, then you’ll have to find somewhere to move on to next.
A few days later it was my birthday so we thought, what a glorious day it is, let’s maximise the day with rooftop hopping! So we started with lunch at The Boundary Project in Shoreditch. My husband Amar had already let them know that it was my birthday and so upon arrival, they very kindly greeted us with a glass of prosecco each, which I instantly thought was a really nice and personal touch. Despite it being mid-week and lunchtime, the place was buzzing with what seemed to be a mixture of bloggers, models, and business people on client meetings. The music varied, from soft house to instrumental and the food menu was extensive. The quinoa and avocado salad was delicious and really nicely presented, and the charcuterie board was never-ending. They had various specialist G&T cups (Bombay, Hendricks and Gin Mare) which were perfectly paired with Fever Tree tonic, botanicals and herbs from their garden. They went down a little too well in the scorching heat!
Our next stop was the very recently opened Savage Garden on the 12th floor of the Doubletree Tower Hill. There was a small terrace which pretty much overlooked the Tower of London and another side door leads you to a wonderful larger terrace that also overlooks London’s iconic buildings such as Tower Bridge and The Gherkin. The inside décor was very stylish and arty, which I found really attractive and made me want to come back. So I actually returned a week or so later, but this time for a girls’ night out – and I have to say, it was amazing how the bar’s ‘naughty’ evening personality came out. As it was evening and a little chilly, we chose this time to sit inside. There was a great crowd, many couples but also groups of friends out for a classy Saturday night. There was a DJ playing some great Ibiza style house tunes which was just what was needed in the background while catching up with friends. Staff were extremely friendly and chatty, which made such a difference to our experience. It’s safe to say, we were Truly Madly Deeply in love with Savage Garden!
We decided to stay with the garden theme and moved on to Sky Garden at the Walkie Talkie building aka 20 Fenchurch Street. We were there in time for after-work drinks and what can I say, the place was absolutely buzzing. There was a live band playing some fantastic tunes, and people were there to mingle, drink, dance and have a walk-around the gardens, whilst soaking in the London landmarks. We had a dinner reservation at Fenchurch Restaurant within the Sky Garden, but purposely chose to go to the bar and viewing gallery extra early in order to enjoy the ‘Thirsty Thursday’ live music and atmosphere. We then proceeded up to the restaurant on the 37th floor and thoroughly enjoyed the food. My husband enjoyed his delicious fillet of cod, which was cooked to perfection. The fish easily melted into his mouth, whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my filo parcel of spring vegetables. I was impressed with the fact that the restaurant was very attentive with dietary requirements. Having recently discovered that I am lactose intolerant, the waitress was able to inform the chef and provide me with lactose free options from the menu. Much like I did with Savage Garden, I came back to Sky Garden on the same girls’ night out I mentioned earlier, as I had never done a ‘night out’ here and I was absolutely amazed at what a party was going on up here. The atmosphere was electric, there was a DJ playing music was a mix of modern commercial hits, and the dancefloor was totally full. After many years of going out in London, I actually found this to be one of the most unexpectedly greatest places to go, as I had previously only been to Sky Garden for either brunch or post-work early evening drinks which is usually a lot ‘tamer’ for lack of a better word. I was really not expecting the party vibe that I walked in to, and will certainly come back for more.
Speaking of that Saturday night out, we decided to end the evening with a classic favourite, the bar at Sushi Samba. Going up the lift to Sushi Samba is always exciting as it’s a glass one that gives you a great view of the City. The main bar is on the 38th floor of the building and spills out on to a lovely terrace, which always seems to be buzzing no matter what time of day, week or year it is. The highlight is a very Instagrammable orange coloured-tree out in the terrace. This venue is perfect for chatting, whether that’s on a date or in a group with friends. It’s not really got the dancing vibe, but it certainly has its own charm. Although we didn’t eat here on this occasion, you can also book the restaurant which has an amazing fusion Peruvian-Japanese menu with which you can’t go wrong. For this time, we stuck to drinks only and loved that despite it being busy, they did walk-ins. As the evening was a bit chilly, it was nice to see that they’ve introduced Love Island style fire-pits outside, making it rather cosy (although best to be careful after a few drinks that no one burns themselves!).
All in all, having the chance to do some rooftop bar hopping around London City during one of the best summers in a long time was absolutely amazing and would recommend all of these come rain or shine, as they are also very suitable for winters with indoor areas and/or heaters. We’re sure that there will be more London rooftops coming up so watch this space as we’ll be sure to cover them in the near future…