Nathan Howard. I'm a second year student living in London. I like to share my experiences with other's to inform them on London and what it has to offer!
Published August 13th 2017
Exploring London's Nightlife
There's truly no place like London, and when the sun comes down up comes an abundant display of nightlife scenes. Bars and restaurants can be seen scattered around the centre of all kinds, attracting people from all over as we join to have a drink. Reflecting on our day, forgetting our daily stresses or partying with friends are just some reasons us Londoners love a good drink or two.
Having visited a number of bars and restaurants in London and seeing what London's night scene has to offer, some of my favourite bars are those with a view- they offer a fantastic experience, whilst all the while reminding you of London's breathtaking cityscapes. In this article, we're counting down three bars all of which boast some of London's best views… discussing why I think they're so great, and most importantly what they have to offer!
This European-English cuisine restaurant has the potential to turn your night into an unforgettable experience. With floor to ceiling windows, It's clear this place takes advantage of its huge selling point, it's view. Your experience will begin with a friendly greeting at the main door, before being taken up in their glass elevator to the 40th floor before being taken to your seat.
Bishopsgate is where you'll find Duck and Waffle, on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower just above Sushi Samba, their sister restaurant. With plenty of seating overlooking the city, you can tuck into any of their classic modern dishes whilst overlooking Londons city-scape.
Their classic dishes include their signature dish, named after the very restaurant- 'Duck and Waffle', including a confit duck leg, duck egg and syrup treacle over a toasted waffle. The Duck and Waffle was my chosen dish, and like many of their options include seemingly odd concoctions of ingredients, in my case it was a mixture of sweet and sour which tasted incredible.
Other classic dishes include their spiced lamb burger and spring vegetable salads, where a real effort is made to place European twists on their otherwise standard dishes to really excite your palette and your experience of the food. You'll find when visiting, their seating and interior is much like their menu, modern and chic with comfortable yet sophisticated leather seating with an impressive bar positioned in the centre, perfect for a chance to see panoramic views. Prices at this restaurant are the cheapest, with mains costing between £11-£17, which is more than reasonable considering the service and quality of food... certainly the best value on our list of restaurants!
You've heard of it, but have you been yet? That's right, there's no wonder included in this list is a restaurant which sits Europes tallest building. This swanky venue boasts some of Londons finest food, the Aqua Shard being only one of their 6 restaurants all offering a totally different palette. The Aqua Shard however, offers a totally British cuisine, unlike Its many Asian inspired restaurants just a floor or two above this one. As suggested, the mains here are the most priciest of the bunch, with the cheapest main on the menu costing £29 and steaks up to £70.
My lamb dish was exquisite, tender and flavoursome, their high standards of culinary skills are evident in their foods execution and taste. One observation I noticed regarding dishes here are that almost all dishes would require an additional side or two at least. Almost every meat dish, including steak comes with a garnish of some sort and sauce, but any vegetable dish isn't included… so buying an extra side at £6.75 may be a must. Where you get seated here can really have an impact on your experience here, with spacious floor space and tables scattered evenly, It's likely you'll get seated in the middle rather than by the window- but none the less you'll still get an amazing view from your table! Service here means you are fully waited on, so your entire experience and opportunity to view the scenery will pretty much be from the table you eat at. As for drinks, this means you'll get them bought to you with or between food service, with a choice of almost any alcoholic beverage you can think of. If a fine wine takes your fancy, a glass of white or red wine will cost approximately £12, more than any other two restaurants. The opportunity to enjoy Londons views is perhaps more limited, however, if fine dining is your thing, the Aqua Shard offers a great service and great quality food.
The Sky Bar is one I've mentioned before, and rightly so. With It's laid back atmosphere and perhaps the best opportunity to explore London's views, this venue balances great food, ambience and panoramic views all in one!
What's unique about this venue, is its separation of its restaurant, 'Darwin Brasserie' and It's Sky Pod Bar. Located on the upper floor accessed by open steps is Its restaurant, whilst the rest of the floor is a free space to be walked around and enjoyed by people using the bar. Visiting in a less busy weekday like myself meant we could enjoy our wine whilst walking round to really absorb the view and even access their Sky Garden… truly a great experience all the while sipping your drinks. Having to book online to get access means this place is never overbooked or crowded too, so there's no view restrictions or rowdy tables to ruin your experience at Sky Bar.
As for their restaurant, prices are just as reasonable as the bar, with salads costing as little as £9.70 and burgers £18.25. The difference between this menu and the other two restaurants are mostly their less a la Carte and more casual choice of dishes.
With Entertainment often being plaid including live music, the atmosphere here is very much up beat and fun! If you're just looking for a sophisticated venue to take your date for a drink or two, the Sky Pod Bar is a fantastic venue! Prices are exceptionally cheap given its views and great service, with beer costing as little as £5.