It was my sister’s 30th birthday recently, and as well as putting on this fantastic nautical themed party for her, we also spent the day in London drinking cocktails in fabulous bars, and eating ourselves silly!
Still in the middle of the heatwave (isn’t it just glorious?!), we decided to head for some rooftop bars to catch some rays as well as some views.
First up was Vista in The Trafalgar – this is a gorgeous hotel right on the edge of Trafalgar Square. As well as a very posh looking bar on the groundfloor, they also have a wonderful little rooftop bar right on the top of the hotel. We headed up and took our seats in the sun….
As soon as we sat down, Anna said “This is a total indurance test”, which was so true. The sun was so strong that day and it was the middle of the afternoon. Undeterred we settled down with our drinks and soaked in the view. And what a view – it’s amazing. You obviously have a great view of Trafalgar Square, but you can also see the Millenium Wheel, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
It’s a lovely bar – the staff were very friendly and attentive. It was also quite small, so didn’t feel hectic or too touristy. In fact we didn’t see any traditional looking ‘tourists’ in there, which was nice.
After a couple of drinks we left and made our way down to the South Bank – as usual it was chock full of weird and wonderful things. A photographers dream! But we didn’t have too look to stop and stare, we had drinking to do!
The next stop was the rooftop bar on the Queen Elizabeth Hall. We didn’t stay for too long here as we were meeting a friend in the Oxo Tower. So we quickly downed our prosecco in the sunshine and moved on once again to the OXO Tower.
We were really lucky and were able to grab a seat outside in the sun (after having first been told there was a three hour wait!!). The OXO Tower is lovely, but much busier than the Vista. It was lovely to catch up with Anna’s friend Ella and hear all about her recent London adventures. So lovely in fact that we suddenly looked at our watches and realised we were going to be totally late for dinner!
So we said our goodbyes and jumped into a taxi and prayed that we’d get to the Heron Tower in less than 15 minutes. 15 minutes later we had arrived (yay!) and headed up in the fantastic outdoor glass lift, to the 40th floor to the Duck & Waffle restaurant. If you’re ever in the area just get in the lift for the sheer joy of the speed and the views. It’s like a themepark ride (only without the fear and stomach-turning spins!).
This is such an amazing restaurant. I really can’t rave about it enough. The views are AMAZING! It’s the UK’s highest restaurant and rumour has it you can see as far as Windsor Castle on a good day. We had a great little window table which meant we were able to really take advantage of the view.
We started off with the world’s biggest olives. Seriously, they were huge. And so juicy and tasty!
Followed by the restaurant’s namesake dish – duck and waffle, with a fried egg and a delicious mustard and maple syrup sauce. It was amazing – we shared but I could have easily eaten a whole one myself.
After the duck we had the longhorn rib eye from Thirsk. Again, it was delightful. I was slightly worried that it wouldn’t be enough, but it really was. We managed to finish it, but only just. All of this was washed down with a very refreshing white zinfandel rose.
They were really lovely and brought over a little ‘Happy Birthday’ plate for Anna, which is always a nice touch and a perfect way to finish the dinner. The whole dinner was wonderful – the food was great, the service attentive, and it was really relaxed and unpretentious.
Stomachs full, we headed down two flights of stairs (with this amazing view of the Gurkin), to our fourth rooftop bar of the day – Sushisamba. We both opted for the lychee cocktail, which was nice but soooo sweet. After our rather induldgent dinner, it took me about an hour to drink it! Anna also managed to sweet talk them into giving her a free glass of champagne since it was her birthday!
We finished the day sipping our lychee cocktails and talking to randoms, before heading home back to Southampton.
It was such a fun day and one I would gladly repeat on a regular basis!