Pity the poor panoramic restaurant. They might boast the best views of the capital, but the lack of outdoor space on the 42nd floor means they haven’t been able to take advantage of the easing of restrictions for the hospitality industry — until now.
But from 17 May, they’ll be sashaying out of lockdown like the sequin-clad Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. With gala dinners, champagne cocktails and complimentary magnums of Moet to tempt you back, here’s where to go.
Searcy’s at The Gherkin
London’s original sky-high dining room on levels 39 and 40 of The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe, EC3) is welcoming guests back with a series of five-course gala dinners during their opening week. For those who’ve missed daytime drinking, order a bottle of Moet Chandon with lunch, Monday to Wednesday, and they’ll upgrade it to a magnum.
London’s highest rooftop garden, at the top of the Walkie Talkie (1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3), had its outdoor status rescinded last month, but its gardeners have been busy during their extended lockdown and promise it will be blooming when diners return on 17th May. Plan a reunion with friends over weekend brunch at Darwin Brasserie on the 36th floor. One level up, the focus at Fenchurch Street restaurant is on seafood platters and caviar — with vertiginous prices to match.
Oblix West and East, across the 32nd floor of The Shard (31 St Thomas Street, SE1), reopen on 19th May. Head West for fine dining, East for the livelier atmosphere of the bar. Aqua Shard, on floor 31, has possibly even better views of the capital, with 360 degree floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The Peter Pan-themed afternoon tea feels suitably escapist after the long months of lockdown.
High-rise, high-class dining at Jason Atheron’s Michelin starred venture in Tower 42 (25 Old Broad Street, EC2).