Vista

Trafalgar Square

It's high up, Vista, very, very high up, perched on top of The Trafalgar hotel in Trafalgar Square. To get there, you need to walk through the Rockwell Bar, which is big on bourbons, get in the lift and press the button for the sixth floor.

The Trafalgar has always had a rooftop bar, but it’s had a few quid thrown at it and has been smartened up. The bar itself is small and stylish in the way that hotel bars tend to be. Lots of black wicker and flashes of white, scatter cushions and a manicured herb garden. The lead lining the rooftop walls slightly undermines the air of sophistication, while the hubbub from the streets below and the hum from the air conditioning vent are drowned out by the dulcet drone of ‘Bland Bar Grooves Vol IV’ or some similarly forgettable compilation album. But, let’s face it, the views are most definitely the news here.

Nelson’s Column spears the skyline to your left, there’s the London Eye straight ahead, you’ll find Big Ben at two o’clock and the brutal-looking Barbican beyond. As views go, it’s a pretty impressive one – especially as the sun sets – but you have to stand up or sit upright on the stool to get the whole experience. Check before you go to make sure it’s not booked out for a function.

The drinks are tailored for tourists and expense accounts. A bottle of Rekordelig cider for £5.50, a 50ml measure of house spirit with mixer weighed in at over eight quid (or £106 for the bottle), cocktails over a tenner and the house wine, Errazuriz, came in at £25. It’s pretty expensive here and you’re clearly paying for the views as well as the booze.

Food is dominated by dainty dishes rather than full-on feasts. Light bites include whitebait with tartare sauce and mixed bruschetta, there are salads priced from £13 to £14 and small dishes to ‘take with Champagne’ such as gravadlax with pumpernickel bread and figs wrapped in Parma ham. Plates to share are generous but, even so, £15 for baked camembert and crusty bread seems, much like the view as you peer over the edge, really rather steep.

Venue name: Vista
Contact:
Address: The Trafalgar
Trafalgar Square
London
SW1A 2TS
Cross street: 2 Spring Gardens
Opening hours: Open Noon-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross tube/rail

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|3
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bigsands

An excellent view over Trafalgar Square and a nice place to have drinks. The service could be more fluent at this level and a live ensemble would sound much better than hypnotic dance music playing in the background. I would recommend this place just for the views, especially if you are having a summer party. You could also consider Coq D'Argent, which has amazing views and more space, or Altitude 360 at Millbank Tower.

Tom

Every Sunday there is a fantastic rooftop party BOHO mainly for gays - one of a kind in London. Gorgeous sophisticated crowd, drink offers easy on a wallet and fantastic DJ's. I spotted a few fashion designers - Dean from DSQUARED and Julien Macdonald partying there there recently as well as Nicole Sherzinger and others. Definitely worth getting on a guestlist.

Jos from Hammersmith

The service in this place is the worst I have ever come across in London. The staff were grumpy and I had to chase my order in person after the waiter who I had asked 3 times to get my drink disappeared. We then had a similarly bad epxerience with our food which took 40 minutes and arrived cold it went back twice. The food (when it diod arrive) was expensive and tasteless. Avoid at all costs - the worst of London. The view is not even all that good.