Faster than a bullet train, the express lift up the side of the Heron Tower builds the excitement on the ascent to Sushisamba (the restaurant is reviewed here). Occupying the top floors of one of the highest buildings in the City, it offers breathtaking views down over the adjacent Gherkin; further afield you can see the Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and much else besides, all looking like a Legoland city. Sushisamba has two small bars, plus an outdoor roof terrace bar; tell the door staff you do not have a meal reservation but are going to the bar, then take the lift to the 39th floor to avoid another volley of questions, and walk straight in.
The cocktail list is brief – seven drinks costing £11 or £12 (plus a ludicrous 15 per cent for not very good service), and a little unimaginative (mojitos and such). Our Shisho Fine was described on the menu as ‘herbaceous and citrussy’, but in fact tasted mainly of sugar. The saké list is a far better choice. But although the cocktails are disappointing, this is still a destination bar par excellence, with unbeatable views, a crowd who are blinged up for the occasion, and relatively easy access. For now.