Note: Roofnic has now changed names to Notch, re-opening in early May 2016.
Rooftop bars in central London offer escapism, especially on Oxford Street, where it’s more about getting high above the crowds than seeing the gleaming London skyline. Lucky for Roofnic, then, as the only view from here is of tourists trundling past Topshop. Roofnic is part of the Park Lane Marriott hotel occupying its fourth floor terrace. But it’s not hotel-stuffy – since the bar is new for summer 2015, door staff ushered us in with open arms on our weeknight visit, keen to drum up some custom.
A slick white canopy makes the bar look like a festival tent, casting its shadow over most of the area. This makes the spot by the terrace’s edge where the sun creeps in all the more coveted. Fulfilling the festival feel, there’s AstroTurf, sparkly light bulbs, cushions scattered on the floor and the likes of Grimes and James Blake on the stereo. But that’s just one side to Roofnic – it doubles as a daytime hangout for freelancers and hot deskers, with laptops still open on benches as the evening crowd arrives.
Costs are just as relaxed as the door policy. Despite the trend being done to death, cocktails are served in jam jars – but at £7 (nearly half the price of drinks at some more established London rooftops), who cares? Only a few are served each day, announced up on the board. The Roofnic Swizzle is a sour grapefruit concoction tempered with honey, while the Gin Al Fresco is a long gin and tonic with an enjoyable rosemary and thyme twist. Food in the evening isn’t as accomplished, an unsatisfying triple stacked ‘manwich’ geared towards soaking up the booze. But daytime salads and cakes are pretty, set out on the counter.
It all makes for a rather refreshing rooftop experience, but don’t be surprised to see Roofnic become yet another victim of its own sky-high success.