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Sky Pod

Bars and pubs Aldgate
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
Sky Pod

Londoners are flocking to this high-rise greenhouse-cum-bar to get a glimpse of the view before more skyline-puncturing protuberances obliterate it.

Another extra-tall tower opens in London, and at its top another bar. The wilfully unloveable 20 Fenchurch Street (the Walkie Talkie) caused mirth during its construction, due to the car-melting properties of its reflective cladding, and then resentment more recently when it became clear that its ‘public garden’ on level 35 was about as public as a Masonic lodge (visitors must book limited spaces, and just try taking a picnic or frisbee). But for the price of a cocktail (and 12.5 percent service, even at the bar), you can pass through airport-style security, ascend to the apex of the City’s latest look-at-me gesture and repose in this exclusive arboretum.

The building is notable for its jutting bulbosity: the top-heavy shape is designed to maximise higher-rent floor space. But it means the angle of the glass up there and the framework of steel strapping hampers what you can see from the inside looking out. And its physical alignment means the main thing you can see is another of London’s skyline-puncturing protuberances, The Shard, just to the south. As this frenzy of vertical construction continues unchecked, other skyscrapers will become the only view. For now, in summer, an open-air terrace still provides a less fettered outlook to the river and Tower Bridge.

But there’s a bar here, remember, serving drinks and food. The cocktails are decent (a Bitter Truth at £11.50 was a pleasant twist on a negroni), many containing champagne. The food is mainly bar snacks (superior cheese boards and the like). Stacked above the bar is the Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill and the Darwin Brasserie, where prices rise with the elevation.

Sky Pod looks like a licensed Center Parcs in the sky, but fits in perfectly in the twenty-first-century City. And it’s the only place in the area you can’t see the Walkie Talkie, so that’s something.

By: Euan Ferguson

Posted:

Venue name: Sky Pod
Address: Sky Garden
1 Sky Garden Walk
20 Fenchurch St
London
EC3M 3BY
Opening hours: Mon- Tue 7am-midnight; Wed-Fri 7am-1am; Sat 8am-1am; Sun 8am-midnight
Transport: Tube: Monument
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|9
2 people listening
tastemaker

AMAAAZING views but very steep prices for drinks. The vibe is good and after around 8pm on a Friday/Saturday there is usually a DJ and there are usually plenty of seats. (although the ones by the windows are usually taken obviously!) The prices being a bit of a deterrent, the bartenders definitely do know how to make a cocktail well, and that makes paying the expensive prices a bit easier to swallow. When we went we bought one drink and walked around appreciating London at the magic hour and left. If you are on a bender and wanting to get the party started I would recommend All Bar One down the road for happy hour!

tastemaker

It's free to wander this sky high garden with the only hardship being the airport style security slowing you down. I recommend a clear day at sunrise or sunset to feel on top of the city with beautiful colours on the horizon. It's a lovely way to celebrate an occasion with a glass of champagne and a platter of seafood or charcuterie. The facilities could be a bit more stylish as they have a very public wash room feel and there was constantly a queue which takes the shine and elegance away from the experience. There was live music when we visited which was a lovely touch.


Went there for a romantic date to have evening drinks with a view. The view is incredible, I loved it. However, there was no heating so the whole venue was freezing, everyone had to keep their coats on and after a couple of drinks we had to leave because we couldn't stand the cold any longer. I'd definitely go back but only when the weather is warm.


Long queues to get in and very expensive to actually eat or drink there - instead, go for the views - London looks amazing and having bands playing live in the background is brilliant.

Tastemaker

High up in the walkie talkie tower, romantically meandering through the arboretum in the sky. You come to a clearing, lo and behold there is a bar, bursting with all the alcoholic delights you could dream of, which is handy as you need a beer jacket to handle the cold air! Perfect first date location.


Before thinking of going, book! You will avoid the long queue downstairs and go straight up. The staff is welcoming, from beginning to end. I went on a Friday night, so it was very busy but the bar is so spacious you don't realise how many people come and go. If you book, you have a chance to get a sofa or a table close enough to the edge to enjoy the view at the fullest. Obviously, drinks are expensive (it is the City, and a trendy place). Expect to pay £45 for a bottle of prosecco and around £5 for a small bottle of beer. The trip is worth it though, as the 360 degrees view is stunning, specially at night. For a special occasion (I went for my birthday), it is highly recommended. We even witnessed a marriage proposal! 

Tastemaker

This is one place that lives up to the hype. Make a free reservation to get up to the top or book a meal at Sky Pod, Darwin or Fenchurch restaurants. Don't worry, you can still grab a drink at the Sky Pod bar and mill around. There are quite a few number of seats dotted around the entire area-- some a bit more secluded than other if looking for a quiet moment. The views are phenomenal, and even on cloudy days you will be amazed at the different perspective to be gained on our fair city. If the weather is permitting you can even go out to the viewing balcony on the south side. Brill.


If its during the chillier months the Sky Pod bar also has blankets to keep you cosy. 

moderatorStaff Writer

Had dinner in the Darwin Brasserie - varied, affordable menu, incredible views, and far more space than the likes of the Shard - definitely worth a visit


The views here are unbelievable & the garden make things pretty surreal - Can't wait to be go back & checking out the two restaurants!  

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