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Sky Pod

  • Bars and pubs
  • City of London
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out Says

3 out of 5 stars

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.

Written by Euan Ferguson


Sky Garden
1 Sky Garden Walk
20 Fenchurch St
Tube: Monument
Opening hours:
Mon- Tue 7am-midnight; Wed-Fri 7am-1am; Sat 8am-1am; Sun 8am-midnight
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