Time Out says
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.
1 Sky Garden Walk
20 Fenchurch St
|Opening hours:||Mon- Tue 7am-midnight; Wed-Fri 7am-1am; Sat 8am-1am; Sun 8am-midnight|
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Users say (9)
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:7
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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.
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!
The views here are unbelievable & the garden make things pretty surreal - Can't wait to be go back & checking out the two restaurants!