High rise dining is a relatively new consideration for London, which aside for a few grand exceptions is a rather low rise city. Still with multi-storey towers such as The Shard and Heron Tower opening in the past few years, breaking bread with a breathtaking view of the city’s historic landscape is more possible and desired than ever. Here’s a list of the ten place restaurants for eating out and up in London. Aqua Shard Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY. The nearest London Underground station is at London Bridge. Impress a client, treat that special someone, show off your beloved city to your out-of-towner guests or get your bearings if you yourself are the out-of-towner: this is the place to do it. Aqua Shard at the 31st level of The Shard features floor-to-ceiling windows for commanding views across London. The British menu pleases. Weekend brunch is a fantastic time to go, but for the twinkly city lights below you’ll need to visit a bit later in the day. Either way, making a reservation is highly recommended.
To find out more and to book, visit aquashard.co.uk. Duck & Waffle 40th floor, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY The nearest London Underground station is at Liverpool Street. Located at on the 40th floor and open well into the wee hours of the morning, the Duck & Waffle is definitely worth a visit. The clean, contemporary feel, huge windows, and the stunning views of, the Thames and the surrounding countryside provide an exquisite background for a memorable meal or cocktail. Even the brisk zip up to the restaurant in its own glass elevators offers an overwhelming wow of an experience London. When you go, consider trying the signature dish – crispy duck leg confit with a fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup … on a waffle.
Visit duckandwaffle.com for more information.
Galvin at Windows 28th floor, London Hilton, 22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE The nearest London Underground station is at Hyde Park Corner.
Michelin starred Galvin at Windows offers fine dining in one of London’s most upscale neighborhoods with unparalleled views over Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and the whole of London.
Go to galvinatwindows.com for details. HutongLevel 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY. The nearest London Underground station is at London Bridge. Situated at the 33rd storey of The Shard (yes, just up the stairs from Aqua Shard), Hutong’s panoramic perch over London wows without fail. Designed to have the look and feel of a traditional Beijing hutong, this recently opened upscale Chinese restaurant presents a delightfully incongruous dining area that is worthy of admiration in its own right. The food is as tasty and attractive as the setting too! Go for dim sum, special occasion dining (reservations recommended) or excellent cocktails with a view at the restaurant’s bar (no rez needed). Find out more at aquahutong.co.uk. Oblix Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY. The nearest London Underground station is at London Bridge.
The latest and loftiest venture by celebrated restaurateur Rainer Becker (founder of Zuma, Roka and the Shochu Lounge) is Oblix, a “New York grill” located in The Shard alongside Aqua Shard and Hutong.
Details at oblixrestaurant.com. Oxo Tower Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH The nearest London Underground station is at Black Friars.
For modern British cuisine with exceptional views of the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral visit the Oxo Tower restaurant. From the folks behind the popular Harvey Nichols brand, quality service and a comfortable experience are guaranteed.
Find out more at harveynichols.com/oxo-tower-london.
Plateau 4th floor, Canada Place, E14 5ERThe nearest London Underground station is at Canary Wharf.
Plateau offers sophisticated fine dining in a modernist setting with excellent views of Canary Wharf. It’s as cityscape-y as it gets in London. Find out more at plateau-restaurant.co.uk.
Portrait Restaurant National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE The Nearest London Underground station is at Leicester Square
With a world class collection of art below this top floor eatery featuring stunning views of many of London’s most noted landmarks, it’s inspiring to know a fine meal can be had at this conveniently located restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery beside Trafalgar Square. More information at nationalportraitgallery/101/restaurant. SkylonRoyal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XXThe nearest London Underground station is at Waterloo. Well established restaurant in the London fine dining scene with one of the city’s better and most notable cocktail bars, riverside Skylon at the Royal Festival Hall is an excellent option for a meal with a scenic backdrop. The views of St Paul’s are perhaps the best in London. Visit the restaurant online at skylon-restaurant.co.uk. SushiSamba38th floor, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY The nearest London Underground station is at Liverpool Street. Yes, the very same SushiSamba that took New York by storm has a location in London, this one at the 38th floor of Heron Tower (just down from Duck & Waffle). For fusion cooking at its most sensational and stunning views across the British capital, reservations are recommend. Go to sushisamba.com for more information.
Photo credit: Chris Osburn