We're rather taken with high rise dining and drinking here at Hot Dinners. Every once in a while it's important to rise above pavement level and look out at this great city of ours. Along with having some of the best restaurants in the world, we think London's also blessed with some of the best high-rise dining options too. Here's a run-down of some of the best out there.
3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF
In a nutshell: Michelin-starred seafood at the top of the City's South Place
How high? 7th Floor
What to expect: Bang in the centre of the city, this may not be quite as high as others on the list - but there's still a great rooftop terrace at the end of this restaurant at the top of the South Place Hotel. It also gets a special mention as one of the Michelin high-rise dining experiences in the capital. Exec chef Gary Foulkes leads a high-end seafood offering here.
Royal London House, 10th Floor Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX
In a nutshell: Restaurant at the top of the Montcalm hotel, overlooking Finsbury Square
How high? 10th Floor
What to expect: On the edge of Finsbury Square, this has a view overlooking the square - albeit mainly from the terrace and bar at the front of the hotel - with some excellent views from the private terraces one floor down, which are highly covetable. In winter, there are bookable igloos too while the menu is a modern European affair with a very strong weekend lunch.
40 Marsh Wall, Isle of Dogs, London E14 9TP
In a nutshell: Not one - but three floors overlooking Canary Wharf
How high? 37-39th floor
What to expect: This bar and restaurant is at the top of the Novotel Canary Wharf - with the restaurants on 37, bar on 38 and terrace on 39. In charge of the food is Aurélie Altemaire, who was previously at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, so expect influences from his cuisine in the menu.
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HQ
In a nutshell: Jason Atherton joins the high-rise dining scene with this spot more than halfway up Tower 42.
How high? 24th Floor
What to expect: Atherton's Social restaurants are known as much for the cocktails as the food, so expect a decent drink from the bar here. In the kitchen is Head Chef Paul Walsh whose team turn out creative yet simple dishes, showcasing the best of British ingredients.
1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
In a nutshell: City institution
How high? 7th Floor
What to expect: Up on the seventh floor of 1 Poultry you'll find this popular D&D restaurant and bar. To be fair, the best City vista is from their massive heated terraces. But the bar (which has its own separate menu) also has decent views too.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4A
In a nutshell: 24-hour restaurant right at the top of the Heron Tower
How high? 40th Floor (with a very impressive lift ride on the way up)
What to expect: This is one of two restaurants in the Heron Tower, the other being the equally popular Sushisamba, which has a slight edge due to its outdoor terrace. Originally in charge of Duck & Waffle was Dan Doherty who was responsible for making this one of London's favourite dining destinations for its food just as much as its elevated location. Much of his creations remain on the menu. It's also open 24 hours, so worth popping in at any time for either the signature duck and waffle, or an impressive weekend brunch.
Also try: Downstairs from Duck and Waffle is the Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian fusion restaurant Sushisamba - more of a party venue than Duck & Waffle.
The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY
In a nutshell: Aqua does fiery Chinese food in the Shard
How high? 33rd floor
What to expect: Hutong was one of the first batch of restaurants to open in the Shard and has been the best reviewed. Expect Chinese food on the spicier side, with the soft shell crab Red Lantern dish and the whole Peking duck (carved at your table) being signature dishes. There's a bar in Hutong itself, but the one downstairs at Aqua Shard is more fun (and you can still visit if you're going to Hutong).
London Hilton on Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE
In a nutshell: French dining with impeccable service overlooking Hyde Park.
How high? 28th floor.
What to expect: As with Jason Atherton, the Galvins have many successful restaurants around town - but this is certainly one of the jewels in their crown. Expect classic French dishes and the best service in town courtesy of general manager and all-round front of house legend (and TV star) Fred Sirieix who is there at least once a day. A perfect restaurant for a special occasion and also well worth popping in for a drink at the bar too.
2-24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT
In a nutshell: Mid-rise Chinese with a great view.
How High? 10th floor
Theatre menu times: With a window that stretches the length of the restaurant, Min Jiang has an incredible view of Kensington Gardens. The food at this Chinese restaurant often receives raves, particularly for the Peking Duck. If you like your sake, it's well worth popping along to one of their regular sake pairing dinners.
London's continuing development means there are a few interesting High Rise destinations incoming. Here's who's on our radar...
- Allegra - The former head chef of Chiltern Firehouse, Patrick Powell, is opening this seventh-floor restaurant with sky garden in the new Manhattan Loft Gardens development in Stratford. Opens April 2019.
- M at Newfoundland - The latest M restaurant and their menu of steak and grills is coming to the new Newfoundland tower in Canary Wharf. Opens 2020.
- 120 Fenchurch Street - This is from the prolific D&D restaurant group (who own Blueprint Cafe, German Gymnasium, Quaglinos and more). The restaurant will be on the 14th floor of the Fenchurch St development. Opens Spring 2019
- The Standard - This new hotel at King's Cross saw them adding a whole new section for panoramic views onto the top of an existing building. Adam Rawson takes the ground floor space and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias will run the rooftop restaurant. Opens 2019.
- Hotel Costes - Paris hotelier Jean-Louis Costes is opening his first London hotel on Sloane Square in 2020. The 40 room hotel will feature what they're describing as a 'significant rooftop restaurant'.
London's high rise dining mapped
Here's where the restaurants with a view can be found