Bars are going up in the world. No self-respecting skyscraper can hold its head up in polite company without its own swanky drinking hole/come restaurant boasting sweeping views over the city below.
London is full of them, from The Shard to Millbank Tower, all vie with each other on the views front. But with so many bars with breath-taking vistas, what separates the giants from the pygmies?
I suppose it’s a matter of taste – and if there’s one thing that City Social has in abundance it’s taste. Still relatively new amongst the pantheon of sky-high bars it sits on the 42nd floor of what was once the Nat West Tower, but which has now be rechristened Tower 42.
Down on ground level it has it’s own entrance where you get the first inkling of the experience waiting above. This initial retro look it slightly belied by the brightly illuminated lift that propels you to your destination, but once you arrive you are immediately immersed into a pageant of dark and decadent art deco style embellished with just a touch of gold leaf glamour.
If you visit after the sun has set you’ll find its dark in here, really, dark. And that’s good because it makes the amazing views of the city that surrounds all the more impressive. And it encourages louche be habitué amongst the luxury. The bar itself occupies a central position and patrons are welcome to prop it up. But most opt for a window seat or one of the wide semi circular booths that ring the room and provide a perfect home for larger parties.
As there were just the two of us we opted for a table for two by the window and for a while just sat admiring the brightly lit city views and repeating skyscraper cliches along the lines of ‘gosh, the buses down there look like toys’ and ‘the people are as small as ants’.
The well informed and very helpful waiter then talked us through the cocktail menu and pointed us in the direction of appropriately refreshing concoctions. A Cocchi Buck served in a small pewter tankard was suitably stimulating, whilst a Forest Rum was an amusingly sophisticated treat. Delectable plates of grilled squid, pork empanadas and spicy prawn crackers helped take the edge of our hunger and were rounded off by a glasses of Rittenhouse Rye that the ever helpful waiter kindly directed us towards.
So, our verdict? A big up for City Social. Dark, decadent, delicious and undeniably glamorous.
City Social is at
25 Old Broad Street,