For my 21st birthday this year, myself and Jack visited London for a little weekend getaway. Whilst there, we treated ourselves to a relaxing afternoon at London’s highest cocktail bar, GONG, at The Shard. As Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard is a premium visitor attraction with incredible panoramic views of the city of London.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the welcoming hotel staff who showed us the lifts to take us up to GONG on the 52nd floor. There was a minimum spend of £30 per person, but we thought this was reasonable considering that general admission for the viewing platform alone would have been £25.95 each. The bar itself had an intimate feel about it, with a mix of traditional and contemporary Asian decor. We were lucky enough to get a seat by the window where we were able to sit back and take in the spectacular scenery.
Now, onto the cocktails. The cocktail selection was not what you’d typically expect and at first glance we had no idea what to order. The menu is arranged around four themes signifying different stages of life: The Wonder Years, First Kiss, Grown-Ups and Old School. After much deliberation, we decided on our cocktails as outlined below.
My First Painting
Star of Bombay, Cocchi Rosa, lime, Peychaud, chamomile, whisked eggs
As a lover of gin, this was an instant winner. It had an aromatic taste and was presented beautifully with delicately placed petals, a touch of froth and a sprinkle of glitter.
Zacapa 23, Swedish Punsch, chocolate, peanut butter, balsamic, milk reduction
This rich rum-based cocktail had a real element of indulgence. It came in a giant egg-shaped cup with an edible dark chocolate lid and a store of sweets hidden underneath.
Velvet Dreams (Mocktail)
Apple juice, grenadine, lime, sugar, raspberry, basil
This mocktail from the First Kiss section of the menu was more classic than unique, and reminded me a bit of being on holiday. I liked that it was light, fruity and very refreshing.
Elixir of Success
G’Vine, Isake classic, lemon juice, plum wine, oloroso, violet soda
From the Grown-Ups section of the menu, we expected this to have a quite a strong, distinctive taste. Although true, the fruitiness of the plum wine complemented the floral flavour and made it very pleasant to drink.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed spending an afternoon in the luxury of The Shard. We would like to have stayed a little longer to view the sunset but unfortunately, at £18 per cocktail, our bank balance would have suffered. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to experience London from such a breathtaking birds-eye view. The cocktail menu is unique and impressive, and I would love to return on another ocassion to sample some more.
Have you got a favourite place to visit in London?
Share it with me in the comments below!
You can also check out my review of an Afternoon Tea in Covent Garden.
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