This was a rare occasion, it was Monday, and I wasn’t at work!! Having hit up the Carsten Holler exhibition at the Southbank Centre with my best friend, I thought now was the time to take advantage of the fact I was ready to drink on a Monday afternoon, where could we go where we couldn’t necessarily get in at other times…. hmmmmm.
First Idea: Rumpus Room – The roof top bar at Sea Containers Hotel – perfect! Alas, it was not open on Mondays, could hardly believe it, but I have since checked 😉 Although they do hold a Sunrise Yoga class 7.30-8.30! £20 – steep for an hour’s class, but perhaps a nice thought for a yogi birthday present!
Second Idea: the hotel up The Shard!
With the price of a pre-booked adult ticket to the viewing platform at the top of The Shard (Level 72) being £25.95 and £30.95 if you just rock up, one thing’s for sure, it ain’t cheap.
I am lucky to have previously been up to the top viewing deck when it was paid for by clients; if I did have to pay for it, would I have gone?!!…. Probably not. I think visiting the viewing platform of The Shard is going to be one of those things that Londoners just don’t get around to, like open top bus tours, BUT, at least you would take a visiting friend on an open top bus tour (I certainly have anyway, and learnt a great deal!), alas I’m unsure I could justify a visiting friend’s spends on a trip up to the top of The Shard.
Having heard from other visitors, I thought a cocktail from the Shangri-La’s Gong Bar was going to be better value for money. You get a drink and a seat (another thing that is lacking from the top viewing deck). The cocktails are around the £16 mark, but then we followed up with a tea, and there’s nothing wrong with that – could even go straight in with a tea if you wanted!! When we entered the bar there wasn’t a table next to the window, but we were advised they would move us when one did become available, which it quickly did.
So, there’s my tip, make a visit at an unpopular time of day to The Shangri-la Hotel and suck it in at Level 52 rather than breathe it in at Level 72.