Head Here If… You want beautiful Bellinis with breathtaking London views
We won’t lie, you can get great Champagne cocktails in most London bars. But none have the X-factor of Vertigo 42…
First Things First
First impressions can be misleading. Take Vertigo 42 for instance. From the swish, rather staid reception downstairs, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed in corporate central. Which you have in some ways – this is slap-bang in the middle of the City after all. The message gets even more confusing as you step through the airport-style, metal-detecting security system – not exactly a welcome package that screams out fun times ahead. Bear with it though. Step into the express lift, press 42 and a few ear-popping seconds later you’ll be privvy to one of the most dramatic scenes in town.
We’re talking views to die for. Do you know that scene in Kramer vs Kramer when the little boy visits his dad’s new office and can’t stop himself from uttering one simple but very descriptive word: ‘wow’? That’s what you want to do when you first clap eyes on the scene that greets you. In fact, it’s almost impossible to know which way to look. Scan the panorama and greedily feast on all the postcard faves such as St.Paul’s Cathedral, the BT Tower, the Millennium Eye and the Thames, all there to drink in from your 600 ft vantage point. And thanks to huge windows and neat little touches like the barely-there glass shelves to perch your drinks, the scenery is virtually uninterrupted.
It’s all about the bubbly here. The cocktail menu is short and to the point with six selections including favourites such as the Classic Champagne Cocktail and the Kir Royale. We go straight for the new collection of Bellinis – five jewel-coloured libations created to add much needed zing to the City.
Ms S loves the perkiness of the Yuzu & Cranberry (yuzu juice, raspberry puree, cranberry juice and syrup). It’s soft without being boring, tangy without being too tart. The intense hit of colour also gets her vote of approval.
For Mr G the stand-out choice is the Lychee and Hazelnut (lychee puree, Frangelico and Angostura bitters). It has a real richness about it and it’s beautifully balanced. There’s just enough of the hazelnut there to make him nostalgic for a Topic bar but it doesn’t take over and works exceptionally well with the lychee. With the Champagne delivering a lovely lift, the overall package is as unexpected as it is delicious.
As for the other three specials; the Raspberry, Passion Fruit & Cacao (passion fruit and raspberry purees, white cacao and chocolate syrup), Rose & Plum (rose syrup, plum wine and strawberry puree) and Orange & Raspberry (Fino sherry, raspberry syrup and fresh orange juice), each was creative without trying to be too clever and all are very quaffable indeed.
And To Eat?
The menu includes smoked salmon with herb butter and mustard dressing £12.60, risotto with Jerusalem artichoke, parsley and cep cream £12.50 and scallops with cauliflower puree and crispy bacon £19.80. The sharing canapés £32 in particular makes for a particularly enjoyable and romantic accompaniment to the drinks.
Look Out For
The view, of course.
What’s the damage?
All of the Champagne Cocktails come in at £14. The Champagne itself ranges from Brut Gallimard (NV) at £14 a glass to £386 for a bottle of Dom Ruinart 1996: Rosé.
Ms S Says
There’s that overused but oh-so true saying by Samuel Johnson, you know the one: “if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life….”? I’d like to add something to that: if you’re jaded by London, just get up here and see it from a height – I dare you not to drool like a baby. Add a glass of something fab and fizzy to the equation and you’ll be completely and utterly hooked. A top choice for dates, anniversaries or any time you’re out to impress.
Mr G says
We’re particularly lucky in London to have a number of bars with great views and Vertigo £42 is (literally) right up there with the best of them. Whether you’re a visitor or you live in London you should put this venue on your ‘must-visit’ list. The combination of beautiful sights and Champagne cocktails is also particularly romantic so take someone special.
Vertigo 42, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HQ. T: 020 7877 7842. vertigo42.co.uk
Open Monday – Friday 12pm to 4.30pm, Monday – Saturday 5pm to 11pm