I love London summer, not only for the scorching temperatures it brings but also because the entire town zooms away on holiday. I tend not to go away; why would I when I have the perfect sunny temperatures in my own home town? There is no need to escape; what it also allows me to do is reclaim my city. There are less queues outside restaurants and bars, you get a seat on the tube and most importantly you don’t have to battle to get access to some of the most amazing rooftop bars London has to offer.
I have done a few blogs on London rooftop bars in the past. Every summer, new destinations are added to this list:
Which brings me to my current topic – there is a new rooftop bar in town and it’s called Savage Garden. No, this has no connection to the Aussie pop band of the same name (which I admit, I loved listening to as a kid). It is in reference to the side street it is located in – Savage Gardens. Although why a street in the midst of all the suited-and-booted formality of the City would be called Savage Gardens beats me!
The bar is perched on the top floor of the Doubletree by Hilton – Tower of London. The interiors are quite snazzy, done in a sumptuous and sexy palette of burnt orange and blue for the plump sofas, thick velvet curtains and gleaming metallics.
The actual alfresco roof terrace has been designed in collaboration with Beefeater Pink Gin, so it features candy pink tones to match the drink. From here, you get the 360 degree, pretty much unobstructed, knockout views stretching from Tower of London to the City of London. It is a nice little urban sanctuary, full of sunshine vibes, in the midst of the melange of glass and concrete.
Savage Garden have quite a good range of cocktails, wines, beers and spirits. On this occasion, as we were watching the wallet, we decided to stick with the house wine but would definitely visit again to sample their cocktails.
The food menu is short and succinct, but what we ate, we liked. The food is surprisingly good for a rooftop bar. The well-considered menu is broken into small and large plates. Prices are on the higher side, typical of the City.
To nibble, we ordered the Plantain Chips, Lime Chilli Salt, Lime Avocado Hummus (£6). The chips were thin, crispy and incredibly moreish. The portion was huge so this is probably your best value-for-money dish if you are feeling thrifty and want to last the distance.
We had the Beef Sliders, Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries, Smoked Cheddar Beetroot (£17) to begin with. The beef patty had a good flavour, encased inside a posh mini charcoal bun. The whole presentation was playful but it was challenging to extract the actual burgers from the bone. There was also a misappropriation in the name, as the dish suggested you would get fries served on the side which was not the case. We bought this to the attention of the staff immediately.
I tried the Whole Seabass, Samphire (£16) which was excellent: a large portion of fresh quality fish with clean lemony flavours and delicious flesh that fell apart under the knife, with fronds of samphire to enliven the dish. It worked very well as a light, summery dish.
Last but not least, we had the Charred Octopus, Fennel, Orange Chermoula, Toasted Kasha (£14). This was the standout dish on the table. There were a jumble of flavours but it all worked beautifully together. If you see this on the menu, definitely order it.
The staff were impeccably groomed but informal and welcoming. For a place that has been in operation only for a little while, they seem to be on top of their game. We spent a lot of time chatting to Barbara who is from Budapest. Having recently returned from this fabulous city, we were exchanging stories of our travels with her.
If you work or are lucky enough to live near the City, give this place a go. This place is more sweet than savage; hip but unpretentious – at least that’s the impression I got from my visit during the day.
The outside space is not bookable so pick your time wisely. The best seats for me are the bar stools on the balcony facing Tower Bridge and Tower of London. Come early and perch yourself here with a cocktail in hand to soak in the views.
Happy Summer 2018, Londoners!
Location : 12th Floor, Doubletree by Hilton, Tower of London, 7 Pepys Street, London EC3N 4AF
More information can be found here.
N.B. All photos and opinions are mine. I reviewed this place anonymously as a paying customer. The total cost of the food was discounted as part of a Hot Dinners promotion.