Launch of ‘Circle of Life’ 18-strong cocktail menu at the highest bar in Western Europe
London has become a City that does drinks with a view. This has not always been the case. It used to be that your only drinking at altitude option was the old NatWest Tower, where you tucked your elbows in and quaffed over-priced champagne with estate agents. But as the skyline of gherkins, herons and walkie talkies has emerged, so have the mile high bars and cocktails to match.
The most prominent of the ‘new-builds’ is the Shard, which, unless you have been in another country for the last 10 years, will recall is the tallest and one of the most architecturally controversial buildings in London. At least in my neighbourhood.
Nevertheless it is also host to a suite of great restaurant and bar options, and one of the best is GŌNG in the Shangri-La Hotel. Located on the 52nd floor the look is definitely more hotel than bar. The browns, beiges, and light greys make the space more formal than funky. However they do great views to the North of the river (apparently the full moon is amazing) and they do some impressive work with cocktails. Christian Maspes formally of the American Bar at The Savoy and China Tang at The Dorchester Club, among others, runs the bar. His team has launched a Circle of Life promotion consisting of 18 original creations composing a cocktail assisted journey through time. .
These include My First Painting – Star of Bombay gin, Cocchi Rosa, Peychaud’s, lime, chamomile; Let’s Dance – Don Julio tequila, chestnut chutney, pineapple, bitters, Grand Marnier, pear; and the Ojiisan – Woodford Reserve bourbon, Hedonist liqueur, Pedro Ximenez, mezcal, pimento.
Each one is inspired by a stage in life, a familiar mood and a captured memory. Now whether you buy into that idea or not, there’s no getting away from the fact that they’re pretty good cocktails.
You always learn on this job and apparently GŌNG is the highest bar in Western Europe. Whether that’s true or not, one thing for sure. It’s a fine edition to London’s drinking with views club.
From * to *****
First dates and best mates ****
Drinks with a view *****
Serving and pouring ****
GŌNG at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London. 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU, UK.
Tel. +(44) 0207 234 8208 www.gong-shangri-la.com @ShangriLaShard