Head here if… you want your cocktails with an exceptional view
Once upon a time the folk at Paramount restricted their fabulous 360 degree views to members only. That was before credit went crunch. Now anyone with a head for heights is welcome to join in the party.
First Things First
As born and bred, loud and proud Londoners, there’s nothing we like better than surveying our capital, glass in hand. The London Eye champagne flights work really well for this but much as we love gazing out on to the River, squinting at the various landmarks, we prefer to spend a little longer than 45 minutes admiring the capital’s treasures while we imbibe. Paramount is just the ticket for London-loving, cocktail-lovers such as us. We were lucky enough to spend a very special New Year at this restaurant and bar a few years back, now it’s opened to non-members every day of the week.
As much as it makes a big thing about the food and drink, what you really come here for are the views. All 360 degree and 385 ft of them. Paramount occupies the 31st to the 33rd floors of the iconic Centrepoint building, offering the most amazing vantage point over central London – even Oxford Street looks good from a height! The central hand crafted zinc bar (designed by Tom Dixon no less) takes pride of place and, like the views and lights twinkling below, is seen to best effect from the early evening onwards. Be warned: if you get slightly queasy doing the height thing, this one might well be worth giving a miss.
There wasn’t a Signature as such and if there was, no one was interested enough in directing Ms S to it. Left to her own devices she went for a Clover Club (gin, lemon juice, grenadine, egg white) all pink, frothy and girly – just stopping short of being too sweet. It was okay, not earth-shatteringly good or fiendishly bad, just good enough to do the job. Thank heaven for those views…
An Old Fashioned (Woodland Reserve, brown sugar, Angostura Orange Bitters) is always welcome. This one was made quite efficiently. Not too sweet, the smoothness of the Woodland Reserve came through nicely. A nice digestif, it made an easy going compliment to the breathtakingly beautiful London night-time vista.
And To Eat?
There’s a full a la carte restaurant menu, which we tried, obviously. It’s good (and expensive) but never going to win a Michelin star; that said, you wouldn’t be disappointed with what turns up in front of you. We didn’t sample the bar menu but whitebait with lemon wedges (£4.50), sticky ribs (£7.50 and crab spring rolls with chilli and soy (£6.50), jostle for space with sharing antipasti plates (£10), steak tartare (£38) and comfort food like fish pie (£10.50) and bangers and mash (£9.50).
Look Out For
Oh come on, what else could you look out for but those fabulous views? There’s nowhere quite like this is London. Check out the incredible floor to ceiling viewing gallery on the 33rd floor but don’t miss out on the buzz of the restaurant/bar area a floor down.
What’s The Damage?
Fizzy cocktails come in at £15 while all the rest hover around the £11 mark.
Ms S says:
If Paramount was on the ground floor, the food and cocktails would be pretty ordinary. Enjoyed from a height however, they take on a whole different posh persona; it’s amazing what you forgive if the setting and atmosphere is just right.
Mr G says:
It really is all about the view. Order a drink, then just take in the views. Whether from the bar or walking around the gallery during the day but even better, at night, you will fall in love with our fabulous city.
103 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1DD. T: 020 7420 2900. http://www.paramount.uk.net