LONDON BARS – Sky Lounge – A room with a serious Christmas view!

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For those who have never been there, the Sky Lounge is a bustling, very chic spot on the 12th floor of the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel London. It is nicely placed by the Tower of London with a superb 360 degree view of the London skyline. I’ve known it as a fabulous place for an after work tipple and the two terraces are great in the summer especially with the various pop ups that they have there. I’ve quite a few nights taking in the views of Tower Bridge, The Shard, the Tower of London, River Thames, Gherkin and St. Paul’s Cathedral, whilst bopping away to the resident DJ. It’s a chic and sublime experience and a real must for tourists and Londoners alike.

For Winter 2015 they have launched a new host of cocktails to warm the winter nights and cheer us up now summer is long gone. Being totally down for cocktails and a view I thought I’d take it upon myself to pop up and see what it was all about. The new menu is graduated from something light and sparkly, through to getting devilish and rich to all out decedent – the whole spectrum of cocktails is covered and many are twists on classics – hey if its not broken don’t fix it!

So off I went with my willing accomplice to foray in the cocktail melee! The first cocktail I chose was the show queen martini. This is a twist on a wet martini, which for those not in the know is a martini with more vermouth than a dry martini, and its my preferred version. This drink blends Snow Queen Organic Vodka, finest herb flavours from Lillet Blanc and the sweet mandarin from Mandarin Napoleon with a dash of bitters to create a smooth and delicately balanced winter taste. I found it delicious. iTs boozy, herbaceous, punchy and everything you want to kick off the night! VERY alcoholic and very fun! My friend partook on a Sky at Night, made with bison vodka which is his personal favourite and has a very distinctive taste. He though it tasted like winter fruits with a hint of cinnamon and was refreshing as it was served long. Good start!

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We polished these off these sharpish and moved to something a little heavier! I went for a Rum & Raisins – having a penchant for the ice cream flavour.   It was sooo moreish! My GOD it was good! Definitely recommended. Even better it was filled with plump rum soaked raisins – yum! My friend had an American Hustle which was a little less impressive -it was s twist on the Manhattan but the Prosseco and the whiskey just didn’t work for him – it may for you though and was a brave move showing ambition none the less.

Despite feeling well on our way we plumped for one more ‘for the road.’ I thought it was time to go hard or go home so I chose the absinthe based The Green Hour and my Friend went for the rather curious Azzuro sour which was a beer based cocktail.. I LOVED mine – it was aniseed as you would expect from absinthe and tasted like a bunch of liquorice allsorts in a glass. Very nice indeed!.. My friends beer based affair he found to be quite heavy but tasty none the less.

We accompanied this cocktail kaleidoscope with a good selection of nibbles to share from their bar menu. The Crab and lobster sauce flatbreads were outstanding, Loaded with crab and tasted fresh! They were subtly spiced and reminiscent of the summer passed. The flatbread was crunchy. A delight! We also had some Fried squid with chipotle mayo which we found a bit tired and rubbery to be honest – the batter was unfortunately a bit dense. The lobster rolls were very tasty though and helped mop up the accumulation of spirits floating around our stomachs, and indeed heads!

All in all a good experience – the cocktails are as I said punchy, ambitious and fundamentally well executed and a great accompaniment to such an amazing view on a winter’s night watching the world go by beneath you. With the opening of a new Winter Tree House pop up on the terrace this season it’s going to be a hot spot for the cold winter months!

Emma, Heart London Magazine

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