Radio Rooftop Bar, Holborn
Nothing attracts a young, summer crowd faster than a new rooftop bar, especially one with Instagram-able views. Hot off the heels of chichi sister restaurant STK, Radio Rooftop Bar is the latest offering from ultra chic Spanish brand ME Hotels, with a reception as sleek and shiny as the express elevator’s twinkling LED lights. Located on the tenth floor, this is a city dweller’s escapist haven. The nucleus of this intimate yet spacious venue is a hi-tech bar, which houses slick bartenders and a vast array of spirits. Step outside and experience the wow factor of the wrap-around terrace, which boasts a spectacular city panorama and incorporates the grand art deco edifice of Marconi House, where the first BBC programme was broadcast in 1922. Take your pick from one of the Ibiza-style white sofa tables that line the rooftop parameters, complete with ambient candles, lanterns and outdoor heaters, which will be on 365 days a year – except for during the annual two-day British heatwave.
Look no further down the cocktail menu than Radio’s twist on Pimms, served with a large sprig of mint, slice of cucumber and topped with blackberries and raspberries – an ideal refreshment after a long day at the office. Impressively attentive waiters will ensure you and your date are well looked after (and the drinks keep flowing) while you’re busy taking snaps. Radio’s surprisingly reasonable menu offers ‘global tapas’ options, so share a few dishes that will line the stomach, such as the scotch eggs, Wagyu beef sliders or mac ’n’ cheese, priced between £6 – £10.
This swanky venue is perfect for a ‘spontaneous’ summer date. Book a few weeks in advance (but don’t tell her that) and arrange to meet straight after work to enjoy the sunset views. With anticipation building in the express elevator, head straight to a round sofa table (remember to pre-reserve to avoid disappointment) and treat your date to a champagne cocktail. This serves as a fantastic opportunity for a ice-breaking game of London themed I-Spy. From the Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard, down the river to the IMAX, Somerset House and across to the London Eye and Big Ben, you’ll be dazzled by the bright city lights and eclectic European crowd. Although the vibe here is low key elegance, don’t be fooled. This is a slick, Sex-and-the-City-style bar attracting polished model types and European bankers who have pitched up to see and be seen. If dressing up, shmoozing over cocktails and partying in the sky is up your street then this is your destination. If not, Radio’s cool, rooftop bar is the ideal summer lounging date worth a visit just for the view, and to make you feel like excited tourists for the night.
It may be tricky to orchestrate a spontaneous ‘let’s pop in for one drink’ kind of date, as when busy, front of house are reluctant to let drop-ins up to the roof. If you forget to book in advance, some gentle persuasion to just ‘take a look upstairs’ may be required to pass go and collect your £200 (bottle of champagne, that is).