I’ve been slightly cynical about the Shard since it’s been open. Believing it to be over-priced and over-hyped I’d resisted going up. This came to an end last weekend when my date insisted we go up to one of the bars for one drink to see the view.
When we stepped out of the super-fast lift which made my ears pop on the way up, I believed I’d been right about this place. Sure it’s stylish, but I believed it to be pretentious and not worth all the fuss. There are three bars to choose from, Oblix, Aqua and Hutong. As Oblix was the nearest to the lift, we decided to try that one. I’m ashamed to admit that I then completely lost my cool demeanour as soon as I entered Oblix bar and saw the view. I’m not even exaggerating – the view is absolutely incredible. Before I’d even noticed the bar around me, my date and I went straight up to the window to get a better look. The sites are all tiny beneath you and they’re all there, it reminded me of being on a plane and looking down over London before landing.
Unsurprisingly the bar isn’t cheap but it’s not overly ridiculous considering where it is. Cocktails cost around £10 and the cheapest glasses of wine are around £5. We decided on a bottle of wine which cost £30. Bear in mind though that the bar staff will add on a few pounds to the cost of your drink for service charge. This is obviously ridiculous but unfortunately it’s the way it is.
As we hadn’t booked a table for dinner, we had to stand. This is often the case though with a busy bar on a Friday night. Plus I had to admit that as well as the view, the bar itself was beautiful and the atmosphere buzzing. A jazz band played in the centre of the room complete with a pianist, double bass player and a first class singer.
We only stayed for that one bottle of wine, never taking our eyes off the beautiful view but it was a fantastic stop for our Friday night date. After my date I have to admit that I’m a converted admirer of the Shard – Oblix really does show London at its most beautiful.