The big plus side to this is also the surge of cool restaurants and bars in these buildings with fabulous city views. Reservations for dinner are usually necessary as is smart dress but this is a great way to get a birds eye view of this amazing city.
My personal favourite is Aqua Shard. There are so many things I love about Aqua Shard that I've written a whole review about it. As a viewing point alone it takes some beating. The bar is buzzing with beautifully dressed people drinking fabulous cocktails. The view is amazing. If you are here on a clear day and get to see one of the spectacular sunsets over the city it will certainly be one of the hi-lights of your trip. You can just come for drinks (which are very reasonably priced) or you can book a table for dinner at either Aqua Shard - British or Hutong - Chinese.
Also in the Shard is the Shangri-la hotel. I have not been here yet but there is also a bar on the 52nd floor - you need a reservation as it's quite small. You could even spoil yourself on a hotel room here !
Sushi Samba in the Heron Tower has fabulous views and wonderful cocktails. On the 38th floor and with outdoor terrace Sushi Samba is one of the hottest locations in The City. You need to reserve in advance for dinner but not the bar, however it gets VERY busy. Make sure you are dressed smartly and be prepared to spend your hard earned cash. It's certainly not cheap!
Vertigo at Tower 42 has changed hands since I was there a while ago and is now 'London's highest Champagne Bar'. They only serve drinks and tapas so it may be easier to get in her than some of the other places. You need to reserve in advance online. And as with Sushi Samba and The Gurkin will probably need to bring ID with you and may be subject to airport like security.
Searcys at The Gherkin is normally members only, however they occasionally open their doors to the public. It is worth checking their website if you are in town and can't get a reservation in any of the others.
I have eaten here and also been into the bar a few times and if I'm honest it's my least favourite of the London towers. The bar is incredibly noisy due to the terrible acoustics of the building. When we ate in the restaurant about 6 months ago we were very disappointed with both the service and the quality of the food.
Even if you have been to London many times before, the ever changing skyline with the new buildings that appear to grow at an alarming rate ensures new things to explore on almost every visit.
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