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If you’re a Londoner you will know just how important a great bar is, whether that be for after work cocktails, a lunchtime tipple or just a quick beer before you move on to a club. Now think about (the very few days of) summer and that lovely warm sunshine and if you’re anything like me then you’ll be imagining a rooftop bar. Rooftop bars in London are very common now (slightly weird as we get like 200 days of rain in a year, but I’m not complaining!), and they make just having an after-work drink all the more exciting.

Drinking at rooftop bars is one of my favourite pastimes so I knew I had to write a post about some of my favourite bars in my favourite city. Some of the ones that made it on the list I have visited and loved, and some I can’t wait to visit in the future.

1. Pergola on the Roof

Pergola is a pop-up bar and there are two Pergola locations: the original one in White City and a newer one in Paddington, and the Paddington one is the one I’ve visited. They have loads of cool pop-up restaurants such as Patty + Bun and Raw Press. They also have amazing beds, that we had for a little while before we moved downstairs to eat. The drinks are very reasonably priced, and I would fully recommend the cocktails: I had the Le Gran Fizz but with my old pal gin instead of vodka – so gorgeous! You will have to book here which is super handy but you can only book for groups with 4 or more, so for date night it’s better to just walk in!

♦ Visited ♦

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Pergola White City: Multi Story Car Park, Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, London, United Kingdom W12 7RJ

Pergola Paddington Central: 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central, London, United Kingdom W2 6PY

Pergola is open until October 1st

2. Radio Rooftop

Radio Rooftop bar is located on the 10th floor of the ME hotel and has amazing views of the Thames and the London skyline. It has been on my list for ages and I need to go and have a drink there soon! From what everyone has told me, the views are great and the drinks are gorgeous. They also do brunch on Sundays, which I am an absolute sucker for, and their restaurant is meant to be really good as well! You have to book here as well so keep that in mind.

ME London, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA

3. Madisons

Madisons is one of my favourites, simply because it is so close to my workplace. I love how accessible it is, being a penthouse of the shopping centre One New Change by St Pauls Cathedral. The cocktails are amazing, bar staff are super friendly and the views are incredible. Having St Pauls Cathedral as a backdrop is absolute killer. If you haven’t been, you definitely have to! You don’t have to book but you have the option to which is nice.

♦ Visited ♦

Madison Restaurant, Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF

4. Coq D’Argent

Another place I have visited recently which is close to my work place is Coq D’Argent. This bar is closer to Bank, being literally opposite exit 9. The terraces are heated, making this bar the perfect place for those chilly nights. The views are amazing, and the drinks were good – pretty pricey but what to expect from a London bar. The decor was very floral when I went, and it definitely felt like summer. You can book tables here so it’s quite handy if you want definite seats, but if you decide to come here on a whim it’s fine because bar snacks need no reservations – best of both worlds!

♦ Visited ♦

Coq D’Argent No.1 Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ

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5. Aqua Spirit

Aqua Spirit is a cool little cocktail bar near Mayfair, a definite possibility for pre-clubbing drinks. It looks very sophisticated and is located on the 5th floor, and it’s more of an outdoor terrace that you can watch the sunset from and then move into the restaurant bar when it gets too cold. You can’t book here, so entrance is on a first-come-first-served basis. The drinks are renowned here so it’s perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail or a boozy post-dinner date.

5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), London, UK W1B 3BR

6. SkyLounge

The 12th floor of the Hilton Tower of London offers amazing views of the skyline, as well as two outdoor terraces. What I really enjoyed about this bar is that when I visited around Christmas time, they had special Christmas themed cocktails! I just think it’s so lovely that they did that and it added something different to my experience. There are loads of different landmarks that you can see from this bar so you can get loads of great pics for your Insta, and it has a really nice chilled out vibe. Bar tables can be booked, but they do accept walk-ins from my understanding.

♦ Visited ♦

7 Pepys Street, London, EC3N 4AF,United Kingdom

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7. Sky Garden

Probably one of the most aesthetically-pleasing places in the whole of London, and I still can’t believe I haven’t visited. Sky Garden is a beautiful glass dome, located at 20 Fenchurch Street on top of a building nicknamed the Walkie Talkie building. They have three floors of gardens, outdoor terraces, and observation decks. The view of the skyline looks insane, and the drinks look even better. They also have a few restaurants, which would make for the perfect date night. Booking here is tricky, they only have a set amount of tickets and you have to be quick to snatch them before they go. Tickets are only available for a certain amount of time as well, so be warned and make the most of your time.

1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF

8. Rooftop Garden at John Lewis

This is the second year that John Lewis has opened their rooftop garden in their store on Oxford Street: the perfect little pit-stop after the bustle of London’s favourite shopping area. What I really like about this place is that they have events happening all the time, such as yoga classes, and lifestyle workshops, so it’s not just somewhere to go and drink and chill (although you can do that if you want to), but it’s somewhere you can spend the whole day, doing an activity and enjoy the views at the same time. There is also a great restaurant, and if you get bored – you’re on London’s busiest shopping street! You can reserve tables here, or rather ‘summerhouses’ and ‘pavilions’ – ooh la la!

Rooftop Garden is open until September 24th

300 Oxford St, London W1C 1DX

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9. Roof Deck at Selfridges

Another cute little gem located on Oxford Street, this time at Selfridges. Apparently they have the best guacamole in town, which everyone knows is definitely worth an excuse to visit. Dining al-fresco is always exciting, mostly because you never know whether it will be rain or sun (haha), but the food looks amazing, I’ve never been disappointed with any food I’ve had from Selfridges! Booking is recommended here as well, I have heard it gets quite busy too so maybe it’s worth booking.

Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB

10. Rumpus Rooms

I really wish I hadn’t visited this place when it was a dark and gloomy day in London, but at least it wasn’t raining (every cloud and all that!). But even when it was a little grey, the atmosphere of Rumpus Room was very energetic, and I loved their cocktails. The only thing I didn’t like was their queuing system; I stood in a queue at the bar for ages until I got to the front where they told me that queue was for VIP’s *facepalm*, but after that I got served pretty quickly so all was forgiven! Rumpus Rooms is located on the top floor of the Mondrian Hotel, and offers panoramic views of London, as well as being within walking distance of lots of famous landmarks, such as the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, as well as the London Eye and Borough Market. Definitely worth a visit! No booking is necessary here.

♦ Visited ♦

20, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD 

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11. Kensington Roof Gardens

I love the area of Kensington ever since I was little, and then I grew up and started watching Made in Chelsea which made me love it even more. Their Roof Gardens are one of Kensington’s spectacular venues and the restaurant is called Babylon, where you can have drinks on the terrace. The gardens are set 100ft above London, and is on the 7th floor, so you can imagine the views are insane! The actual gardens look amazing, and they are free to visit but you will have to book a table to have drinks or lunch. Also don’t forget your ID because they are super strict!

99, Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA

12. Sushi Samba

If you are a sushi lover like I am, this should be at the top of your list if you haven’t already visited! Sushi Samba is located on the 38th and 39th floors of Bishopsgate, and features the highest outdoor terraces in London. There are 360 views of London, with wall to floor glass windows, and glass elevators taking you up. The decor is an outdoor-indoor theme, with trees featuring heavily, and there are lots of fairy lights so it makes for perfect Instagram photos. You have to book a table here for the food but you don’t need a reservation for the bar, just note that it gets very busy in the evenings so bear that in mind.

♦ Visited ♦

Sushi Samba, London, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY

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13. Queen of Hoxton

QOH is located in Shoreditch, and that is one of my favourite places in London. It’s so edgy and hipster and cool, and even though I am none of those things it is a great area to go for drinks. There are views of the Shoreditch skyline, and it transforms twice a year from a snuggly, cosy winter rooftop bar to a summer, basking-in-the-heat rooftop bar. It gets super busy here so queues may be inevitable, but there is no need to book so it all depends on your luck!

1-5 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX

14. Bōkan

Bokan looks like a very cool place to have a drink. Located in the heart of Canary Wharf, it consists of three floors: 37, 38 and 39. The 37th floor is the restaurant, there is a bar on the 38th floor and the rooftop terrace is located on the 39th floor. It looks so exciting, it has a specialist gin bar (cannot wait to try this!), jazz days on Sundays and daytime beds, which all make for a perfect weekend spot. I would definitely book here, it gets super busy and is very popular, so don’t risk it!

Floor 37-39, 40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP

15. Aviary

Aviary is a place I cannot wait to visit – it just looks like it has the best vibes! It is located on the 10th floor of the Finsbury Square’s Montcalm Hotel, and has amazing panoramic views of the city. Definitely the ideal post-work drinks location – you will often see people in work clothes, enjoying some down time. The food looks amazing too, I think I will definitely have to make a night of it when I go! Again, I would book this if I had the chance, you never know how busy it will get and it’s a very popular place.

Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace Bar, 10th Floor Montcalm Royal, London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1DX

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So those were my top-picks for rooftop bars in London!

Did your favourite bars make it onto the list? How many have you been to? Let me know in the comments below!

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People often think that as a blogger I get hundreds of exciting opportunities, and really nothing could be further from the truth. However on the odd occasion, there’s a little gem that brightens up my email inbox and when I got my invite to visit the Royal Oak that was definitely one of them.

As much as I love working in central London and trying out all the amazing bars and restaurants there, there is something very comforting about friendly neighbourhood pubs. You could live in London all your life (like I have) and not find a place that people will know you in, just because it’s not practical.

The Royal Oak in Twickenham is a newly refurbished gastropub and I was very kindly invited to review a three course meal alongside a selection of beers, ales and wines that would suit the food.

To say I was excited was a complete understatement – loads of food and accompanying wines?! Who wouldn’t be excited?!

The starters and desserts were small dishes so we didn’t have individual dishes, instead there were 4/5 different starters for everyone to share. At first I thought it might be a bit awkward to share food with strangers but actually it was a great idea to get everyone talking and taste 4/5 dishes instead of just one starter.

Well played guys…

The starters were:

– Watercress Risotto, Pea Shoots (V) £7

– Chicken Livers, Smoked Lardon, Sourdough £7

– Charred Cauliflower, Romesco, Quinoa (VG) £7

– Gazpacho, Heritage Tomatoes, Tapenade (V) £6.5

– Hendricks Gin Cured Salmon, Dill, Mustard, Toast £7.8

My favourite dish was definitely the salmon on toast, it was gorgeous and I really liked the hint of mustard running through it as well. My sister really enjoyed the watercress risotto as well, it was very fresh and flavourful.

For the main course, we had already pre-picked our dishes. I chose the roast sea bream with chorizo hash and asparagus and my sister chose the chargrilled lamb that was served with salsa verde and sautéed potatoes. My sister thought the lamb was a tad tough but I couldn’t have loved my fish more. It was just the perfect dish, everything complemented everything and it was the perfect portion size.

The choice of main courses were:

–  Chargrilled Lamb Gigot, Salsa Verde, Sautè Potatoes £15.8

– Dressed Dorset Crab, Saffron Aioli, Fries £17.5

–  10OZ Bone In Sirloin, Peppercorn Sauce, Watercress £25

–  Roast Sea Bream, Chorizo Hash, Asparagus £14.5

– Aubergine, Falafel, Charred Gem, Grilled Pepper £10

– Pork Schnitzel, Fried Duck Egg, Fine Bean, Shallot & Butter Lettuce Salad £13.50

Like I mentioned before, they gave us small plates of desserts and they were insane. All (bar one) priced at £5.50, so you can definitely indulge without feeling guilty – well about the price anyways!

The desserts were:

– Banoffee Pot

– Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce

– Amalfi Lemon and Raspberry Posset

– Eton Mess

– Baked Camembert, Garlic, Truffled Honey £9.8

My favourite had to be Banoffee Pot, it was just the most perfect mixture of toffee and bananas and caramel. YUM!

I thought it was so great that they invited the wine merchants and ale and beer suppliers that they use in the pub, because they gave great advice on what wines/beers to have with what food. I asked about a million questions to the wine guy about wine etiquette and now I feel very much prepared to go wine-tasting/drinking – yay!

More than anything I was so happy that I’ve found a nice family gastropub that is not too far from where I live, but also nice enough to chill at during the breezy summer evenings by the river, or on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon. If you are ever in the area of Twickenham/Richmond, you should definitely pop in!

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Photo Credit: Amelia

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This post is a bit late considering I attended this event a few weeks ago now, but better late than never right?

So I attended the #bloggerswhobrunch launch event a few weeks ago.

I had said to myself that I really wanted to attend a bloggers event this year and even though it was a real push, I am glad I did it.

It was in London so I really wanted to make the effort and attend because I live and work in London so really I should have zero problems getting to and from the event.

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The location itself was stunning, it was a penthouse and the views were pretty good, even if it was a pretty dreary rainy day!

But I didn’t have the best time, I personally felt really quite lonely. I know loads of people met up beforehand but I didn’t know about that and plus I was a bit late getting to the event so I think that would’ve been pretty annoying for people to have to wait for me.

I generally felt like there were cliques, now don’t get me wrong, I love the blogging community and I have always been met with nothing but support and love, but on this occasion I didn’t really feel a part of it. It perhaps was my fault too because I didn’t know anyone and I could’ve spoken to people and made some effort, but it was a hard time because I was in a room with so many people and it was overwhelming.

I think perhaps there should’ve been more ways of interacting and getting to know people better, maybe with start-up games etc? I don’t know and I’m not criticizing, I have never organised this type of event before so I don’t doubt that it is a lot of hard work but I have to be honest and this is genuinely how I felt.

Some of things I did enjoy were the talks from LexiLife94  about YouTube and from Katherine who is a photographer. And of course I enjoyed the popcorn!

I didn’t want to write this post because I didn’t want to come across negative but I did want to post my pictures somewhere and even though I want my blog to be a positive place, I will always be true and honest to myself and my readers.

Have you ever been to a bloggers event before? Did you enjoy it?

Darren Kuppan and Danny Ashok in Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre. Credit Marc Brenner. (1)

Credit: Marc Brenner

As a London-based blogger and someone who works and lives in London, I think it’s so important to unwind after work and immerse yourself in the many cultural activities that London has to offer.

So I was very excited to be invited to the Bush Theatre for their production of Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph.

Darren Kuppan and Danny Ashok in Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre. Credit Marc Brenner. (2)

Credit: Marc Brenner

Walking into the Bush Theatre, you can definitely tell it has had a makeover. The building itself is very accessible and it now has an outdoor terrace decorated with flowers, definitely one of my favourite parts of the refurb. You can imagine yourself discussing thoughts on the play you’ve just watched, glass of wine in hand, soaking in those last few minutes of the evening summer sunshine.

Anyways, back to the play.

Guards at the Taj starts off quite slowly; for some, this may be dullingly slow, but for me it was needed as a way for the main characters to involve the audience into the background of the story. The two main characters Babur (played by Darren Kuppan) and Humayan (played by Danny Ashok) are guarding the beautiful and world-famous Taj Mahal. They speak about many things (despite the fact that they are supposed to be silent), and this is where we get to see the difference of the two characters. Babur is a fun-loving, perhaps simple-minded sweet-natured person, whereas Humayan is a more serious, strong and silent character.

The story gets more serious here, when the myth of Shah Jahan cutting off the hands of 20,000 workers so that they could never recreate such beauty again, comes into the story. The two characters are employed to carry out the unthinkable actions, and the effects that it has on Darren is heartbreaking.

Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppon in Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre. Credit Marc Brenner.

Credit: Marc Brenner

The friendship between Darren and Danny is truly beautiful to watch and they convincingly bounce off each other. The set was astonishingly simple and it worked so well because you focus on the character and the story, which is where the true beauty lies.

Darren Kuppan and Danny Ashok in Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre. Credit Marc Brenner.

Credit: Marc Brenner

The lighting is also something I noticed a lot, especially in the final heart wrenching scene, perhaps it was because the set was so simple, but the orange hues of dreams contrasted with the bright lights of reality were really effective. Bright lights were also used to signify the beauty of the Taj Mahal, which I thought was used really well.

This was also the first play that I’d seen directed by Jamie Lloyd, and I was thoroughly impressed. The play itself is darker than I thought and honestly, 80 minutes wasn’t enough – I really thought I’d struggle with not going to the bathroom / checking my phone / getting hungry / getting thirsty (yes I am clearly a 5 year old), but the play completely had my attention. Big sign that I was engrossed.

Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan in Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre. Credit Marc Brenner.

Credit: Marc Brenner

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the play and I didn’t read any reviews beforehand as I wanted to form my own opinions, but I was very pleasantly surprised by what I watched.

I would highly recommend going to see Guards at the Taj, it is really thought-provoking and heartwarming, with dark themes conflicted with occasional streams of lightheartedness.

Have you seen any good plays recently? I’d love some recommendations!

Guards at the Taj, at the Bush Theatre, until 20th May

One of the things on my Chrismas Bucket List was to go ice-skating, just because it makes me feel so Christmassy. I love London anyways as I was born and bred here, but at Christmas time it’s so lovely and holds such a special place in my heart.

We originally wanted to go to Somerset House but it was all booked up so we decided to go to NHM instead, as it was another place on my list. It was so beautiful, even though we went during the day so next time I want to go in the evening and stare at all the lights forever and ever.

I really don’t think I’m a very good skater, but I try every year just because the adrenaline rush is amazing and you’re never going to be the only one who’s struggling on the ice, believe me! It usually takes me around 10 minutes to shuffle along the ice and then I gain a little bit more confidence, and the next thing you know, I’m gliding along like a pro! (Only joking, I lean forward a bit and feel really cool, until I nearly fall flat on my face and have a mini heart attack. Oh, life!)

In all honesty, it is one of the most Christmassy things that I like to do and it is like a proper work out as well, so make sure you treat yourself to a hot chocolate afterwards (that’s the way those calorie things work right?)

Have you been ice-skating yet? Where did you go?

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