Tower 42, formerly known as the Natwest Tower, is really rather beautiful as you approach the pink lit foyer. It is even more impressive once you have checked in, cleared security and been whisked to the top floor with your ears popping (yes, it was like an airport even if closer to a first class Emirates flight, though when I set off the alarm I was glad not to be searched).
Plush carpets lead you into the first 180 degrees of this 360º champagne bar; Floor to ceiling windows are enjoyed from stylish low chairs designed almost like a hand that wraps around you, and each view is labeled with your latitude figures, compass direction and what you are looking at for the tourists. This area is a little more hushed no doubt by careful planning attracting quiet parties of two or two people sharing a cocktail or a bottle of fizz alongside the spectacular views. The next 180º steps it up with high stools allowing more space for groups to cluster then the end holding pen area that serves as the service area and standing point for those not lucky enough to get tables.
Vertigo 42 is perfect for a romantic date or even a special treat
An experience like this does not come cheap with champagne around £17 a glass though the selection is great and Gosset Excellence would be my recommendation and cocktails (of course with champagne) at £14 and all this with 12.5% service charge on top. The cocktails are well made from classic (the Classic, Kir etc) to a seasonally changing menu from which the Orange & Raspberry which a hint of fino sherry was beautifully balanced. If you are peckish they have a range of bites from risottos and salads to the canapé selection (£32) that they say serves two to three would easily stretch to four people five even if dinner is straight after!
The music was a dulcet mixture of jazz and easy going house which complements the hum that will be created when faced with such a dazzling vista. The staff seem similarly relaxed, though leave plenty of time if you have a dinner reservation as it can take some time to attract attention if they are the wrong side of the tower!
Both the food and drinks at Vertigo 42 are completely mouth-watering
Night is definitely the time to enjoy the views, and even with quite thick fog rolling towards us off the Thames we enjoyed the feeling of being cocooned way up high and I can only imagine how spectacular a storm would be from up there!
So until I am earning significantly more this bar is not going to become my weekly hang out, but nor is this a tourist gimmick. It is romantic, fun and a great place to start an evening in the city and I look forward to the next excuse to splurge.
The breath-taking views are reason alone to visit Vertigo 42
A word of warning though, when booking (and booking in advance is a must) request seating as I have been informed this is not automatically reserved; and girls, you do not want to spend two hours watching the world go by not matter how beautiful in your high heels!
Budget: Splash the cash
Pre-design: Impressing your date, Bar with a view, Sex & the city cocktail, Romantic night