Located inside one of London’s most iconic buildings, The Sterling takes some beating when it comes to city settings. Taking up a portion of the bottom two floors of The Gherkin, this bar mixes city panache with a relaxed vibe. Step inside and you are greeted with a bright airy space (helped by the stunning floor to ceiling windows), permeated with booth seating and small drinks tables. The long bar and open kitchen are two of the standout features, and the long tables upstairs make for excellent places to kick back in larger groups.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
Arriving at 7pm; The Sterling was abuzz with city slickers mingling after a long day trading, bean counting and wearing snappy suits. Obviously, being in the heart of the city, you should expect a smart crowd; however there were a nice mixture of large and small groups, and even a few couples enjoying a relaxing drink before heading elsewhere.
We got set at a small drinks table and were serenaded by a fantastic live three piece who belted out a range of classic 90s hits which had us lip synching along. In between sets, indie tunes were played over the soundsystem and conversations were lubricated by the sounds of the Arctic Monkeys and Bombay Bicycle Club, which I thought was a nice touch for a city bar.
The Food and Drinks
The Sterling offer a nice range of nibbles on top of an all-day food menu, so there was plenty to choose from. We opted for the Classic Sharing Board (£16.95), which came jam packed with mini-cheeseburgers, cocktail sausages, giant potato wedges and mini fish & chips. We also decided to attack the cocktail menu and managed to try the Dark & Stormy (£6.50), Long Island Ice Tea (£6.25) and Mojito (£6.50).
Ideal for enjoying between sips, the food platter was tasty to say the least. My personal highlight had to be the mini-cheeseburgers, which were far nicer than full size versions I’ve eaten elsewhere. We opted for classic cocktails in a bid to see what the standard was like, and The Sterling’s bartenders delivered perfectly. My Dark & Stormy might not have been as dark as I am used to, but it certainly tasted good. The Mojitos too were a zesty triumph.
If you’re looking for somewhere to have a drink in the heart of the city, you can’t get much better than The Sterling. Smart and classy, but with subtle touches and friendly staff that set it apart; it really is a delight, and comes highly recommended by this happy customer.