Paramount - Cocktail Queen Review
103 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1DD
After you’ve negotiated your way through the building site, odd pedestrian crossings and, tourists you will find yourself at the bottom of what look like some dull office steps. Hop, skip and jump up these and you’ll be confronted by a non-smiling receptionist who, if you’re luckier than me, will make it look like she is pleased to see you. Once she’s figured out how to find your name on the guest list (it must be really busy up there – we were thinking), she will tell you in as polite a tone as she can be bothered to muster about the dress code and will show you to the lift. We were given the dress code speech because I was in a classy pair of trainers, but graciously allowed to change them in the lift.
Up we went.
Here on the 32nd floor, we have the restaurant and a few tables to have drinks at. There weren’t any that we liked the look of so we were helpfully ushered upstairs to the viewing platform. We were 2 of about 6 others on that level, including two members of staff. We settled ourselves near the bar and ordered a bottle of the house wine (£25) and a plate of charcuterie (£10). The wine was fine, though nothing special and the charcuterie was actually really yummy and good value, the bread seemed to be optional so we went for it expecting to see it on the bill. Obviously I’m supposed to be reviewing the cocktail menu but on the floor that we were on cocktails don’t feature, hence the wine.
The View and Charcuterie
Once we’d drained the bottle we headed downstairs, not least to get away from the rather amorous couple next to us. I was surprised again by the helpfulness of the waitress who kindly showed us to a large table when we were just two of us, just because we wanted a window seat. So down to the cocktail bar we went...The cocktail menu, if you can find it (so you can enjoy the view they have to have the lights very low – so those who don’t want to look like their Aunt Mildred – find a candle to read your menu by), is pretty extensive. My first choice was a Rhubarb and custard, imaginatively served in a jam jar with a sweet on top for good measure. This was lovely; it wouldn’t have suffered from a little more rhubarb essence but was a good little cocktail. There was, however, a small tiny insignificant detail which has grumbled around my head since we left the place, the menu stated all the ingredients were, oh so annoyingly, ‘shaken with a helping of Nostalgia....’ What is the point in adding that? A Mexican 55 and a Margarita were had by my friend, both of which were good, once they were correct. The menu specifically said ‘no salt’ for the Margarita and there was salt all the way round the rim which was annoying. Then the Mexican 55 was half empty, if you’re charging £13 for a Champagne Cocktail; fill the glass up properly, it’s just bothersome to be stingy. I also had a cosmopolitan, it wasn’t on the menu but I thought I’d see if they could do a classic. They can, but if I was to be picky – it wasn’t shaken enough, so when left for a little bit, separated a little.
Rhubarb and Custard Cocktail
I went to Paramount expecting to hate it; I was expecting it to be the kind of venue that makes you yearn to be in an old English Pub – over priced and underwhelming. But, I was surprised, almost all the staff were polite and very helpful, the food and drinks were good, the views, obviously were exceptional. Our total bill for 4 cocktails, a bottle of wine, a charcuterie plate and some chips was £94.50 including service (the bread didn’t feature on the bill). It’s a splash the cash evening but you can watch the whole city at your feet; the views really are breathtaking – and that was on a rainy December evening...
Cocktail Queen Paramount Rating:
Paramount Budget: Splash the Cash
Paramount Closest Station: Tottenham Court Road