Chances are you’ve seen many, many TikToks of Londoners going up the glass-panelled lift directly in front of St Paul’s. You know the clip: where the iconic landmark is framed perfectly next to two mirrored buildings at One New Change. Wanna know where it leads after you head skywards? To Madison, of course.
After being welcomed by the very dapper front-of-house staff and heading up six floors, we were met with a spacious terrace decked out like a winter paradise. But our eyes were immediately drawn to an unhindered, simply extraordinary view of St Paul’s Cathedral. The panorama was so good, my jaw remained at ground level.
Although taking reference from the electric and vibrant New York social life scene, Madison, in my opinion, showcases London rooftops at their best. Outside, a heated terrace and white fluffy throws kept imbibers toasty while the restaurant bar area was an extremely sleek affair. Think dimly lit tables, statement pendant lighting and chic black leather sofas. The sloped glass roof was a thing of beauty, allowing the legendary tourist attractions, like the London Eye, to speak for themselves.
Being a Thursday night, it was definitely a suited-and-booted after-work crowd, but not in an obtrusive kinda way. If anything, the hum of activity added to the upbeat atmosphere. We reckon there may be a couple of sore heads the next morning.
After bouncing along to a sexy, Ibiza-tinged soundtrack, we kicked things off with two slinky cocktails. The first one was as iconic as they come: the Rooftop Sunset (£15). It was pretty much an Instagrammers dream, decorated with the aforementioned scenescape. But underneath, it was equally as lovely, featuring a blend of Haku vodka, pineapple tepache, vanilla, ratafia black cherry and red wine. Drinking it almost seemed like a waste, we wanted to take it home with us. Our other quaff, the classic Tommy’s Margarita (£15) was a sensational version of my fave drink. A punchy, boozy mix of La Dama Blanco, agave syrup and lime juice, it definitely made me make that oooo noise.
To keep it simple, Madison offer the choice of a two (£43) or three-course menu (£49) for diners, and as we were treating ourselves, we went for the latter. I started with the Puglian burrata: a delicately presented dish with stunning shades of pink and green. The beets were earthy and fresh, paired with a lovage pesto that was dialled up to 100. It all came together perfectly with the balsamic sauce and crunchy radish. Next up came the generously portioned Loch Fyne smoked salmon, surrounded by a soft and creamy Charlotte potato salad. The horseradish provided a nice amount of heat, and it was polished off in record time.
It's mains time, baby. Now, we know Madison takes their meat seriously, promising the best grill and steaks from around the world. It’d be rude not to go for the 8oz flat iron slab, finished with a rocket and shallot salad. Although slightly dry on the outside, it was gorgeously juicy in the middle and seasoned exactly to my date’s taste. The side of thick-cut beef dripping chips were top-drawer too: crispy and fluffy. As a vegetarian, I opted for the plant-based meatballs. The star of the show? The spicy nduja-inspired spheres that were served piping hot. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the vegan mozzarella but the marinara sauce and rigatoni did leave me feeling satisfied. The herby fries (£6) were the ideal mopper-upper, plus the garlic wasn’t too overpowering either (although I’d like to formally apologise to my dentist for my appointment the following morning).
Madison’s pud game? Very strong let me tell you: they brought it big style. My deep-fried apple pie was a hug on a plate, like a doughnutty, cinnamon-spiced delight with vanilla ice cream and a deliciously decadent Bourbon caramel sauce. Ooof. The second dessert of Mississippi mud pie was a work of art, featuring beautifully scooped flat white coffee ice cream and an indulgent sticky sauce.
As we continued to admire the London skyline, we closed our date night with two lip-smacking cocktails. The first, and a best-seller I might add, is the fun-sounding Basic Bitch Pornstar Martini (£15). Whether you add the prosecco or decide to gulp the fizz instead, you can be sure to enjoy every last sip of the fruity masterpiece. Madison's Candy Kiss (£18) was a proper showstopping finale. Just imagine a luscious ruby red mix of Belsazar dry vermouth, elderflower liquor and Crème De Cassis, plus for that touch of luxe, Lanson Brut Champagne. Topped with playful pink floss, it tasted as good as it looked.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Owned by powerhouse D&D London, who also manage the swanky 14 Hills and Haugen, Madison promises a very special time. From the knockout cocktails to banging desserts, not forgetting the unbeatable setting, this is definitely up there with the best rooftops in London and a mainstay on any agenda. We visited on a chilly evening but it’s already got us thinking ahead for summer, where the terrace acts as a lush suntrap. Care to join us?
💰 The damage: £173, excluding service.
📍 The location: One New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF.
👌 Perfect for: When you really want to impress.
⭐ Need to know: We hear their American-style bottomless brunches are to die for.