Fun in London is reaching new heights this summer with the opening of an elevated park in Greenwich, a rooftop garden in the City, plus several luxury hotels sprucing up the their top floors and decks with imaginative special events and al fresco food and drinks. Correspondent Emily Goldfischer rounds up the best ways to reach peak London this summer.
The Tide, London’s first riverside linear park (similar to New York City’s High Line), opens this July in Greenwich along the Thames, creating a new destination for art, design and well-being in an elevated and verdant setting designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who are also the co-creators of the High Line in New York. The first half mile of the three-mile-long park features walkways 30 feet high and flows through native trees with giant sculptures by Damien Hirst and Allen Jones amid sunken gardens, plus a nearly 90-foot-long outdoor picnic table and a unique jetty garden surrounded by the river. Greenwich is celebrating the opening of The Tide on the weekends of July 5-7 and 12-14 with the Turning Tides Festival, which will feature live music, art, film, wellness and food.
This past winter saw the largest public rooftop garden open on the fifteenth floor at 120 Fenchurch Street, a new office building sandwiched between iconic London skyline buildings the Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie. The lush, 3,000-square-foot Garden at 120 is open during the week from 10 am until 9 pm and offers a peaceful perspective on the bustling City below. Bonus: it’s free to enter! Watch this space for an exclusive new restaurant, but if you need food and views in the City now, we love nearby Duck and Waffle and Sushi Samba, 40 and 39 floors up, respectively, in the Heron Tower; and, though it’s only on the third floor, we’re very excited about the just-opened Bob Bob Cite in the Walkie Talkie building, sister restaurant of Soho-based Bob Bob Ricard, famous for having tableside buttons to call for champagne, also a feature in the City location along with French country-cooking classics by Chef Eric Chavot -- think French onion soup, Escargots, Cote du Beof and Île Flottante.
The highest hotel bar in Western Europe, The GŎNG Bar, located on level 52 of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, has launched a new sushi and sake bar for the summer by Chef Aggar Aung, a rising star who just joined the hotel from the Asian restaurant at Home House. Top sakes: the vintage Umami Junmai Genshu 18% with notes of peach, violet and hay, and the Frenchy Oak Junmai Daiginjo 16%, which is aged for 12 months in a Seguin Moreau cask. These are paired with dishes such as Asian Beef Tataki with truffle ponzu and crisp shallots and tuna tataki with yuzu, soy and salmon keta. Best seats: at the sushi bar where you can alternate between watching the chefs and taking in the views. Open from 5 pm - 11 pm daily, booking suggested.
No need to go to Italy to sample “La Dolce Vita,” just head to The Berkeley, where they’ve created a picture-perfect Italian retreat on their rooftop inspired by legendary hotels from Il Pellicano to La Sirenuse. Think: citrus yellow and white-striped sunbeds, lemon and olive trees surrounding their azure pool. Enjoy some ‘amore’ of the Amalfi coast, including Aperitivo hour complete with Bellinis, Aperol Spritz and Negronis. Sunseekers can visit the rooftop, usually reserved for hotel guests, for a swim; a spot of sunbathing; or a bite to eat from a classic Italian menu. Guests can feast poolside on fritto misto, tricolore salad, pizzetta and arancini, finished off with gelato or limoncello sorbet. As Aperitivo hour approaches, and the sun goes down, the pool and garden will be filled with the aroma and flickers of candles from the ‘elegante’ Italian house of Acqua di Parma. There’s also a new accompanying La Dolce Vita spa treatment designed by the spa which relies on lemon to brighten and invigorate the skin.
La Dolce Vita at The Berkeley launches on June 1 and will be open until the end of September. There are two package options; four hour access to La Dolce Vita (the rooftop garden and pool, sauna and steam room) including a glass of Aperol Spritz, £75 per person. Four hour access to La Dolce Vita (the rooftop garden and pool, sauna and steam room), a glass of Aperol Spritz and an indulgent La Dolce Vita spa treatment, £195 per person. Booking is essential, call (0)20 7235 6000 or visit https://www.the-berkeley.co.uk/special-offers/la-dolce-vita/.