Garden Room is sky-high and full of foliage.
Yes, yes, I know: it’s Leicester Square, much-maligned home of tourists and M&M World. But it’s also home to a stunning rooftop bar, commanding panoramic views over central London, as well as a cosy restaurant stuffed full of plants. All of which means you should definitely overlook your disdain for Leicester Square, and head along to Garden Room – now home to London’s first ‘Living Bar’.
The newest opening from the Bourne & Hollingsworth group sits on the tenth floor of London’s Assembly Hotel. As anyone who’s been to their Clerkenwell spot will testify, B&H have precedent with beautiful, plant-filled restaurants. Now, they’re taking things up a few levels – quite literally – for this new all-day bar & restaurant.
They’re getting a helping hand from you lot though. At the Living Bar, you’re welcomed to a space festooned with plants, and invited to hand-pick herbs and botanicals that the Garden Room’s bartenders will then use to infuse and garnish your cocktails. It’s designed as an immersive drinking experience (it also counts as gardening, for green-fingered Londoners bereft of a garden), and it’s just one part of the Garden Room’s charm.
Just as lovely are the 180-degree views of the city, taking in the sights of the West End, and providing tantalising glimpses of landmarks including The Shard, the London Eye, and Trafalgar Square. Cocktails, as you’d imagine, take on some rather floral notes, particularly in the Gimble, a blend of Four Roses bourbon and dandelion and nettle cordial. The Laurie Lee, meanwhile, is a lovely earthy mix of cider brandy, dry gin, beetroot, and apple juice, and pairs very nicely with a dramatic sunset.
Happily, your evening amongst the plants will be backed up by a tasty seasonal menu, marked by European influences. Starters include a light burrata, beetroot, and candied lemon dish, whilst mains range from a slow cooked spiced lamb & sweet potato mash to a jackfruit chilli, served with avocado relish. Truly, we are blessed by this plentiful garden!
Opening hours: 7am-midnight (Mon to Thu), 7am-1am (Fri & Sat), 7am-11:30pm (Sun).
Price: a la carte mains start from £14, cocktails begin at £9.
More information: from their website.
Also published on Medium.