A night at Gong Bar will go swimmingly.
Panoramic views. A list of innovative cocktails. And an infinity pool, overlooking the city. If you think this place sounds a little too much like Shangri-La, a little too good to be true, you’d kind of be right. Part of the Shangri-La Hotel, Gong Bar sits on the 52nd floor of The Shard – and yes, it really does have a swimming pool.
Lovely, isn’t it? There’s small print, though. Of course there is, or we’d be there right now instead of writing about it. Whilst the majority of Gong Bar is open to the public, the swimming pool is for hotel guests only. Boooo. Still, if you ever find yourself staying here, cocktails by the pool is definitely the way to go – especially on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, when they’ve got a poolside DJ.
The rest of us shouldn’t consider ourselves too unlucky, as Gong Bar still makes for a great watering hole. The rest of the space is taken up by a cocktail bar, and a dedicated champagne bar which serves bubbles by the glass. I’m particularly drawn to the cocktail menu, which regularly embraces an inventive new theme. Currently, the theme is ‘A Miscellany of Inventions’, in which Gong Bar pay boozy homage to the machines and items which have enriched our lives. For instance, the Lost in Asia is a sake, apple, and banana-infused tribute to the compass, whilst Looks No Hands heroes the bicycle with whisky, triple sec, and an IPA reduction.
Getting steadily drunk on these impressive creations is likely to be a pricey affair, so it’s best to take your mind off of it with the views. By virtue of being perched fifty-two floors above terra firma, Gong Bar is the highest bar in London, as well as the highest hotel bar in Western Europe. Amongst the awards they haven’t given themselves is the “highest afternoon tea spot in London”, since they offer a traditional tea for £52.
When the sun sinks beyond the horizon, and the city lights up for another bustling night, Gong Bar is a gorgeous spot for an evening libation. Even if you can’t enjoy it from the pool…
Location: . Nearest station is London Bridge. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 12pm-1am (Mon to Sat), 12pm-12am (Sun).
Price: the cheapest glass of champagne is £20, cocktails start from £17.
More information: from their website.
Featured image: @gong_bar
Also published on Medium.