Although we’re amidst rooftop season right now, the weather hadn’t really got the memo – until now that is. Hurrah! If you’ve checked out the usual haunts, but you’re after a new spot to make the most of the long, light evenings, I recommend Mercer Roof Terrace.
The perfect setting for a romantic evening date, this rooftop spot sits atop the five-star Vintry & Mercer hotel on a quiet, cobbled street in The City of London. I checked out the restaurant and hotel; here’s my review of Mercer Roof Terrace and Vintry & Mercer.
The views at Mercer Roof Terrace
Mercer Roof Terrace is located on the seventh floor of the swish Vintry & Mercer, affording diners fantastic views of The Shard and St Paul’s Cathedral. As you step out of the elevator and into the restaurant, you’ll be welcomed into a light and bright space. One ‘wall’ is completely floor-to-ceiling glass – and leads to a large terrace with seating – while a glass roof lets even more light flood the venue. The cityscape itself makes for a lovely view, but add the sun’s rays at golden hour, and you have an even more romantic setting.
Mercer Roof Terrace’s menu is made up of predominantly British classics, with added flair – high-end hotel means high-end dishes in the restaurant. The attentiveness of the staff was well noted, and added to the luxury feel of the meal. The price tag is a little on the high end too – however, I must admit, it wasn’t as outrageous as I was expecting from a five-star hotel.
To start, I enjoyed a classic prawn cocktail, and tomato and watermelon soup. The prawn cocktail was flavoursome, and the crisped bread added a nice texture to the dish. However, it was the tomato and watermelon soup I was most intrigued by. Served cold, the soup was surprisingly delicious; initially, I could taste only the watermelon, then the earthiness of the tomato came through. This soup had dimensions. These starters set me up perfectly for the main, as they were light, yet still hit the spot.
For my main, I went all in and opted for the steak. I won’t reveal how I prefer my steak cooked, lest I get absolutely roasted myself in the comments, but it was prepared wonderfully. Delicious, soft, melt-in-your-mouth steak. I devoured the pretty large serving in record time. The red wine jus was the ideal accompaniment for me, but Mercer Roof Terrace offer other sauces, such as peppercorn, salsa verde, and bearnaise.
The winning dessert to follow up this hefty meal was the chocolate, hazelnut, mango delice and mango sorbet pudding. With its hidden biscuit at the bottom, velvet soft filling, and cracking chocolate casing, it was a nutty and sweet ending to the meal. The mango adds a tang to the overall flavour for those who don’t want it too sweet.
The ‘Vintry’ area of London was a hub for wine merchants, so it’s little surprise that Mercer Roof Terrace boasts a decent wine menu. However, it was the cocktails that caught my eye during my visit. The restaurant’s signature drinks are presented in rather unique glasswear, which upon receiving my first drink, I realised corresponded to the little illustrations on the menu itself.
Whether you opt for a Huggin Hill (similar to a piña colada), served in a milk carton-shaped glass, or a sweet mango Carter Lane, which looks a screw, it adds a little fun to the table. Other drinks worth a mention include the refreshing Fig and Thyme Bramble, and the strong and striking Reflection Garden.
Staying at Vintry & Mercer
Much like Mercer Roof Terrace, the rest of Vintry & Mercer honours its Britishness; down in the hotel rooms, this is demonstrated via the interiors. One of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this spot is adorned with plush interiors; from the royal purple or red headboards on the sumptious beds (I had one of the best night’s sleeps here) to the wonderful waterfall shower in the bathroom, I felt surrounded by decadence. The little details, like the monochromed towels and the coat of arms on the wall, didn’t go unnoticed either.
The rooms also bring together old and new particularly well; demonstrated not only by the rotatry phone next to the high tech light board, but also the sound of traditional church bells as you gaze at the very modern Shard from bed.
Inspired? Mercer Roof Terrace is open daily, awaiting your next date, and well, if it goes that way, the lovely rooms of Vintry Mercer await too…
Also published on Medium.