The Skylon bar perches on the first floor of London’s royal festival hall, with floor to ceiling windows giving an amazing view of the Southbank. In the evenings, as the skyline glitters above the water, it is almost magical.
Everything about the Skylon is smart; the décor is modern, clean cut and slick. Huge circular lights hang from the ceiling, almost every surface is smooth wood, leather and velvet seating is thrown into the mix and beautiful flower displays are dotted here, there and everywhere.
…the list encompasses all of the classics…
Cocktails at the Skylon are around £12 and the list encompasses all of the classics, as well as some more original concoctions. I was lured, by the extensive list of vodkas, into trying the 42 Below Feijoa, Honey, Passion fruit. It was slightly medicinal, I have to admit, but the Grey Goose, Orange, Citron, Poire was incredible. The drinks also come with accompanying nuts, which, I have to say, is always a bonus!
The bar seems to attract a post-work crowd, the clientèle ranging from late 20s upwards. However, I think that any age group could easily fit in with the relaxed atmosphere: I actually took my Grandma here for a celebratory cocktail on her 85th!
…the sight of delicious dishes floating past…
One of the best things about the Skylon is that it provides table service, which means no huge queues around the bar and an uninterrupted view of cocktail shakers being tossed into the air. The staff are also exceptionally friendly. There wasn’t a moment when they weren’t smiling or weren’t paying full attention to customers.
Both times I’ve visited the Skylon have been for post dinner drinks. It is open until 1am Mondays to Saturdays but is also open during the day as it is not only a bar but a restaurant and grill. Personally, I love the fact that the bar sits between the dining areas of this open plan space; the clink and clatter of the diners adds to the atmosphere. However, if the sight of delicious dishes floating past is too much for your temptation, there is very appealing bar menu, offering treats such as Honey Glazed Baby Chorizo and Tiger Prawn Tempura.
On my most recent visit, I noticed that the Skylon was taking bookings for the Queen’s Jubilee. I’m sure it would provide an outstanding view of the flotilla, but with prices starting at a mere £300 per person I think I’ve left it a little too late to start saving! For now, I would recommend taking a trip to the Skylon one evening and letting the view speak for itself. It really is quite something.
Images courtesy of Skylon, Ewan Munro and Paul Zappaterra-Murphy