11 London restaurants with bird's-eye views

(CNN) — When the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, opened its first restaurant, Oblix, in 2013, it gave a new meaning to the term "haute cuisine."
Restauranteurs in London are continuing to up the ante in the altitude dining stakes.
One company, Dinner in the Sky, takes the concept to perhaps its ultimate conclusion: guests are strapped into their seats around a table and hoisted 100 feet into the air by crane. Up in the air, chefs prepare a meal for them in-situ from a central kitchen area.
But you needn't risk spilling your aperitif onto gawkers below to enjoy elevated eating in the British capital. There are plenty of more comfortable indoor options.
The London capital is constantly ascending upward, and new rooftop restaurants are always in the works.
We take the measure of 10 of the best -- and most thrilling -- "uppity" eateries in London.

1. Oblix at the Shard

Stunning dinner-time views from London's tallest building.
Courtesy Richard Southal/Ilona Zielinska
The Shard is home to several fancy eateries, but Oblix is the original and the most elevated, situation on the 32nd floor of the glass skyscraper. Obix has a New York-inspired rotisserie theme -- a departure for founder Rainer Becker, whose previous restaurants, Zuma and Roka, have both been Japanese-themed.
Diners are treated to panoramic views of the cityscape -- staggering at sunset, but eminently Instagrammable all day long. Try Oblix's set menu: 3 courses, a side and a glass of champagne can be enjoyed for £55 per person.
Where to find it: Oblix, 32/F, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas St., London SE1 9RY; +44 (0)20 7268 6700.

2. Duck and Waffle

Duck and Waffle offers delicious food and views 24/7.
Courtesy Duck and Waffle
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not treat yourself to waffles amongst the clouds? Duck and Waffle is located on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate (Heron Tower) and even in London fog its impressive.
The restaurant's signature dish is its eponymous duck and waffle, but it is open 24/7, serving all-day food described as traditional cuisine of England with European influences.
Duck and Waffle's signature dish will cost you £17, but two eggs any style comes in at £7 -- comparable to many less glamorous brunch spots in the capital.
Where to find it: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY; +44 (0)20 3640 7310

3. Galvin at Windows

Admire the greenery of Hyde Park from the luxurious surroundings of Galvin at Windows.
Courtesy Galvin at Windows
Holding fort in upper-crust Mayfair is Galvin at Windows, the Michelin-starred French restaurant on the 28th floor of the Hilton Park Lane Hotel. Known for its sterling service, the restaurant also supports the charity Galvin's Chance, which helps disadvantaged young people get into hospitality.
More classical in style that some of the city''s newer high-rise eateries, visitors are still treated to stunning aerial views of London's Hyde Park.
Where to find it: Gavin at Windows, 28/F, 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE; +44 (0)20 7208 4021

4. OXO Tower Restaurant

Dine with a view of St Paul's and the Thames at OXO, on London's Southbank.
Courtesy OXO Tower Restaurants/Harvey Nichols
The iconic rooftop OXO restaurant has been wowing restaurant-goers since 1996, operated by chic British department store stalwart Harvey Nichols.
As one of London's older rooftop restaurants, OXO is at a much lower altitude than its City counterparts. Don't let that put you off -- this lower vantage point allows diners to watch the boats drift by on the Thames and enjoy a stunning view of St Paul's Cathedral -- and is more palatable for those with a fear of heights!
Why not try OXO's "Not Afternoon Tea," in which cakes are modeled after St Paul's dome and desserts are named for London's most famous markets. Alternatively, it's the perfect brunch spot -- wile away your Sunday morning looking out over the Thames.
Where to find it: Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH; +44 (0) 20 7021 1686.

5. Fenchurch Restaurant

Fenchurch Restaurant offers panoramic views of London below.
Courtesy Sky Garden
Head to the "Walkie Talkie" skyscraper (AKA 20 Fenchurch Street) to enjoy a landscaped indoor garden known as the Sky Garden, wide observation desks and state-of-the art restaurants and bars.
Fenchurch Rooftop Restaurant serves "British contemporary" food and stylish cocktails. It is the perfect place to sit and admire the city below.
The Sky Garden is also well worth wandering around: its lush greenery forming a striking contrast with the concrete jungle glimpsed through the windows. A visit to the Garden is free, you just need to book online in advance. The building is also home to the Darwin Brasserie and the Sky Pod Bar.
Where to find it: Sky Garden, 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF; +44 (0) 333 772 0020

6. Boundary Rooftop

Shoreditch's Boundary rooftop is the perfect spot to wile away a summer's evening.
Courtesy Boundary
For year-round rooftop dining, head to the hipster hotbed of Shoreditch, East London. The Boundary restaurant rewards visitors with vistas of East London and a heated orangery filled with Citrus trees.
Cosy and inviting even in winter, the heated roof offers 360 degree views of the City skyscrapers and East London's skyline. Food is served sizzling from the Robata Grill and cocktails are available into the early hours of the morning.
Where to find it: 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD; +44 (0) 20 7729 1051

7. Selfridges

On the rooftop of Selfridges, the iconic London department store, pop-up restaurants and bars appear seasonally. The current resident is The Roof Deck -- a Californian style spot with a retractable roof for when the sun shines. Breakfast, afternoon tea and drinks can be enjoyed from this vantage point, which surveys London's Oxford Street -- Europe's busiest shopping street.
Where to find it: Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB; +44 (0) 20 7318 3287

8. Aqua Nueva

Sample stunning Spanish fine dining at Aqua Nueva, then sit back and admire this vista.
Courtesy Aqua Nueva
Aqua Nueva delivers stunning Spanish food with views to match. Its Art Deco-style interior offers intimate dining, but its rooftop exterior is where it's at. In the evening, Regent Street's shops -- including iconic Tudor-revival department store Liberty's -- are illuminated and diners can spot the London Eye in the distance.
Somewhere between a trendy evening hotspot and a fine-dining restaurant, Aqua Nueva is as perfect for after-work summer cocktails as it is a luxury evening meal.
Where to find it: 5th floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), London W1B 3BR; +44 (0) 20 7478 0540

9. Coq d'Argent

Admire London's Eastern cluster of skyscrapers from Coq d'Argent's manicured lawn.
Courtesy Thomas Alexander/Coq d'Argent
Coq d'Argent promises classic French food in a contemporary, rooftop setting. The rooftop comes complete with a lawn, hedges and spectacular views of London's Eastern cluster of skyscrapers.
The high-quality menu includes baked lobster and Australian sirloin steak. But beware, you'll be surrounded by suits as this is bankers' territory.
Where to find it: No. 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ; +44 (0) 20 7395 5000

10. Radio rooftop bar

Survey the city skyline from the 10th floor of the ME Hotel on The Strand.
Courtesy Chris Orange
So-named because the building once hosted the iconic BBC Radio station, Radio serves weekend brunch, a modern spin on afternoon tea, sharing plates, lunch and signature cocktails. Located in the 5-star ME Hotel and overlooking the Strand and London's theater district, visitors can peer at the hustle and bustle of the streets below or look out towards the river Thames.
Where to find it: ME London, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA; +44 (0) 20 7395 3440

11. Dinner in the Sky

Not for the faint-hearted, but an unforgettable experience.
Courtesy David Parry/ PA
London-based Dinner in the Sky straps up to 22 diners around a table and hoists them 100 feet up in the air by crane. You might still want to hold on to your seat, though, as it can get windy up there! Breakfast starts at around $65 (£50) per person.
Where to find it: Look up! Alternatively, the HQ is at 4th Floor, Rex House, 4-12 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4PE; +44 (0) 20 3356 2843
Qin Xie is a London-based freelance journalist and trained chef.
Francesca Street is a London-based journalist, writing features with a focus on travel, arts and culture.
This article was previously published in 2013. It was reformatted and republished in 2017.
By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. More information about cookies