London is home to some of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world. Stretching from Canary Wharf to the centre of London, the city is home to businesses, tourist attractions, hotels and more within its beautiful skyscrapers. Guests at Montcalm hotels can’t miss them, they’re literally dotted across the landscape in Central London.
Though it can be great once you’ve found a panorama to survey the cityscape from, it can be hard to get your head around how seriously tall these buildings are. In the last decade, the Shard, situated in the London Bridge area, knocked off Canary Wharf from the highest building in London, with 22 Bishopsgate a close second. Whilst many of the skyscrapers in London are privately owned or home to offices that only employees can gain access to, there are still a great deal that you can enjoy during a stay at the Montcalm Marble Arch.
This blog will explore some of the more publicly accessible skyscrapers in London, and what they can offer tourists and guests at the Brewery hotel Chiswell Street and other Montcalm accommodation. From high end dining to historic exhibits, these are the best skyscrapers that tourists are welcome to visit.
The tallest building in London and the seventh tallest in Europe, the Shard was completed in 2012 and is home to a mixture of private homes, restaurants, hotels and private businesses. Businesses located in the Shard building, located near London Bridge Station, include Heinz, the Medical Protection Society, CoStar Property Solutions, Al Jazeera Media and the Warwick Business School, probably the highest altitude university in the country!
The above are, of course, only visitable by employees or students, but the amenities available at The Shard are actually situated at higher levels than the businesses. Below are some of the great restaurants and bars that tourists can book and enjoy on a trip to London.
Situated on the 33rd floor of the Shard, Hutong is a North Chinese cuisine restaurant specifically designed to offer an expansive panorama of the London cityscape. Whilst the views are certainly a draw, the array of high end Asian dining, including seafood dumplings, king prawns and an extensive wine and cocktail list, capturing the diverse tastes of Beijing and Mongolia.
Whilst the Montcalm London afternoon tea is one of the best in the city, the Aqua Shard’s selection of Peter Pan inspired teas, cocktails and snacks makes for apt reason to fly up to the 31st floor of the Shard. This restaurant and bar isn’t only for afternoon breaks though, the mixture of British cuisine and heady cocktails are all part of the panoramic package in this adventurous shard bar.
Another 32nd floor treat, the Oblix in the Shard offers a diverse menu of rotisserie and grill menus spanning everything from veggie burgers to roast lamb. The Oblix is split over an east and west side and also has its own cocktail and wine menu, making it a sophisticated and energising bar and restaurant, infusing two different views over East and West London.
Situated in the Shangri-La hotel in the Shard, Ting is a refined and relaxing experience on the 35th floor of the Shard. Here you’ll find an Asian fusion menu that sources British produce and Chinese flavour palates in equal measure, all with great views over the London cityscape.
20 Fenchurch Street
Opened in 2015, 20 Fenchurch Street – or the Walkie-Talkie Building as it is nicknamed – is a 38 floor multi-use skyscraper located in the City of London district. Easy to reach from Monument Station on the Circle Line, the building is located on the site of a former 25 floor office building owned and occupied by Land Securities property developers since the 60s, 20 Fenchurch Street is now leased to companies such as Tokio Marine, Markel Corporation and RSA Group, all insurance, investment and trading companies. There’s a more interesting side to the building though, it’s unique, top heavy and curved design have attracted a lot of criticism over the years thanks to solar glare and wind tunnel effects. That being said, 20 Fenchurch Street certainly sticks out in the skyline!
The heavily criticised design and mundane occupants do give way to a more interesting – and accessible – role. As one of the only free to visit viewpoints located on a skyscraper, the Sky Garden is very popular with tourists. The rockeries and house plants situated across three floors add a greenhouse-like quality to the space, whilst fig trees, exotic flowers and walkways add a flare and innovation to the otherwise criticised 20 Fenchurch Street architecture.
The observation deck surrounding the Sky Garden is open air and allows visitors to see across much of the Central London landscape. Other popular features include 2 restaurants and 3 bars on the Sky Garden. The Darwin Brasserie serves pub grub style food and the Fenchurch Restaurant, a more refined take on British cuisine.
The Fenchurch Terrace bar is situated on the 37th floor and has views overlooking not only London, but the Sky Garden itself below. The City Garden is found within the garden itself, and is an all-day hangout for commuters and tourists alike. It’s worth noting that this bar in particular is subject to the naturally ventilated air, meaning that it can get a little cool in the evenings. The Sky Pod is another garden-adjacent bar, and offers cocktails and pub drinks as well as hosting live music and DJs every week.
Tower 42 is the London hub for Natwest Bank and was opened in 1982. Mostly utilised as office space, Tower 42 is home to a number of restaurants and bars, including the Vertigo Champagne Bar, the Broadleaf botanical themed restaurant and the City Social, an art deco themed restaurant serving high end British inspired cuisine. All of these are available for reservations, and make for a stunning day or evening out in the Liverpool Street financial and business district.