The Shard’s 33rd floor is given over to Northern Chinese restaurant Hutong, which has its own bird’s nest of a bar. At Shanghai Bar, drinks take abstract inspiration from ancient Chinese medicinal practices.
Cocktail Cures make great aperitifs, particularly the Oriental Breeze, a luminous green blend of Midori, tequila, kiwi, lime and ginger beer. For a true Oriental twist though, there’s the Comfortably Numb, made from vanilla Stoli, lychee liqueur, fresh chilli and fiery Szechuan pepper – it’ll leave your tongue tingling, in a very good way.
The bar itself feels like a dark, mysterious secret, with an ambience made to reflect the ancient cities of Northern China – with bamboo stalks, red lanterns and apothecary draws behind the bar, all shipped over from far out east.
Best Bars tip: Come early to grab a seat by the window – on clear evenings you’ll be able to gaze straight down to Canary Wharf, twinkling away by night.
— Laura Richards, @Lala_Richards