Aqua’s lounge bar lets you do the Shard’s fabled vistas on the cheap: why pay the viewing platform’s fat admission fee when the same amount gets two cocktails here? You’ll need them to recover from the vertiginous prospect of the capital far below – London Bridge station appears tiny, like something from a child’s train set. Softly aglow and resembling the deck of a UFO floating in acres of dark space, punctuated by peacock-print motifs, the island bar is the place to dock for drinks of distinction. Intriguing house signatures all feature gin or tea – from Aztec-tinez (a Martinez riff involving Olmeca Blanco Tequila and chocolate-tea bitters) to old times revival (Tanqueray 10 gin, olive grappa, green walnut liqueur, Benedictine, Kümmel, Tio Pepe and artichoke). Classics include aviation – appropriate, given you can almost see the passengers on the Boeing 737s circling outside.
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