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At the risk of upsetting the neighbours, if you only do one bar at The Shard, make it Aqua. For panoramic views, this high-level atrium lounge – three storeys high – beats the bar at Oblix. It’s slicker and sexier than Gong and is a hotter date than Hutong, above. The interior is decked out like a Manhattan-style loft; if you can discern the menu in the gloaming, try one of the gin- or tea-inspired cocktails. Start pleasantly with Devonshire Cream Cup (gin, Aperol, crème de fraise, lemon curd, tarragon balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, topped with Earl Grey ‘air’) before descending into wickedness with the Four Stages of Cruelty (Tanqueray 10 gin, Sauvignon Blanc, elderflower and Curious Brew beer). The bar is open throughout the day, so you can choose how to take your vista: with bright sunshine or with a myriad twinkling night-time lights.


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