Vertigo 42 1

Tower 42 after Level 42, 25 Old Broad Street , London, EC2N 1HQ

  • Vertigo 1
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SquareMeal Review of Vertigo 42

We can’t help thinking that the City’s skyline is starting to look like Dubai, with every new erection crowned by its own sky-high drinking den. Biggies such as The Shard may have stolen the thunder with their stylishly designed bars, but it's worth making a reservation at this oldie for thrilling views and fine French fizz. Occupying the 42nd floor of the former NatWest Tower, Vertigo is just the place some classy bubbles: get giddy on Gallimard (entry-level Brut) or pricier sips from around 20 prestigious marques. If the sky's your limit, a magnum of 1990 Krug will leave you just enough change from a grand to splurge on four classic Champagne cocktails from a list of Bellinis, spritzes and other sparklers. To eat, smoked salmon, tiger prawns and Parma ham/melon skewers feature among the business-class cabin fare as you circle at 600 feet above London.

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6.1

Food & Drink: 5.6

Service: 5.6

Atmosphere: 6.0

Value: 4.2

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Isobel B. bronze reviewer 15 February 2016

This was a nice bar for the views (although not 360 degrees) and wasn't too crowded as they seem to restrict entry. However there weren't really enough staff and it was hard to get served quickly. We had to search to flag someone down. They appear to have tried to make an effort with the decor and ambiance with lots of glass and mirrors all around however that effort stopped at the loos which were functional at best but pretty basic feeling and a little dirty looking considering it appears to be a nice bar. So a good place to go for pre dinner drinks but not for the whole night, and don't expect too much.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Toby N. platinum reviewer 09 March 2011

The views are wonderful, though sadly much else isn't. I took a friend here for a drink for her birthday before going elsewhere for dinner. Perhaps a blunder to take a non-drinker to a bar that specialises in champagne, but I'm sure she can't be the only person ever to have asked for a non-alcoholic drink and been made to feel distinctly second class for having done so – not the best start to a celebration. Eventually the slightly surly waitress managed to arrange two of the most expensive cranberry and lemonades ever and we were left alone, with no one asking if we wanted to eat, have another drink etc during our brief stay. If you like going somewhere that is somewhat dated and a bit tired looking and that is full of braying city types guzzling that champagne or fat business men trying to impress considerably younger women in excessively short and tight dresses (I'm sure they are just their nieces rather than rented for the evening!) then this will be right up your street, otherwise the only real reason for going is the view, and sadly that's probably not enough. It's a shame that a space this special cannot be used to make somewhere that really stands out.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Daryl W. 23 December 2009

I'm probably being kind with the ratings given. Really this place is hideous in absolutely every respect. Save your money, but if you really have to, waste it elsewhere.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Heather U. bronze reviewer 09 November 2009

I would recommend Vertigo to anyone who hasn't been already. I have been there a few times over the years and love taking people there as it is unique. The bar is circular and narrow with mirrors on the internal walls and seating next to the windows. You can reserve an area (usually in 45 minute slots) and the menu is Champagne, Wine and Cocktails. The Cocktails are expensive at £12 for a small glass but you are paying for the view and experience so it is good value. The best time to go is in the evening as the views are more stunning when the city is lit up. The music is relaxing if a little too loud for older people (my parents!). My mother is not fond of heights but the atmosphere is very calming and she enjoyed it and even had a walk around to admire the views from other areas. A nice way to round of a session in Vertigo is to go to Wagamammas on the ground floor (also reviewed).

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Carol S. 23 September 2009

I have visited Vertigo 42 many times, but was extremely disappointed with my visit this week. Standards have dropped considerably. The staff member of greeted us was uninterested, bordering on sullen. We were kept waiting for a table we booked weeks ago. The prices of the drinks have risen considerably, with the cheapest champagne on the menu costing over £10 more than less than a year ago and it wasn't a good champagne at that. The food was, frankly, awful. I chose a plate imaginatively titled “Ham”, which puported to be a selection of English Hams. It was so cold, it was hard to taste anything. It was served with breadsticks and small white croutes drizzled with olive oil. Both breads were slightly stale. My companions Mushroom croute served with a poached egg was also cold and the foot took a very long time to arrive. The waiters, and we only saw two of them, were rushed off their feet and not as graceful or polite as staff have always been before. Overall, a wonderful view doesn't really make up for poor food and overpriced drinks.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

LondonAJ silver reviewer 29 August 2009

Returned to this bar in the clouds for celebration drinks. You have to book in advance as you are required to sit at a dedicated area, facing out towards London…your table is a large window ledge. On entering it really has the WOW factor, you can see the whole of London & beyond & it's great fun pointing out the landmarks. The staff are extremely attentive & constantly top up your glass, so you finish sooner & buy another bottle! We ordered the canapes & they were tasty, if not a bit on the small side. I must say though that the champagne prices have definately increased dramatically over the past year, which is no wonder then why most people now seem to opt for wine instead. If you're out to impress somebody, book an hour here & they won't be dissapointed…any longer & you won't have any money left for dinner afterwards :-)

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

amg 01 July 2009

My boyfriend took me here for after-dinner drinks on our anniversary. Amazing views, expensive champagne cocktails, not great service. But still special. Worth popping up for a drinnk.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

Anoo silver reviewer 13 June 2009

My boyfriend took me here for my birthday. The views are what makes it of course, and well worth a visit. However we found the bar itself overpriced and the ambience, with a pumping Euro-house soundtrack, rather tacky. A hen party was spilling out when we arrived and the bar obviously features in the Lonely Planet guide to London so expect tourists to be snapping away while you are trying to enjoy your Champagne. I hate to say it but one case where a dress code wouldn't go amiss. The food is good but the markups on the wines and especially Champagnes are clearly in proportion to the height of the building.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

chris J. bronze reviewer 19 November 2008

My wife and I attended a small 40th birthday celebration here. There is a single lift that draws you up, Wonka style, 42 floors to this small circular champagne bar. We were shown to our designated area, separated from other areas by 4 stools (the sitting on type). We ordered the Moet Brut Imperial at £70 a bottle and a platter of canapes at an astonishing £32. The service was a little lacklustre, the ice bucket full of cold water rather than the crushed ice that one would hope for. What made the evening were the wonderful views over London and the convivial atmosphere of our small party. Around us were glamorous couples who came and went, off to dinner or elsewhere for the rest of the evening. We stumbled out, the last to leave as the staff were putting their coats on. We had a great time but our friend, who picked up the bill, looked ashen and I don't think that was down to the 6 bottles we'd drunk…

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Vertigo 42 is included in the following SquareMeal lists