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Squeezed in at the sharper end of The Shard, Gong is London’s loftiest bar. It resembles a Bond baddie’s penthouse in the sky – complete with separate Champagne bar and a swimming pool open for punters to lounge by (but not to dip into) from 8pm. From this high altitude, the city below forms a magical tapestry, and with a couple of drinks here costing much the same as the £31 ticket to the touristy viewing platform above, we rate Gong as the more civilised sightseeing option. Blue-sky thinking has gone into the bar’s 2016 ‘Circle of Life’ cocktail list. But while the drinks may be worthwhile, we’re not entirely persuaded by the overblown presentation that veers between kooky and kitsch (drinks served in Kinder Eggs or gilded birdcages, for instance). Such sophisticated mixes as Asian Explorer (Tanqueray 10, mushroom-infused Madeira, nigori saké, coconut and ginseng) have no need of flummery.
020 7234 8208
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