Whenever I’m travelling, one of the first things I do is look up the local cocktail bars. Not just any though, the criteria is relatively strict. They MUST have a view – I’m famous for it!
There’s nothing better than finding a table on the balcony, ordering yourself an Aperol Spritz and admiring the views of a city you’ve just arrived in.
I’ve compiled a short list of my favourite scenic cocktail bars. How many can you tick off the list?
#1. Rhubarb at Sky Garden, London (UK)
High amongst the clouds in London’s “walkie talkie” building, you will find the Sky Garden. Surrounded by glass and beautifully landscaped gardens, this open space really has the wow factor when it comes to wining and dining. From the outside viewing platform, you look directly at The Shard and many more of London’s famous landmarks in miniature form.
There are a couple of restaurants at Sky Garden which you’ll need to book in advance but if all you’re looking for is a sunset cocktail, Rhurbarb offers a full drinks list with plenty of sitting and standing areas. Word of advice, you need to pre-book (complimentary, of course) tickets to get into the Sky Garden. Well worth it for the views! Find them here.
Dress code: City sleek, think Miranda from SATC.
#2. SE•STO on Arno, Florence (Italy)
Florence is a beautifully charmed city steeped in architectural wonders, I never have enough time here.
When you decide that your feet need a break from walking the many cobbled streets, make your way to the Westin Hotel where a partially open air cocktail bar can be found on their roof. I really had to do my homework to find this hidden gem! SO•STO on Arno offers stunning views of the Arno River and the city’s famous Ponte Vecchio, all embraced by the picturesque hills of Tuscany.
Dress code: Understated and luxurious with very glossy hair.
#3. Grand Africa, Cape Town (South Africa)
A bit further afield but a firm favourite of mine! Grand on the Beach (Grand Africa) in Cape Town has the flavour of an Ibiza beach club but at a fraction of the price. Even though you can’t hire sunbeds on their makeshift beach, it is the perfect destination for a sundowner with your friends while overlooking the ocean. The beats play all day and night and the pretty socialites of Cape Town are regulars here. The giant glitter ball on the beach is an Instagram-friendly prop, as you can see! Grand Africa is a great place to go with big groups. We had a party here before the wedding (read here!) and got through countless magnums of their Delaire Graff rosé wine (read about our lunch at DG here).
Dress code: Sexy summer dresses, wedge sandals and open shirts for the boys.
#4. 230 Fifth, NYC (USA)
If Carlsberg made cocktail bars… it would probably be the best in the world! 230 Fifth is right up there. The large restaurant and bar has a tropical theme to its rooftop bar with imported palm trees from Florida. It’s arguably one of the best viewing spots in the city to catch the Empire State Building in all its glory, too. I’ve only ever made it here in the winter with girlfriends and another time with my mum (I made a dash to the swimming pool at Soho House during the summer, who can blame me?!) but fear not, 230 Fifth (named after its location on Fifth Avenue) is open all year round.
Dress code: Playsuits and chucks in the day and your favourite LBD and lashings of lipstick at night. Don’t forget the red dressing gown during the winter months (kindly provided by 230 Fifth to keep you warm in those frosty temperatures!)
#5. Experimental Beach Club (Ibiza)
Ibiza is bursting at the shoreline with beach clubs, there are so many to choose from – Beachouse, Blue Marlin, Amante, Cotton Beach Club, El Chiringuito – all offering cocktails and incredible views across the Mediterranean. Experimental Beach Club on Cap des Falcó made the list for its laid back atmosphere and day long lunch sessions that blur into epic sunsets. I came here early evening for sundowners and tapas, you can’t help but fall in love with the surroundings – beats, drinks and views!
Dress code: Silk kaftans, jewelled sandals and Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Slimmer Body Shimmer.
That’s all for now! Am I missing out on any sexy scenic cocktail bars? Recommendations are ALWAYS welcome!
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