After a tempestuous lockdown year of zoom team drinks, FaceTime quiz nights and takeaway weekends, the UK’s beautiful people found themselves hankering after the plush alfresco throngs of an indulgent, gastronomical fare, washed down with lip-smacking cocktails. Round it off with a captivating, rooftop setting gazing down on London’s shimmering skyline, bone chilling showery nights and all, and you have yourself quite the setting.
Stamped as London’s not so best kept secret within the cocooned depths of the city of London, lies the glass domed, botanical oasis of Sabine Rooftop Bar. This vibrant rooftop gem transports their elegant guests into a lush, garden like sanctuary far flung from the capital’s maddening hustle and bustle, to luxuriate in a fest of seasonal sharing plates and divine crafted cocktails, whilst gazing at the awe-inspiring views of the masterpiece of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Sabine Rooftop Bar sits nestled on the seventh floor of the Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s, right by the moneyed doorstep of the suited and booted financial district. This slick hotel fuses a contemporary modern flair with a dab of understated elegance, and flaunts a breath-taking glass atrium guaranteed to entice you for a pre Sabine aperitif.
A six-minute stroll from St Paul’s station led me to the rather unassuming entrance of Sabine, only to reveal a gleaming glass elevator igniting my Willy Wonka fantasy, being whisked up to the dithering heights of this winsome Edenic rooftop. Rich, emerald green foliage holds the limelight as you enter the chic indoor enclosure, festooned in bountiful abundance against the smooth glossy walls, and cascading down from the striking under-lit bar. The the outdoor terrace however, proved ever more the beauteous Instagrammable knockout.
Two stunning outdoor terraces eagerly await your glorious presence, one with a retractable rooftop to keep those dubious drizzles and windy chills at bay. For yours truly, I was showered only with sunshine and a balmy 23 degree evening, with the terrace decked with sumptuous beige straw chairs, flourishing hanging plants and rich, jewel purple flowering vines wrapping around the glass balcony railing.
The panoramic views showed London off at its most ethereal, where I relished on my sofa with a glistening flute of Champagne Pommery brimming with ice cold bubbles, and sat gaping at the pristine prime vision of Sir Christopher Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral right ahead of me. Whilst the dramatics of the cathedral certainly reigned as the dominant show stopper, a stroll around the full terrace further unveiled our scenic capital’s landmarks in their full marvel, particularly chief views of the towering sleek blade of The Shard.
For all the glamorous, starlet like crowds, chic dapper settings and diamond dusted cocktails, I have habitually stepped out of London’s sky high harbours a tad dejected and deflated with the heart-rending absence of a scrumptious meal and left satiating my appetite with countless rounds of dry mixed nuts and nose tingling wasabi peas. To my elation, Sabine had ascended to the epicurean gods and was blessed with a sybaritic feast fated to ignite a connoisseurs gourmet rhapsody.
The name Sabine comes from the Sabine’s gull, recognised for their striking wing pattern and migration patterns to soar through the global skies, as per the shifting seasonal periods to serve their lifestyle needs. This rooftop haven wonderfully plays tribute to the free spirited gull, whipping up a tantalisingly sublime menu complete with nectarous cocktails, which have been created in alignment with the nation’s four seasons.
The cocktail affair kicked off with the Whizz Fizz. The delicacy of light smooth sweetness from the elderflower cordial laced deliciously with the sharp twang of rhubarb gin, and the Chambord liqueur bursting with flavours of red and black raspberry adding a little decadent magnifique.
Accompanying the aperitif was a selection of generously portioned small sharing plates of a velvety, cream centred burrata with ripe juice loaded seared peaches, and piping hot crispy arancini oozing with lashings of creamy rich goats cheese. Unable to reign the gluttony devil within, a plate of focaccia also magically appeared onto the table, freshly baked and melting in the mouth with earthy hints of thyme oil.
Making its next acquaintance into my little black cocktail book was the emerald beauty of the Sabine Garden, tall and statuesque with the heady fragrance of rose liqueur and sage infused, Botanist Gin. A cooling crisp freshness was added by a helping of sweet mild cucumber juice, rounded off with a touch of zesty yet sweet syrup like lime cordial.
The main dish of Shiraz braised pork ribs raised the bar, melting away from the fork like butter on a steaming hot baked potato, and retaining the perfect kick of that just-off-the-barbecue charcoal smokiness. The Lebanese chicken flatbread was approached with sceptic caution due to many a dry and chewy encounters, however conquered effortlessly. The juicy and tender chicken arrived brimming with the marinated flavours of lemon and garlic, topped with a moreish crispy skin and dollops of creamy seasoned yoghurt.
Battling the borderline food induced coma, I opted for the Indian kulfi lollipop, which even my grandma would have devoured. Seasons away from the many encounters where I almost sent the ice cream flying in the air when slicing through a bland icy block, Sabine’s recipe stayed loyal to the traditionally authentic flavours. The mild spice of cardamom blended gorgeously with the silk-like ice cream encompassing subtle toffee hints, and packed with generous amounts of real crunchy pistachios all washed down with yet another glass of Pommery Champagne.
In a nutshell
From Thursday to Saturday, Sabine keeps the party in high octane notch until 2am, bedecked with outdoor heaters to keep the nightly chills at arms lengths as the DJ gets the ultra elite guests into the full soirée groove.
It’s an effortless exercise to understand the whirlwind acclaim as one of London’s most glamorous skyward shelters. From the Instagrammable interiors, palatable cuisine to the high spirited hosts who ramp up the already infectious ambiance. Sabine Rooftop Bar is continuing to entice the crowd and keep them yearning for more deep into the bar’s midnight hours, and reigns in it’s glory as one of the capital’s hottest destinations in the sky.
Address: 10 Godliman St, London, EC4V 5AJ