You know I love a bit of rooftop action, especially when it is part of a gorgeous hotel, Montcalm’s Royal London House to be exact. The team at ETM are really going for it here picking up the pace with their latest opening which raises the bar, not just by height. This company already have a great array of venues dotted around town. They recently opened Burdock on the ground floor of this same hotel which has a solid cocktail bar and casual dining offering. It looks like they are giving themselves competition to keep on their toes.
Aviary rooftop is not just a gorgeous island bar, but it’s also a lounge and restaurant, with outdoor terrace seating. I can see this spot being very popular in the Summer. We, however, visited just as the months got cooler for the launch in December. Whilst you could brave the cold for a fag or vape, it was far too nippy to get comfortable out there with a drink. I guess as it was a soft opening, they wanted to focus the service on inside anyway while the team got comfortable with the food and drink operation. However, the views across town are breathtaking, even in the dark with a dotted light show of city buildings tall and short.
Although we didn’t drink at the bar, I need to make a special mention of these guys. They look pretty damn cool behind there concentrating hard as they make their cocktails. I had their version of a dirty martini as an aperitif at dinner and there was also something rum based in a brass tankard of sorts. Both were lovely.
Also big up to the rooftop receptionists who were warm and welcoming. Big smiles all round. Overall, the entire team were great on what was a week of putting training to practice and figuring out the rhythm. They did ETM proud.
I like that wherever you sit in the room, you get a good view of the bar which means you get to enjoy the ongoing theatre of cocktail making. We had a table for two in the middle of a booth. Very comfortable, not too close to the diners next to us. My only comment would be on the table size, it is very small (a table of two), so if you wanted to go to town ordering loads of food, not quite sure where you would put it. For our starters we had marinated pork with brown shrimp cocktail and sutton hoo (slow reared) chicken with bulgar, quail egg and caviar. Little note to the kitchen, it may be worthwhile trimming your baby gems of the brown bits. Loved the chicken dish which was a little like a stew, really tasty.
For our main course, I had my ole fave chicken. A half roasted Cumbrian one, delish. A side of chips with truffle gravy to die for made my mains the bomb. Eleanor had a cut of beef prepared medium. Got the nod of approval from her, so we were good to go with a shared dessert sticky toffee pudding. The menu is full of classic grills, a decent seafood offering with crustaceans and raw bar.
Considering this was the launch week with friends and family, there were no major disasters. The team powered through and if there were any issues, it feels like they were on top of it quick time. I have been to other rooftops in the area, particularly just off Shoreditch High Street, and having occupied their spot for years, they still can’t get it right. Kudos to Aviary for smashing it off the bat.
Royal London House
22 – 25 Finsbury Square
T. 020 7873 4050