Drinks at dizzy heights ~ Paramount Bar, Oxford Street

A great view of the city is one thing that tourists and Londoners both love. For tourists, it’s the chance to see the skyline of one of the best capitals in the world, piecing together all of the places you’ve seen and explored during your stay. For Londoners, it’s to take in the crazy world we live in day-to-day high up above and out of the chaos, reminding ourselves how it’s pretty cool to live amongst all these iconic landmarks.

Whilst the tourists often head off to the London Eye and now The Shard, Londoners (and savvy tourists) seek out the bars and restaurants where you can sip on a cold drink or eat a nice meal and take in the world beneath you.

Last week I discovered Paramount, high up on level 32 of Centre Point. A pretty dated (and let’s be honest not all that attractive) office block at the Tottenham Court end of Oxford Street. I was surprised to discover that it had a bar up there, but then it does have a prime location right in the heart of the city.

Find the entrance that doesn’t take you to 31 floors of office space and zoom up in the lift to the top, take a left out of the lift and go up to the viewing gallery (you can dine and drink in the restaurant but I wanted to go up that extra level). You’ll quickly find yourself at the very top of Oxford Street.

Paramount Bar, London - view of Oxford Street

A never-ending street from up high!

For those who have a fear of heights you’ll be glad to hear the lift is enclosed and you don’t get any of that stomach lurching on the way down.

We grabbed a seat which gave the best view, starting at White Hall, round to the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the OXO Tower, Tower Bridge, the Shard and St Paul’s. I took a little Vine app video to give you a bit of an idea (WARNING – camera skills needs improving)…

We ordered some wine which was a bit more expensive than your average glass at £8, but it was worth the money to enjoy it with the view.

Paramount Bar, London

It was a really good view of London’s iconic sites, making it a perfect spot to impress a date or share with visitors. One thing to point out is that in my opinion the viewing gallery is not the finest of all bars (the restaurant did look nicer) so it’s just worth bearing that in mind in daylight hours it might have a different atmosphere. But I think you can sacrifice that for a view can’t you?

It’s also worth booking a table in advance as it gets busy and I believe they like to have your name at the reception (it is an office block I guess!).

Have you been to any bars or restaurants with a spectacular view of London? I’m hoping to work my way through a few this year and welcome any recommendations!!


  1. February 20, 2013 / 9:55 am

    I really, *really* want to visit Duck & Waffle or Sushisamba atop of Heron Tower. You’d end up spending a small fortune, but I think it would be worth it.

    There is Heights restaurant at the Saint Georges Hotel just off Oxford Circus. Decor wise, it’s nothing special at all and the cocktail list is so so, but the view is great and not a huge amount of people seem to know about it so it’s usually pretty quiet and you can grab a nice spot next to the window.

    Also, I want to befriend someone who is a member of the club atop of the Gherkin and Shorditch House – a swimming pool with a view!

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      February 20, 2013 / 10:21 am

      Oh not heard of the Heights, will check that one out!

      Also want to try Duck & Waffle (breakfast is meant to be reasonable!), have seen great pictures from Sushisamba too.

      If you find someone who’s a member of the club at the Gherkin or Shoreditch House, let me know!!!

      • Anita
        March 3, 2013 / 9:53 pm

        I’ve been to Duck and Waffle and it’s amaaaaazing (both views and food) and I think not that pricey for what we had and the views/ambience….

  2. February 20, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    Further to Charlotte’s comment above I wouldn’t recommend eating at The Heights as it is pretty expensive and the restaurant is always empty. The drinks however are around pub prices and you get free crisps! The Heights is stuck in a 1980s timewarp (not in a trendy way) but does have great views (it’s on the 15th floor). Not sure if this link will show up on my comment but one of the best views is from the ladies’ toilet! http://www.flickr.com/photos/westminster_walks/8491226811/

  3. February 25, 2013 / 8:27 am

    While it’s not a panoramic view of London, I love taking friends visiting London to the bar on the 7th floor of the Tate Modern – there’s always a nice buzz and the view out to St Paul’s is fantastic. I also have a weakness for the National Portrait Gallery’s bar – sipping a mojito overlooking Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Big Ben is a lovely experience.

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      February 27, 2013 / 12:31 pm

      I also love the cafe on the 7th floor of the Tate. It is great to watch the world along the Thames go by. I need to check out the NPG’s bar, how did I not know they had one!?