This is a little late as you will see from the last line I went in December, but as it’s still flipping freezing and or raining whenever possible I thought the date would be erroneous.
The Tottenham Court Road area is a teeny bit muddled at the moment what with all Boris’s improvements. So after you’ve negotiated your way through the building site, you will find yourself at the bottom of what look like some dull office steps. Seriously, the street entrance is dull… Really dull. Once through the dull glass doors you’ll be confronted by an uninterested receptionist who, if you’re luckier than me, will make it look like she is pleased to see you. Once she’s figured out how to find your name on the guest list (it must be really busy up there – we were thinking), she will tell you in as polite a tone as she can be bothered to muster about the dress code and will show you to lift. We were given the dress code speech because I was in a classy pair of trainers – I’d brought my highest pair of heels to gain some extra height up at the top of that building – but was given permission to change into them in the lift.
Up, up and well, up we went.
Here on the 32nd floor, we have the restaurant and a few tables to have drinks at. There weren’t any that we liked the look of so we were helpfully ushered upstairs to the viewing platform. We were 2 of about 6 others on that level, including two members of staff. We settled ourselves near the bar and ordered a bottle of the house wine (£25) and a plate of charcuterie (£10). The wine was fine, though nothing special and the charcuterie was actually really yummy and good value, the bread seemed to be optional so we went for it expecting to see it on the bill. Obviously I’m supposed to be reviewing the cocktail menu but on the floor that we were on cocktails don’t feature, hence the wine.
Once we’d drained every drop from the bottle we headed downstairs, partly to get away from the rather noisy amorous couple next to us, but mainly to try out some posh cocktails. I was surprised again by the helpfulness of the waitress who kindly showed us to a large table when we were just two of us, just because we wanted a window seat. The cocktail menu, if you can find it (so you can enjoy the view they have to have the lights very low – so those who don’t want to look like their Aunty Nora – find a candle to read your menu by), is pretty extensive. I went for a nostalgic Rhubarb and custard, imaginatively served in a jam jar with a sweet on top for good measure. This was lovely; it wouldn’t have suffered from a little more rhubarb essence but was a good little cocktail. There was, however, a small tiny insignificant detail which has grumbled around my head since we left the place, the menu stated all the ingredients and added, oh so annoyingly, ‘shaken with a helping of Nostalgia….’ I was being nostalgic by ordering it – I don’t need to be told that they’ve ‘cleverly’ added some imaginary ingredient to the bar shaky thing!
A Mexican 55 and a Margarita were had by my friend, both of which were good, once they were correct. The menu specifically said ‘no salt’ for the Margarita and there was salt all the way round the rim which was annoying. Then the Mexican 55 was half empty, if you’re charging £13 for a Champagne Cocktail; fill the glass up properly, it’s just plain annoying to be stingy and even more annoying for us to have to ask for the glass to be filled up. I also had a cosmopolitan, it wasn’t on the menu but I thought I’d see if they could do a classic. They can, but if I was to be picky – it wasn’t shaken enough, so when left for a little bit separated a little.
I went to Paramount expecting to hate it; I was expecting it to be the kind of venue that makes you yearn to be in an old English Pub – over priced and underwhelming. But, I was surprised, almost all the staff were polite and very helpful, the food and drinks were good, the views, obviously were exceptional. Our total bill for 4 cocktails, a bottle of wine, a charcuterie plate and some chips was £94.50 including service (the bread didn’t feature on the bill). It’s a splash the cash evening but you can watch the whole city at your feet, the views really are breathtaking – and that was on a rainy December evening…