Savage Garden, no, not the ‘dodgy’ 90s Australian pop band, but one of the hottest new rooftop bars to open in central London this summer. As London continues to grow upwards, so does the number of London rooftop bars. We are spoilt for choice, views and variety with no two the same. So does Savage Garden belong in London’s rooftop royalty, read on to find out.
Located just a stone’s throw away from Tower Hill underground, the bar is located on the twelfth floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton on Peyes Street and can be accessed via the elevators at the back of the lobby (top tip – use the ones on the left-hand side as the others don’t go to floor 12!)
In an attempt to avoid the chaos of a Friday or Saturday night, we arrived at around 7:00 pm on a Thursday in what was thankfully a clear and moderately warm summer British summer evening.
The first thing that strikes you about Savage Garden as you enter is the sheer of the size of the place. The bar is spacious and there’s plenty of room both inside and outside. It’s worth knowing though that if you wish to sit in the outside space the tables are taken on a first come, first serve basis. You might want to get there a little early if you want to get yourself a table overlooking the beautiful skyline which showcases The Shard, The Gherkin and Tower Bridge in all their glory.
By the time we arrived, the outside area was pretty busy given the fair weather, but it mattered not as we shown to a comfortable sitting area inside where we were still able to take in the majority of the view.
Savage Garden has a very modern urban vibe. Colourful padded seating surrounded both dark and light coloured marble tables, whilst the lighting was provided by some very cool looking large lightbulbs arrangements.
As a non-arty person, it’s a little hard to describe the actual style, but nonetheless, it was comfortable, spacious, and had a nice energy with a DJ positioned in the center of the bar providing some nice background music to give the atmosphere a nice buzz.
The staff were exceptional. Though busy it never took more than a few minutes for our orders to be taken and our water glasses never made it past half empty. Whilst the waiting staff were decked out in smart looking waistcoats, a comical moment in our night developed when we (*ahem* I) flagged down a passing gentleman and asked him to bring us the next round of cocktails. Unfortunately for me, he was simply just another guy enjoying a night out with work colleagues and after a brief ‘WTF moment,’ we both realized what had happened and politely informed me he was just looking for the restroom. Smooth work.
Let’s get on to the good stuff, yes the cocktails. Priced at a range of £14-18 each the menu consists of a mixture of ten signature cocktails and then 6 classics.
Requiring refreshment on a warm summer evening we both went straight for the Warehouse Mojito which consisted of a Havana Club 3Y0 rum, Seedlip Garden 108, green banana syrup, limoncello, lime, Savage Garden herbs, pea & hay, cypress & oak syrup, and soda. Filled to the brim with crushed iced and decorated with a slither of dried banana it looked and fantastic and provided a WOW factor that got the night off to a good start. The drink itself was crisp, refreshing with a touch of fruity, minty sweetness that hit the spot exactly as intended.
One drawback perhaps was that the copious amount ice meant every time you lifted your drink up you were covered in a splash of condensation. It wasn’t a big deal at all, but those wearing white beware, you could be heading for a wet t-shirt contest sooner than you might have thought on your night out.
Second up we chose to go for Lesspreso Martini. This was a little less glamorous looking than the previous mojito, but it the fluffy topping gave a certain uniqueness and the classic cocktail glasses were a nice touch. The Absolut vodka, white cacao liqueur and CIR CFF Clear Coffee sugar-free syrup was a simple mixture of ingredients, but it was big on flavour. Those with a sweet tooth will see these away all night with no problem, though by the time we finished these it was certainly time for something a little sharper.
This led us in the direction of the Daiquiri cocktail and we found our winner. Havana Club 3Y0 rum, lime juice and simple syrup presented in a cocktail glass decorated with a fine sliver of dried lime skin. It looked simple enough but it was big on flavour with sharp citrusy tones and waves of boozy rum. It was fantastic and we unashamedly ordered a second round rather than being more adventurous and trying further options on the menu. Maybe next time.
In between making our way through the cocktail menu, we sampled some of the lighter bite options they had to offer including the fires, sesame prawn toast, goat’s cheese, pea & tarragon croquettes and lime chilli salt plantain chips. All of these were delicious and it’s worth noting we barely scratched the surface in terms of the food options. Sadly due to the light levels our pictures made the food look terrible and nothing like what we ordered, so we asked Savage Garden if they had any we could use for this review and these look a lot closer to what we had.
The tables next to us were digging into some amazing looking charred octopus and coconut beef short rib dishes that had us gazing over in envy on more than one occasion. The menu also has platter options for meat eaters, pescatarians and vegetarians. Though a little more hefty on the price (£60-£88 for 4), we did see a few big parties tucking into these and the constant nods of approval said it all.
So overall what did we think!? Big thumbs up for Savage Garden. As long as you know before you enter you aren’t on the cheapest night out in London, you’re in for a treat and it’s well worth spending that little bit extra cash if it’s a special night out you want. The views, the drinks, the atmosphere, everything added up to a special experience and it’s a great option for either an intimate night for two or a night out with friends or work colleagues.
We’ll definitely be going again. Ring ahead to make sure you can secure a good spot inside and I’m sure you’ll have a great night out.
Savage Good Times
So overall what did we think!? Big thumbs up for Savage Garden. As long as you know before you enter you aren't on the cheapest night out in London, you're in for a treat and it's well worth spending that little bit extra cash if it's a special night out you want. The views, the drinks, the atmosphere, everything added up to a special experience and it's a great option for either an intimate night for two or a night out with friends or work colleagues.