Level 32, The Shard, (London Bridge Station), London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7268 6700
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-midnight
Door: Make reservation
Style: Cocktail bar
Price guide: High-end
Food: Full menu
Owned by: Rainer Becker
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Oblix at The Shard is as slick as you would expect from the first licensed premises to open in London's newest landmark. From the dedicated lift from street level, via a dark, scented entrance with water features on the 32nd floor (plus hoards of hosts), it's impressive even before you get to the view.
Apart from the fact Oblix comes from the same group as Roka and Zuma (restaurants with a great reputation and bars to match), the view is the USP you've for. We visited on a rainy day and even then, you can see for miles. The bar faces east (the restaurant is separate and has a different orientation) and looks over London Bridge Station, Tower Bridge and beyond to Canary Wharf. A live band set-up occupies one corner of the floor to ceiling windows and promises some Lost in Translation atmosphere. Despite these attributes, we walked in without a reservation, though given its location and the fact publicity will increase as other bars and restaurants open, we'd recommend ringing ahead.
The interior, a minimalist oriental mix of stone and wood finishes, is a fitting reflection for the high-end barware and spirits that occupy the back-bar, while modern-uniformed staff sporting fashionably quirky facial hair proficiently knock up what are described as 'culinary' cocktails. What does that mean? It normally suggests a close collaboration with the chef, and while that's not exactly evident there are certainly some inspired and original flavour pairings with judicious use of home infusions, fat-washed spirits and flavoured syrups etc. With most at £12.50 we thought it surprisingly economic, but beware the list of decanter-"mellowed" cocktails - we nearly didn't spot the lack of a decimal point in the £750 price tag.
Despite some initial confusion with our order (wrong drink, made well), dodgy acoustics from hard surfaces reflecting, we felt the view makes this bar a must-visit, but the bar stands up for itself in its own right.