One of the most iconic destinations in East Central London. St. Pauls Cathedral.
Now imagine being able to sit out sipping cocktails on a roof terrace with that as your view. Pretty incredible right? I can tell you, it sure is.
Madison, the sixth floor rooftop bar, terrace and tapas restaurant, can be found right opposite St. Pauls. At the top of New Change, it’s regularly filled with the business types during the week and radiates a premium feel. With twinkly fairy lights, furry cushions and throws to keep you warm, it’s a cute spot for cocktails. And that view, well – it’s hard to beat.
The new cocktail menu features twelve cocktails inspired by America’s colourful cocktail history from the Victorian ages right through the Prohibition era to the present day. The new menu was devised by Madison Assistant General Manager Fred Tartas (previously German Gymnasium, Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel and The Ritz, Paris) and his team, and has been created using a hand-picked selection of premium bourbon, gin, vodka and speciality spirits.
In homage to the classics, which have become popular around the world, half of the menu features six cocktails from the Hall of Fame in their original form. The second half of the menu consists of six cocktails with contemporary twists, aiming to champion ambitious experimentation on par with New York’s own world-class cocktail bar scene. And there was me thinking the London cocktail scene was pretty awesome!
The Hummingbird was a strong favourite of the evening. A sophisticated take on the Aviation, which dates back to the early twentieth century, the cocktail combines copperhead gin with maraschino liqueur and lemon juice, topped with Madison’s unique multi flowers foam. It’s a delicious combination of sweet juicy liquid and a frothy top, and is beautifully presented.
The Cinema Highball is a vintage special that was born at the Please Don’t Tell bar in New York. Consisting of Barbados 5yo rum, butter washed and popcorn infused for a sweet flavour, then mixed with Fever Tree Madagascan Cola and lime juice, it arrived with a cute miniature cone of popcorn. It reminded me of a Long Island Iced Tea but 100x better. Sweeter. More cola = a better balance of alcohol to mixer.
I was really surprised by how much I liked the Maple & Almond Sour. A nutty twist on the much-loved whisky sour, I’m not surprised it reminded my of the amaretto sour – a much loved favourite. With a base of Armagnac Gaspard infused with roasted almond, dark chocolate and spices, it’s topped with lemon juice, maple syrup and egg white. A short cocktail, it’s potent but just so – a beautiful blend of flavours.
We had some nibbles, or for the upper class, canapes, which were superb – the arancini with garlic mayo was delicious and creamy, the chicken which came with fries, was tender and flavoursome with a crispy coating, and I couldn’t resist a mini burger which was up there with the other mini burgers I’ve had recently.
We had a fab date night, snuggled up under the furry blanket keeping warm whilst sipping cocktails and admiring the surroundings. One beautiful location.
- Price: Between £11.50 and £13 for cocktails. It’s pretty standard for a London rooftop bar. But for that view it’s totally worth it.
- Food: The nibbles/canapes were perfect snack size for enjoying during cocktails. The arancini were my fave
- Drinks: Well-devised flavour profiles. I was surprised, in a good way, with a two out of three of the cocktails I tried
- Atmosphere: Premium. Cosy. Sophisticated.
- Service: The service was friendly/helpful, the bar team keen to know which we’d enjoyed
With the evenings getting longer, The Madison should be on everyone’s must-visit list this Spring/Summer. Go for views. Stay for cocktails.
What’s your favourite rooftop bar?
*I was invited along to Madison London to try the new cocktail menu. All views my own. Photos provided due to lighting on the night.