Glass enjoys a sunset view and dinner at the rooftop Trafalgar St. James

ROOFTOP views don’t get old. There’s something so significant about towering over a city that’s already reaching for the sky. It’s a bit like slinging on a pair of heels when you know you’ll be the tallest in the room – a total power move. 

The Rooftop at the Trafalgar St. James is conveniently located in the belly of London’s chaotic zone 1. Its central location means that you can go from shopping in Oxford Street to sipping a crisp martini within 10 minutes. All you need to do is walk through the entrance of the Trafalgar St. James hotel, hop into the escalator, and you’ll find yourself teleported onto the chic rooftop. 

Something unique about the venue is that it offers a full view of Trafalgar Square. Aside from being a world-famous tourist location, there’s always something happening in the open space. On the day of my visit, I fought my way through a crowd of anti-vax protesters on the ground level after getting out of the tube station. Thankfully the sound of the crowd was swallowed by the sounds of the city. 

The view from the rooftop

We arrived at 6:30 pm, and we began our evening sipping on some Veuve Clicquot before moving on to some cocktails. The rooftop has its own selection of signature cocktails, and my guest ordered the Tiki upon recommendation. I was happy to learn that the bar also delivered classic cocktails, so I decided to go off-menu with a personal favourite, the gin martini. We munched on some fried lotus root with our drinks and watched the sun slowly set over the city.

The menu has a strong East Asian theme, which means it naturally caters to all dietary needs. Although burgers from the grill looked tempting, we opted for a few light dishes before going for a selection of small plates to share. 

My guest started with the tuna tartar which came with avocado and spicy radish. I opted for a humble miso soup. My soup was served in a unique black bowl, and I decided to ignore my spoon and drink directly from it. 

As for small plates, a particular highlight was the shiitake bao bun which arrived with bean sprouts and hoisin sauce. The mushroom was meaty and lightly flavoured in soy and we could have easily ordered a few more plates of it. The crispy squid was as you’d expect it to be, but in this case, it was the lemon gochujang aioli that made it outstanding. Staff were able to give us a mixture of vegetarian and fish sushi to share, and we enjoyed fresh sashimi and maki rolls alongside some vegetable gyozas. 

Satisfied with our dinner choices, my guest and I decided to share a sorbet for dessert to wrap up a wonderful evening. 

The food at the Trafalgar St. James won’t disappoint, but the attentive staff and stunning views are the true icing on the cake. Prices are on the higher side, but you won’t find this level of luxury on ground level. If you’re looking to enjoy a special evening with an unforgettable view then this rooftop is a must-visit. 

by Katrina Mirpuri

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Glass Music Editor

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