The sun waxes hot, shining forth on a cloudless afternoon. There’s only one place to see and be seen. ME London’s rooftop terrace bar, Radio. The terrace is chocca full of people with corner offices. People in pastel hued trousers. People like us. Dance music is already upping the tempo – this party starts early and ends late. 3am to be precise. The glamorous and amorous laze around on linen shrouded daybeds or dine under curtained canopies next to glass balustrades. At the eastern end of the terrace, the ornate gable of neighbouring Marconi House rises like a curling and swirling treble clef carved of stone. The western end reaches a crescendo with Suite ME, a bass clef in glass, yours for £3,816 a night.
On the corner where the Strand meets Aldwych, Foster + Partners have designed this 10 storey five star three sided hotel from plinth to parapet, taps to tiles, oriels to aerials. Nothing is left to chance, no detail overlooked. In reverse Larkin, the terrace is shaped to the first to come. Cocktails are full of punch and puns: On Top of ME, Radio Active, Waterloo Sunset. Self indulgence continues abreast with grilled Spanish octopus, pickled onion and olives followed by marinated grilled sea bass with almond aioli. Piquant and pitch perfect. Then Manchego, fig bread and poached quince. Pudding, like revenge, is best served cold. The taste of summer. Sometimes glamour is medicinal. It peps and lifts the spirit. It makes up for everything that’s ever gone wrong in life. It’s a tonic.
Panoramic views embrace the skyscrapers defining and redefining our capital’s skyline, each with a sobriquet to honour its outline. The Cheese Grater, the Helter Skelter, the Shard, the Walkie Talkie, the Pepper Pot. Ok we made up the last one but you get the picture. Closer by, across the Strand, is a picturesque jumble of chimneypots and skylights and greenhouses hidden in the valleys between the double pitched roofs. Intimate domestic activity of homes shaped to the last to go. Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. A day of small things. And we said, oh that we had wings like a dove! For then would we fly away, and be at rest. There’s nothing new under the sun, but there’s plenty to wax lyrical about ME London’s rooftop terrace bar, Radio.