Man About Town: Let every skyscraper have a restaurant at its top

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The lift for Sushi Samba whizzes you up extra quickly to the 38th floor. It's a great, Charlie Bucket-style glass elevator, allowing you to watch the cold city streets disappear as you head ear-poppingly high.

It surprised me that it had taken so long for me to check out what is the capital's third tallest building, especially as I am a sucker for a view, and the one from high up the Heron Tower is one of the best around.

It seems that I'm not the only one: crowds of well-dressed people were trying to get in when I arrived. At least I got in: the time I tried to get to the top of the Hilton in Manchester, the queue was too long.

The famous people in the room were nice to look at (it was a party for Esquire's new style guide, the Big Black Book); the sushi was lovely; I had friends and colleagues, I enjoyed an interesting chat with shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna about hanging out with Will Smith; and met again the enormously charming rapper Tinie Tempah. But every time I stopped speaking to people I just really wanted to look out of the window and take in the city.

Any time a big building goes up, it's now almost compulsory to put a venue at the top. A talked-about restaurant or bar offers that extra bit of exposure for the building owner's (or architect's) phallic dream.

It seems that those behind them simply expect them to be a success because view-junkies (like me) will go anyway to look down at twinkly lights.

But for every success – like my personal favourite Galvin at Windows in the Hilton in London – others, such as the Paramount club at the top of the Centre Point building, go from grand fanfare at opening to being little talked about.

The fashion is only likely to continue. As not only are there an ever-growing number of restaurants being served up, but a spate of new skyscrapers. Not only will they start to transform the London skyline but the local dining scene too.

So for both those looking up and those looking down: expect the views to be a little different in the next couple of years. @lukeblackall