Nestled in the heart of East London lies a not so secret ‘treasure’ known as Skylight, a rooftop bar with impressive panoramic views over London.A quirky East End mash up of ‘Urban Lawn Culture’ VS. Hipster Shoreditch-ians (yes I made up a word…), Skylight has all the makings of a ‘good bar’, with a wide selection of cocktails like watermelon mojitos and after work snacks such as falafel, cheesy nachos and tahini drizzled chips, juxtaposed with four croquet courts, that makes you feel like you have wandered into an ‘Etonian’ boarding school without the pomposity. Instead this ‘posh boys’ game is made cool, with vibrant drinks, colourful pink and blue walls that would appeal to any maven of colour, as well as three bars to get ‘your drink on’, making it the perfect venue for after work drinks. While some patrons might come for the admittedly stunning views, as the sunset bathes the BT tower in golden light, others might be more enthralled by the entertainment that Skylight has to offer. From the croquet lawns which are especially busy in the summer to the large wide screen TV’s that would appeal to the most hardcore sports lover, Skylight has really come into its element during the summer months. Question is will it survive the big chill of winter?
You can’t come to Skylight without noticing its penchant for retro games, which even if you are not much of a game player will have you in fits of laughter. From the croquet courts which allow you to play games like pétanque, the classic French lawn game similar to boules, to ‘Striker’ a digital football game, those who are super into sports will be at their element in this concrete playground. Prices aren’t bad either; for pétanque, expect to pay £15 for 30 minutes, where groups of two to four players can battle their way to victory, albeit as politely as French boules allows of course. If sports are not your thing, there are some impressive street food eats, featuring some delicious vegetarian and vegan delicacies inspired by Greek cuisine, which are a far cry from the limp salads us plant eaters are normally offered so kudos to them! While the deep fried cauliflower wrap spiced with cumin and drizzled in tahini is a surefire hit even with ‘meat eaters’, it is the cheese nachos with jalopenos and chili sauce that tickled my fancy the most, a much needed ‘kick’ on a rather cold evening, washed down with a refreshing pint of beer. Admittedly their street food eatery could do with a wider selection of food, but considering that they have vegetarian and vegan options that aren’t just slabs of mushroom, the menu certainly got a thumbs up from me!
Throughout the summer, there will be a Sanpellegrino’s pop-up Fruit Cart offering a true taste of Sicilian style with complimentary samples throughout the summer and limited edition cocktails at the Skylight Bar, the perfect remedy to long days at work, because lets face it we all deserve a treat, don’t we? On select days there are also events and launches where they feature popcorn carts and candyfloss stalls, but it is their events later in the year that pique my fancy. For a start from October onwards, Skylight’s rooftop venue will be transformed into a beautiful focus on world beer, ciders, bratwurst and pumpkins to tie into the transition from summer into autumn, while in an attempt to keep Skylight ‘buzzing’ during the colder months, it will become a glorious rooftop ice rink back by popular demand. The only one in Europe, the rooftop ice rink will be a sure fire hit with ‘first daters’ who fancy trying their hand at something new, or anyone who is up for having a laugh.
Alongside the ‘seasonal events’, Skylight’s focus on Greek ‘street food’ is an interesting one; you have ‘Yiro’ with Greek roots and world flavours offering up dishes such as Vegetarian Halloumi, described as being ‘brought to you fresh from the motherland’ versus the meat eaters choice ‘Chicken SOUVLAKI’ made by ‘Grumpy Grandpa’ and drizzled in Garlic, olive oil, oregano and lemon marinade, before being finished with a sprinkling
of smoked paprika, & lemon salt. In contrast ‘Flip Side’ is-much like the name suggests- a classic burger joint, with Tex Mex influences, featuring the likes of buttermilk fried chicken versus spicy cheese nachos, which are as incredible as they sound. It is a shame however considering how vegetarian friendly ‘Greek Cuisine’ actually is that Flipside only has one vegetarian burger and a selection of vegetarian sides to choose from, so arguably Yiro is the more vegetarian friendly street food eat at Skylight.
Where Skylight really comes into its own however is at it’s bars, which as well as giving you access to sport screens, panaromic screens and the chance to network with others, also has a host of beverages to suit any taste. For a start the Watermelon Mojito curated with ample Bacardi Carta Blanca, Lime Juice,Sugar Syrup, Watermelon and Mint Leaves is a refreshing cocktail on a warm day, while beer and cider lovers might enthuse over the varied selection of drinks including the infamous ‘blue moon’, Offshore Pilsner and the sweet classic Rekorderlig Strawberry and Lime. For wine lovers you might like to try the smooth and elegant Parini Pinot Grigio Rosé delle Venezie, from Italy, while soft drinks like lemonade and ginger beer are always classic favourites on a bar menu. The question of whether we can expect ‘seasonal favourites’ like Pumpkin infused spirits and liquers or mulled wine is a question I cannot feign to answer at present, but here’s hoping that this concrete gem of a rooftop bar, will continue bringing joy to all the after work punters that it serves. Question is, will you be there?
Have You Ever Been To A Rooftop Bar?