Priding themselves as “London’s highest champagne bar”, Vertigo42 is situated high up in Tower 42 near Liverpool Street. If Tower 42 sounds familiar it’s probably because it’s also home to Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred City Social – read that review here (opens in a new window).
I wanted to treat my grandparents for my Nanny’s birthday, it needed to be near Liverpool Street ideally as they were getting the train in and I wanted it to be something a bit different, worth travelling to London for. Vertigo42 ticked all those boxes being a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station with incredible views of London.
When you arrive the view speaks for itself. The bar/restaurant is designed in a circular, almost track-shaped space with a ledge running the whole way around the windows. All bar stools and lower stools face out of the windows so you can enjoy the view. Whilst the views are stunning, the interior is a little basic and bare and the bar stools aren’t the most comfortable to perch and have afternoon tea on.
The views though are incredible. What I did really like is that, unlike some other places, you are guaranteed a window seat as every seat is a window seat! They also serve proper Laurent Perrier champagne, something you don’t always get included in an afternoon tea.
The food was pleasant enough. The sandwiches were a selection of plain cucumber, salami and cream cheese and tuna mayo – all tasted freshly made. The portions here are smaller than other afternoon teas and the fillings more basic. We did order an extra plate of sandwiches which we were charged for.
There was two small cakes each – one orange tart, one chocolate and toffee tart, and one scone each, served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Both cakes were very sweet but I have a sweet tooth so didn’t mind at all! A couple of extra cakes, even a macaron or just a truffle would have gone a long way in making it look a bit more complete as an afternoon tea.
Though there is a 1 hour 45mins table limit, we didn’t feel rushed. It was fun trying to identify different buildings and places from such a height. Service was okay. The set up meant that if you needed attention you had to wait for them to do another “lap”. There was also a mix up at the end where they charged us twice but it was soon rectified.
I can’t dispute that the views offered by Vertigo42 are impressive. For me though, something about the afternoon tea experience is lacking. I’m not sure quite how to explain what I thought was lacking though. For me afternoon tea is all about relaxing and luxury, and at Vertigo 42 there were no personal touches. I know that most people attend using Groupon vouchers (I’ve been to a lot of Groupon afternoon teas myself!) but it felt a bit transactional. Like they’d skimped a bit to make profit on the food and comfort to fit as many people in as possible. I can’t say I wouldn’t recommend it because the views are great, however I can’t say I’d particularly recommend you book either. There was nothing wrong with the food and I think the Groupon deal is good value. Had I paid the full £32 each, I’d have felt less happy I think.
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street