There’s something truly special about being whizzed up to a 32nd-floor restaurant via private elevator, and that’s exactly the experience that’s in store for diners of Paramount. Secreted away atop the Centre Point building next to London’s notoriously hectic Tottenham Court Road, it’s surprising that this place hasn’t had more hype; we’d certainly heard of it before, but more as the event space that hosts DJ Jodie Harsh’s infamous Circus club nights rather than a stand-alone destination restaurant. And that’s exactly what it is, with serious foodies flocking alongside club kids for fabulous fare, cool cocktails and jaw-dropping panoramas.
The views are Paramount’s undisputed crowning glory and there’s something distinctly New York about the place (particularly at night, when the twinkling lights that spread out before you could easily be the Big Apple, were it not for the illuminated shape of the London Eye in the distance). The Tom Dixon-designed interiors, meanwhile, have a Manhattan vibe, too, with a sleek pewter bar as you enter in the lounge, moody lighting throughout and dark wooden tables flanked by bright red chairs in the restaurant. Indeed, it’s the perfect place for a date – provided your date is paying, of course (the prices are undeniably steep – but then you are paying for arguably the best views in the capital).
The food itself is courtesy of head chef Colin Layfield, and is a distinctly British affair that’s carefully balanced between meat and fish; starters include dishes such as lobster tortellini and foie gras & duck terrine, while mains span everything from fillet of halibut to saddle of rabbit. It’s small, but perfectly formed. The Valrhona chocolate pudding wraps things up in suitably decadent fashion, and is the restaurant’s signature dessert.
Once done with dinner, diners ascend one more floor to the viewing gallery; working its way around the entire circumference of the building, it affords 360-degree views of the city below and rather fabulous cocktails to boot (a particular favourite is the Roseberry Fizz, made from plump raspberries, rose syrup and lychee liqueur, all shaken and topped with Billecart-Salmon Champagne). They certainly aren’t cheap at £13 a pop, but by God it’s worth it.
And it’s not just an evening affair at Paramount; open for breakfast and lunch, too, it’s always bustling with white-collared folk who like to conduct their business in style. And if you’re in nearby Soho as dawn breaks, we can’t think of anywhere cooler to come and soak up the booze with a freshly-squeezed orange juice and an excellent eggs benedict.
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