Uppity eating: 10 London eateries with bird's-eye views
The opening of the first restaurant in the Shard, the tallest building in the European Union as of early this year, has upped the ante in the London altitude dining stakes.
One company, Dinner in the Sky, takes the concept to perhaps its ultimate conclusion: guests are strapped into their seats around a table and hoisted 100 feet into the air by crane.
There chefs prepare a meal for them in situ from a central kitchen area.
But you needn't risk spilling your aperitif onto gawkers below to enjoy elevated eating in the British capital. There are plenty of more comfortable indoor options.
Beginning with the Obelix at the Shard, we take the measure of 10 of the best -- and most thrilling -- uppity eateries in London.
The first restaurant to open in The Shard, Oblix has a New York-inspired rotisserie theme -- a departure for founder Rainer Becker, whose previous restaurants, Zuma and Roka, have both been Japanese.
On the lofty 32nd floor of the Shard, the EU's new tallest building, the restaurant is sandwiched between two other eateries, Aqua at The Shard on the 31st floor and Hutong on the 33rd, both to open later this year.
Oblix, 32/F, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas St., London; +44 (0)20 7268 6700; open daily 10 a.m.-midnight
2. Duck & Waffle
The Shard may be the tallest building in London -- and the EU -- but Oblix isn't the highest restaurant.
That honor belongs to the curiously named Duck & Waffle, situated at 185 meters above ground on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower. Open 24/7, the restaurant serves a mix of British and European dishes.
One floor down is its sister restaurant, Sushi Samba, which blends Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian flavours and offers the highest al fresco dining option in the capital.
Duck & Waffle, 40F, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopgate, London; +44 203 640 7310; open 24 hours
Towering over central London is Paramount at Centre Point.
Spread over the 31st, 32nd and 33rd floors, the restaurant provides views of between 100 and 149 meters above ground.
It's an all-day establishment, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Paramount, 31-33/F, Centre Point, 101-103 New Oxford St., London; +44 (0)20 7420 2900; Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m.-1:30 a.m., Thursday - Friday, 8 a.m.-2:30 a.m., Saturday, noon-2:30 a.m., Sunday, noon-10 p.m.
4. Galvin at Windows
Holding fort in upper-crust Mayfair is Galvin at Windows, the Michelin-starred French restaurant on the 28th floor of the Hilton Park Lane Hotel.
Known for its sterling service, the restaurant also supports the charity Galvin's Chance, which helps disadvantaged young people get into hospitality.
5. Minako at the Met
Hilton's Metropolitan Hotel also has a restaurant with a view -- the pan-Asian Minako at the Met on the 24th floor.
Minako at the Met, 24/F, Hilton London Metropole, 225 Edgware Road, London; +44 (020) 7616 6496; open Monday to Saturday, 6-11 p.m.
6. Rhodes 24
On the 24th floor of Tower 42 is Gary Rhodes's Michelin-starred restaurant, Rhodes 24.
There's also a bar on the 42nd floor, aptly named Vertigo 42, which serves champagne and snacks.
Rhodes 24, 24/F, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad St., London; +44 (0)20 7877 7703; open Monday to Friday, lunch, noon-2:30 p.m. or dinner, 6-9 p.m.
7. Ming Jiang
Chinese restaurant Ming Jiang sits on the 10th floor of Royal Garden Hotel.
True to its location, the restaurant looks out over Kensington Garden and Hyde Park.
Ming Jiang, 10/F, Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High St., London; +44 (0)20 7361 1988; open daily, noon-3 p.m., 6-10:30 p.m. Bar open till 11 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
On the 10th floor of the recently opened ME by Melia Hotel, Radio is a rooftop restaurant serving Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
The restaurant is so named because the building used to be the home of BBC Radio.
Radio, 10/F, ME by Melia Hotel, 336-337 The Strand, London; +44 (0)84 5601 8980; open daily 7 a.m.-3 a.m.
9. OXO Tower
On the 8th floor of the OXO Tower is a restaurant operated by the venerable British department store Harvey Nichols.
Open for 17 years, it's already one of the oldest elevated restaurants in London -- which perhaps also explains why it's at one of the lowest altitudes.
10. Dinner in the Sky
London-based Dinner in the Sky straps up to 22 diners around a table and hoists it 100 feet up in the air by crane.
You might still want to hold on to your seat, though, as it can get windy up there.
Go to Dinner in the Sky's official website for more details.