London does sunset really well. Like, really well. Think Monet’s Houses of Parliament, or The Fighting Temeraire by Turner. And in a glass and concrete city so at odds with the natural environment it’s the one thing that connects us back to nature, tying us to the universe and a beauty shared by everyone, rich, poor, young and old alike. Although maybe not colour blind people. Or Swedish, half the year round at least. But you get the significance.
Given how much we all love a good sunset, then, how better to celebrate the daily best show on earth, than by raising a glass and a fork at these London sunset dining restaurants?
Not only does Hutong have an uninterrupted view of the sunset, it’s so high up that it might as well be IN it. But if you’re willing to risk turning Iccarus then it’s well worth booking a table and watching the golden orb that is our star sink into the horizon as you knock down half a dozen dim sum and a chicken chow mein. Anything at The Shard is always a treat, even if you’re sat on the Shangri La’s terrace at ground level! Authentic Chinese restaurant Hutong is named after the narrow passages round in cities in northern China and the food is always as superb as the view.
Where: Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
If you go far enough west surely you’ll be able to touch the sunset? Well en-route make sure you stop at The Petersham, a hotel and restaurant boasting not only one of the best sunset views in Richmond, but also some of the best food. An accolade that can be put squarely at the door of Head Chef, Jean-Didier Gouges. The Frenchman is responsible for some of the most incredible dishes in South West London, but the restaurant’s West-facing plate glass windows give him a good run for his money as they look out across an iconic view that was once painted by Turner.
Where: The Petersham Hotel, Nightingale Lane, Richmond, TW10 6UZ
Nearest station: Richmond (0.8 miles)
Designed in the shape of the NatWest bank logo, Tower 42 (formally known as the NatWest Tower) has 14 sides, of which at least seven look toward the sunset. So City Social was already off to a good start. The fact that it sits 24 floors up only adds to the drama of the sun setting across an iconic spread that takes in St Pauls, the Thames and South and South West London. The modern British fare from star chef Jason Atherton only adds to the occasion.
Bingham Riverhouse sits right on the Thames and although the restaurant is spread across numerous rooms, each well appointed with fabulous art, but for a real artist’s appreciation head out and eat on the balcony to get an eyeful of the setting sun as you enjoy this Richmond hideaway.
Set in one of London’s most iconic buildings (albeit that sort of second-tier, you know, after Buckingham Palace and those kinds of places), Gillray’s enjoys one of the best views of any restaurant in London, that of the Houses of Parliament, but get there at the right time and beyond the gothic ediface of the Elizabeth Tower you’ll see the red haze of a London sunset, almost as bloody as your steak you just ordered at this meat specialist venue.
Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Waterloo (0.3 miles)
The clue’s most definitely in the name here, but Galvin at Windows does have a bloody good view. Located at the top of one of the tallest buildings in West London, the Hilton on Park Lane, the building famously looks out onto the garden of Buckingham Palace (she famously refuses to attend any events there in protest), but look beyond the monarch’s back yard and you’re in the perfect position to witness the sun setting over London. Make sure you request a window table…
The genius of Glass Room is that you’re guaranteed not only a sunset view (providing you’re onboard during sunset!), but loads of them. That’s because the boat-borne restaurant will be skimming down the river throughout your meal, giving you glimpses and eyefuls of the setting sun throughout. The food itself is notably excellent, as is the ever changing London skyline as you zip past.
Where: Bateaux London, Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment WC2M 6NU
Nearest station: Embankment (0.1 miles)
Still on the river, Le Pont de la Tour sits with an enviable view of both the Tower of London, the capital’s original iconic building, and the somewhat more arriviste Tower Bridge. But the sunset you watch from terrace tables at the restaurant, filling the sky between all three world famous towers is both timeless and, of course, marking marking time itself. The cheese is pretty good too.
Where: 36d Shad Thames, Butlers Wharf, London, SE1 2YE, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.5 miles)
Forget walkie talkie and prepare for sittie watchie as you enjoy the sunset through one of the biggest most imposing windows in London. At the top of the so-called Walkie Talkie tower, more accurately known as 20 Fenchurch Street has one of the most memorable spaces in London for dining, drinking or just enjoying the view and London’s highest public garden. For a slap-up dinner head to Fenchurch Restaurant, perfect for enjoying the sunset and the British contemporary menu.
Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 8AF, UK
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)