This week I was invited to GŎNG, at the Shangri-La, London, to sample a special cocktail called The Eagle Eye. The story behind this drink is it’s made with a limited city edition of Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky and they’ve created two bottles – one based on the architecture of Edinburgh, and another, based on the iconic buildings of London.
In Edinburgh, they’ve teamed up with Scotch, at the beautiful Balmoral Hotel, and in London they’ve partnered with GŎNG at the Shard. I was very happy about this, because I still hadn’t visited this incredible building.
And I certainly hadn’t sipped a cocktail in the highest bar in Europe before.
The lobby at The Shangri-La is beautiful and your eyes are immediately drawn to the stunning chandeliers overhead.
Ladies in long red dresses greet you to see which of the many bars and restaurants you’re heading to. If you’re GŎNG bound, you then take TWO lifts:
One to the 35th Floor.. where you’ll find TĪNG restaurant and lounge…
and then another, to the 52nd floor where you’ll find GŎNG Bar, the Sky Pool and Gym.
GŎNG itself is in two parts. There’s the champagne style lounge where views look in an easterly and northern direction.
You then have the main bar where we were seated, which was resplendent in marble surfaces and deep red walls with velvet seating.
We had prime seats too, with incredible views over Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, and in a northerly direction over the Thames to The Gherkin, The Walkie Talkie, The Heron Tower and other iconic buildings in The City.
We were then served our first cocktail using the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Limited City Edition whisky, which was summery with quite a herbal kick.
Only 4,000 bottles of the City Edition whisky have been produced, so you’d have to act quickly if you want to get your hands on one. One of the other writers in our group were thinking about buying the Edinburgh edition for a wedding gift. Or if your dad’s a big whisky drinker, a good Father’s Day present perhaps, if you’re feeling flush.
The best time to come to GŎNG is most definitely at sunset. They don’t take bookings and the number of guests they allow is in quite strict, so it’s probably a good idea to arrive in good time (they actually open at midday).
The Eagle Eye cocktail is available throughout June and as the bartender at GŎNG explained to us, is an unusual take on the Manhattan. So alongside the Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, you have bitters, Barolo Chinato (a sweet fortified wine), and a strawberry and black peppercorn shrub (a kind of syrup originating from the American colonial era). All their ingredients at GŎNG are sourced from over the road at Borough Market.
And yes, the blue meringue decoration, does make your tongue turn blue…
After sipping on our cocktails, we had a tour of the Sky Pool and Gymnasium which were absolutely amazing. You can actually sit by the pool to drink cocktails and it’s available for hire. What an amazing location for a party. Or of course a morning dip as the sun rises over the city…
And this would make you stay on the exercise bike for way longer when you have these kind of views…
I felt very privileged to have been able to drink a limited City Edition Johnnie Walker whisky in the highest bar in Europe. Do check it out, you’re in for a treat…
Until next time x
Thank you to Quintessentially & Co and GŎNG for hosting Oh So London. The Eagle Eye cocktail is available at GŎNG throughout June and The Johnnie Walker Limited City Edition Design is available from selected online retailers including 31Dover.com, TheWhiskyShop.com and various retail outlets including Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges.