Radio is the new rooftop bar and terrace atop the newest of the ME hotel’s, owned by Sol Melia on The Strand. Having stepped out of the Rolls Royce Phantom (provided by the team at the Envy Group), we power walked from the car to the hotel’s circular street entrance and into the Norman Foster designed building. Space is top of the menu here, with a cavernous lobby opening up to 157 individually designed rooms, 16 suits and 499sqm of meeting space.
But tonight, we aren’t here for the hotel. We aren’t even here for a suite. We are actually here for the launch of Radio, the hotel’s destination bar on the tenth floor. Having ascended in the silent elevator we are greeted by a gaggle (is it gaggle?) of PRs all vying for our eye contact. I stroll over to one with my David Minns, three-piece black suit adorned by the lovely Taya Pang, to get a rundown on the evening’s festivities. “Cocktails this evening are Grey Goose and Ketel One; Flower in the Rain is Grey Goose vodka concocted with rhubarb, lemon, cranberry, and strawberry served in a martini glass and topped with an edible flower. The Thames River Iced Tea, an English twist to the famous Long Island Iced Tea: Grey Goose mixed with Bacardi Oro, Cuervo Gold, Peach Liqueur, and lemon”.
“Stop! That will do it for me,” I said. Having only drunk half a bottle of champagne that day, I wasn’t quite operating at peak condition.
Having meandered around the inside of the glass-fronted triangle with its top tables, striking bar and austere-looking sofa arrangements, it was time to step out onto the balcony. It really embodied the wow-factor, even with a strong westerly wind. Having not seen a view of this magnitude since the opening of Vista on Trafalgar, we were all quite taken aback. Think Cafe del Mar, with its white muslin curtains and flame bowls. If you were courting a first date or tackling a creative meeting with the big wigs, this is certainly a venue of choice.
Radio served guests a delectable selection of Asian finger foods that accompanied perfectly with the drinks served. Tuna pops with a red curry dressing and Vietnamese summer rolls with spicy nouc cham; an aromatic serving of truffled goat cheese with baby beets on mini bruschetta; and succulent mini wagyu burgers with Radio’s homemade special sauce. Finally, it’s Korean fried cauliflower, served with chilli dressing and micro coriander.
On the last Thursday of the month, Radio Rooftop Bar hosts Frequency, London’s premium cocktail party. Each Frequency event showcases cocktails, finger foods and great live DJ music from local, national and international music talent. Well worth stepping out for. I advise a well-tailored jacket or cocktail dress, as it won’t be long before the glitterati have taken it over by force.Blackbook: Phone: 0845 601 8980 Website: melia.com 336-337 The StrandLondon WC2R 1HA