Thursday, 15 September 2011
Sky Lounge at Nido, Spittalfields (CLOSED)
Observed through panoramic windows from the 32nd floor, incoming aircraft looming towards us are a disquieting prospect on this the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I've been security checked and whisked up to the top of of Spittalfields’s gleaming new ‘Nido’ tower, one of numerous less than impressive erections the poor old City has been stiffed with lately. Decanted into a suite of rooms with a view, my attack of jelly leg syndrome is compounded by a door flapping open in the breeze to reveal a thin grille, the only thing keeping me from becoming abstract art on Petticoat Lane’s pavement miles below. This then, is Sky Lounge E1 - as opposed to the similarly unimaginatively-named eyrie at the nearby Mint Hotel - a boxy, stark white duplex whose vista of the City and ‘burbs beyond is undeniably impressive. Conceived in pre-Lehman Brothers days as a fabulous penthouse for some bonus happy banker; unsold, it ‘s been identified by an eagle-eyed promoter as a perfect pop-up bar opportunity. That it will only trade on Tuesday to Friday evenings until April 2012, helps explain the cheapo David Brent office interior punctuated by the occasional white stool, potted plant and tacky ‘art.’ Luxurious and pretty, it’s not. But when there’s Pommery at £9.50 and flat stuff from £5.75 to be had, am I complaining? Of course I am. A tenner for a mojito is a tad too elevated, nice view or not and in the absence of sushi, sashimi and other menu items not present, we get olives and breadsticks. Still, this is as close as you’ll get to the Twin Towers’ Windows on the World in east London, more my idea of a sky lounge to write home about. As I leave, the lift attendant, an inquisitive chap of Slavic origin, asks me how much I think such a penthouse might fetch. 'Dunno. £4 million?' I guesstimate. 'English people are nuts,' he observes, not unreasonably.
Nido Spittalfields, 32nd Floor, 9 Frying Pan Alley, E1. 3137 3938