I love being in high up places. There’s not much to beat the giddy sense of freedom you get from being at a high vantage point, soaring above all that you see – a real Leonardo in the prow of the Titanic moment, just better on dry land and preferably with interesting scenery. It’s also a real tourist thing, isn’t it? Go to the highest point of a city or landscape and search out the iconic monuments below.
In London, The Shard has recently been added to the list of ‘where to go for a good view’ on a day out so, feeling the urge to go to a high up place, we went and ate at Hutong (33rd floor) last weekend with a couple of friends who were also feeling the ‘let’s be a tourist in our home town’ vibe.
And, it did it’s thing.
We went early Sunday evening with a consequently easy drive into the City and good parking all around. There is a drop off area right outside The Shard so no problems unloading me in the wheelchair before parking up – D was directed to a disabled parking space just by the McDonalds down the road. Totally level access all through The Shard and lifts meant that the wheeling’ was easy throughout. Brilliant.
Hutong has floor to ceiling windows with breathtaking views from most tables, including ours which was right beside one of them. With great good luck, it was a beautiful clear evening and, in a 6.30-8.30pm slot, the restaurant was not too busy. The food is chinese and pretty reasonable in quality with higher prices than your local take away, as you’d expect! We spent about £150 per couple, sharing dishes and with a moderate amount of drinks (we’d all driven in).
Hutong is difficult to book and they are pretty rigid about arrival times and turnaround times as they are so busy. It’s hard to say it without it sounding dismissive but Hutong does feel like a tourist destination. In this location, it is. That’s not a bad thing. It is what it is.
People are there for the views, not expecting a brilliant, or inexpensive, foodie experience. Hutong delivers the views and very nice food at less than rip-off prices.
It was exactly what we expected and we had a totally chilled and relaxing time there, watching the late summer sun set over the City of London.
We probably won’t feel the need to repeat the experience but are really glad to have done it. Does what it says on the label. No more, no less. All good.