We know what to expect from a rooftop bar – a view which makes the place worth visiting and if you are lucky a nice enough staff and bearable prices for drinks. Aqua Spirit, however, is not just a bar created by its owner being inspired from the view of the spot he owns; the venue is part of a restaurant group and therefore counts not only on the fact that it’s located on the 5th floor, but also on elegantly developed interior and menu.
Let’s start with the menu. You will find a menu with…’sort-of-classic’ cocktails. I say sort of, because the names you’ll read stand for emblematic mixes, yet not for the well-known and very easily homemade drinks. The price of these mixtures of flavors is around £14 and while most agree that £14 is a bit pricey for a cocktail, most also agree that for Aqua’s creations it’s rather justified. But if you really want to see what’s so special about this bar, the best move would be picking something out of their Japanese inspired list of cocktails. A fusion of Europe’s most loved brands of alcohol, yuzu sake and carefully selected flavors seems to be the bar’s strong suit.
You can read the Sample Menus here – Aqua’s Menus
Now let’s move to the atmosphere of the place. The restaurant truly exhibits the efforts made for comprising such an interior, but the terrace situated in the opposite end of it does not replicate the same looks. It is nice to spend your evening in the bar – classy, comfortable and suited for the taste of many different types of people. But unfortunately, the terrace can brag only about its sunset view; a beautiful picture to see with friends or partners, however, after the sunlight is gone you could hardly make your way around, so most visitors choose to continue drinking inside. I personally agree with this choice, it is a lot cosier near the round Japanese decorated bar being able to see you’re not alone in the venue. Basically, Aqua Spirit is pretty much about…well, spirit – a Zen, extravagantly-down-to-earth vibe. If you’re trying to choose a place for a casual meeting or for drinks after work/before dinner, Aqua Spirit is very suitable for your purposes.
We really should talk about the downsides of Aqua though… When trying to enter the bar after 7pm, I would strongly advise you to book a table in advance. In the afternoon hours a free table is not such a rarity, but the later it gets, the bigger the crowd on the entrance. Queues are one of London’s venues’ worst features and are very common, so don’t risk it – you might not even get the chance to get inside.
Another thing to worry about when visiting Aqua Spirit is the service. Some visitors say that the high price for cocktails should not be justified only by how they taste but by how they are served too. And I cannot say that there haven’t been complaints about Aqua’s staff being slower than recommended or not too friendly.
For most Londoners Aqua Spirit is an enjoyable place for to loosenen up at the evening after a stiff day. If you manage to assure your table in advance and hope to avoid the arrogant waiter every bar has, you would probably enjoy Aqua’s sunset view, cocktails and vibe too.