Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Restaurant Spy; 'At COQ d'ARGENT, Amorous Couples Sit on the Roof Terrace Drinking Champagne'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Restaurant Spy; 'At COQ d'ARGENT, Amorous Couples Sit on the Roof Terrace Drinking Champagne'

Article excerpt


I wouldn't recommend a trip to Coq d'Argent, a French/City/Conran restaurant with a sensational 360-degree vue panoramique, if you suffer from vertigo. When I arrived on the penthouse rooftop of One Poultry, still feeling dusty from the Tube, my first instinct was to rush around all the terraces, checking off all the City landmarks: St Paul's, the Gherkin, Mansion House, the Lloyd's Building, tick, tick, tick, tick. And then it was to look down. Whoah.

'Please do not place glasses on the handrails,' a sign reads, and I should hope so, too. One little slip of the elbow, one highball dashed earthwards, and that could be curtains for a Master of the Universe from Goldman Sachs, or an innocent passer-by on his way to the Tube below. And then where would Sir Terence be?

In fact, the sheer drops all around made me so dizzy and anxious about expansive City traders knocking their glasses on to the heads of London's big swinging dicks that I was compelled to interrogate the dishy general manager, David Best, about the risks to pedestrians from falling glassware for several minutes (though I'm sure it felt longer to him). He put my mind at rest by reassuring me that the restaurant was installing some new curvy, idiot-proof balconies. I do hope so, I repeat.

Let's stay outside for a minute, before we go to our table. As I said, five terraces, so this is a big operation. You can choose between the restaurant terrace, the bar, the bar terrace, the restaurant garden and the main restaurant, depending on what you want to do.

You can come here only to drink, and there were plenty of amorous couples of all stripes sitting on the real grass roof terrace with its darling box hedges, drinking real Champagne, Glyndebourne-style.

You can come here mainly to drink and to eat a little, as there is a barbecue at one of the outside bars, and some of the drinkers were scarfing large plates of tapas such as hummus with sundried-tomato bread, seafood, and olives. And, of course, you can come here to dine, which means a proper sit-down three-course repas with wine in one of the restaurants, with an aperitif, a witty amuse-bouche (I loved my one quivering ravioli infiltrated with pureed cannellini beans), fromages et desserts, coffee and perhaps a digestif.

That's what we did, and chose to sit inside, even though it was a balmy evening, with the heavy scents of jasmine, lavender and rosemary wafting amid the cigarette smoke. Most of our fellow diners, in suits, had opted for outside, but I hate even thinking I might be cold, so we played safe.

Being a Conran venture, the dining room is more than easy on the eye, it's downright swish. I wondered where I could get hold of the comfy carver chairs upholstered in duck-egg leather, and admired the way the room was shaped and divided by curved high-back banquettes of sycamore. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.