Every now and then something lands in your inbox which makes you squeal in such a way people look at you like you’re mad. I had one of those moments when I received the mail inviting me to the VIP & Press launch of Rooftop Gardens, Norwich. I had been following the progress of this new bar and restaurant on Twitter for quite some time and had really been looking forward to trying it – I had never been to a roof top bar anywhere, let alone so close to home!
The new Rooftop Gardens is situated in Rose Lane, on the top (6th) floor of The Union Building, which used to be an Aviva office. The rest of the building is mainly office space which are being used by all sorts of local businesses, I believe you can still enquire about letting one if you are interested – they look very swanky! It is also home to Train with Core which is a private gym and also hair salon Edge Norwich; couple this with the new Rose Lane car park which recently opened and it has brought a previously somewhat neglected part of the city to life, something I love to see.
As the lift rose to the top floor on Thursday evening for the launch party, you could hear the buzz before the doors even opened, it sounded promising to say the least. I was greeted by a very handsome waiter who handed me a glass of the most beautiful Argentinian red wine as I walked through the door – instantly I was sold! The atmosphere was a mix of sophisticated schmoozing and relaxed fun, it made you feel like you were somewhere quite special yet not uptight or stuffy in the slightest. The dress code seemed to be fairly glam, it would be the perfect place to go for a first date or a drink with your partner due to the mood lighting and chance to snuggle up in the outside area, very romantic!
Speaking of the outdoor area, many of you may be wondering what the layout is as it’s a roof top bar. When you first enter, you walk into the restaurant/bar like anywhere else, so it is fully indoors (don’t think you have to wrap up warm just to have a drink or eat there). If you want to go out and look at the amazing views, there are two terraces – one either side of the indoor area. They are spacious and full of seating so you can sit and enjoy a drink out there if you’d like or you can do what I did and just wander round the perimeter and look at the stunning views of Norwich. Unfortunately I got there after dark, I would have loved to have seen the sun set whilst looking at the cathedral, castle and football ground amongst other things. I can just imagine doing some sort of rooftop yoga or similar class out there, there is certainly enough space, I hope local businesses catch on to this idea and this becomes a thing – wouldn’t that be nice in the warmer months?!
Every part of this venue has been designed beautifully, the interior is gorgeous. I absolutely loved the mood lighting and the copper & gold light fittings in particular. There are also some little waterfall like features on one of the terraces: touches like this are what gives a space a feel of real quality. But that aside, I have to say the star of the show for me on the opening night was the AMAZING violinist Sally Potterton. I would encourage you to put Sally into YouTube or go onto her website and listen to her play the violin, even if you don’t think you are a fan of the instrument, you will love it. She was playing chart songs by The Weekend, Coldplay and all sorts of other current artists – I can’t tell you how good she was. I genuinely want her to play my wedding (if I ever have one haha!). Not only was she impressive with the strings but she was also gorgeous with legs as long as I am tall, which doesn’t hurt!
I was so disappointed when I had to leave this lovely place (the perils of going out on a school night) but I can honestly say I will be back! I didn’t eat at the launch party but I have had a good, long look at their menu on the website and I have got to say it sounds impressive. With dishes like scallops with curried parsnip, beef tartare with oyster emulsion (tartare is my fav), Dexter black fillet steak, venison and custard tart, they won’t be able to keep me away for long! It isn’t the cheapest of places to go for a drink or a meal but I honestly believe the quality of the small samples I have had indicate it would be entirely worth every penny.
Just Hollie xox