28 May 2017

Skyline delights at Skylight

I'm pretty basic when it comes to spending summers in London. Give me a rooftop, give me fairylights, and put a chilled drink in my hand. Ticking all of these boxes is Skylight, a new venue in Tobacco Docks. It also happens to have a 360 degree skyline to die for, and croquet.

As tempting as it is to agree to every generous invite to visit a new bar or a new venue, after blogging for a few years, I'm craving something a little more. Skylight appealed because it was a rooftop bar somewhere other than Shoreditch, offering summery activities such as croquet and mouth-watering street food. The fairylights were an unexpected but very much welcome perk.

You enter via a car park, and have to brave a hella lotta stairs to reach the promised land (i.e. the bar). Despite my gym excursions, I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top. There were words of encouragement on every flight of stairs - 'Just... Keep... Going', 'You're... Nearly...There', which at first were motivating but by the sixth flight my legs were aching and I wanted to yell back 'STOP PATRONISING ME.'

Eventually - thankfully - we arrived. It was worth the agonising journey up.

I'd describe it as a cross between Boxpark - colourful, lots of wood, minimal - and Pergola on the Roof - rows of seating, foliage, fairylights - but a more intimate version of the latter. There's a bit more breathing space here, and seating is split across two levels (the food is underneath, on the 'basement' level), covered and uncovered. It's easily somewhere you could pass the day or evening with your chosen tipple, relaxing with friends. The vibe on the press night was casual creative, which I guess comes with the proximity to Shoreditch.

Drinks were complimentary, and so we started with a Swedish Summer cocktail, which consisted of Absolut lime, Elderflower cordial and Fever Tree soda water. Veeeery refreshing, although we did wonder if for the sake of being complimentary, that the drinks had been watered down a touch...

Regardless, we didn't want to drink on an empty stomach, so we made use of our food tokens (which entitled us to two sample dishes each) from the street food vendors below. Now THIS is where it got a little rocky.

The event started at 6pm; when we arrived at half 6, no one was queuing for food. However, fast forward to half 7 and it was mayhem. I had to queue, leaving my friend at the table, for half an hour to get us each a burger (courtesy of We Serve Humans).

I chose one 'The Chairman' (cheeseburger) and one 'Mac the Ripper' (deep fried mac n cheese in a bun), but after ordering, had to join another queue to wait for the burgers. And then just before mine was served, WSH said they were OUT OF BURGERS. AT 8PM. It was carnage, and put more pressure on the other two vendors to cater for the entire event for the rest of the night. Eep!

Mac the Ripper 'Smalls', lined up

You gave your name when you ordered, which was written on the tray, then were called when it was ready. 

It was a relief to get back outside with a new drink, I can tell you that.

 My cheeseburger, oozing cheese like a babe
Friend: 'should I take a bite out of it so you can see inside? Yeah, I'll take a bite'

The burgers were delish - obviously they will be bigger when you buy them, but as a taster they were good. The only thing I will say is that they were served medium by default (maybe because they were short on time?), and I'm more of a medium-well kinda girl (I know I know, beef blasphemy). My friend only had good things to say about the 'Mac the Ripper', so indulge in both!

If you haven't been on a rooftop in London and experienced a sunset, I'm prepared to say you haven't really done London right. Provided the weather is good, you can't beat it. Drink in hand, with good company, admiring the sky as it turns from blue, to pink, to purple, and bathes everything in a gorgeous light.

So grab a glass (I recommend a chilled white wine, albeit ours was - we think - watered down)...

And soak it up!

At this point my friend bit the bullet and went to get our next lot of food courtesy of Yiro (and was gone for 45 MINUTES, oh my life). I passed time drooling over the scenery...

And when I started to get cold, I draped myself, Granny-esque, in the provided blankets (which were super soft, FYI).

The food from Yiro was FANTASTIC. So delicious. They put a little bit of everything in our sample - marinated chicken, cous cous, salad and tahini type sauce, with 'pitta' (more like garlic bread, minus the garlic) and we both agreed it was more-ish. A burger is just a burger sometimes, but this was phenomenal.

It was the type of dish where you gobble it down because it's so yummy, but then you're sad when it's over. Know what I mean?

We could have wiled away the hours, watching the blue sky get darker and inkier, but it was a school night and we wanted to be good. We left, content, and journeyed to the other side of London, feeling a bit dreamy - because Skylight is a bit dreamy.

So the next time you're craving a rooftop away from hipster central, hop on the DLR or Overground and give Skylight a whirl. 

Skylight is open until the end of September 2017 at Tobacco Docks. I was invited to the press launch of Skylight in exchange for review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

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