The island of Manhattan is tight on space, there is no doubt about it. It is no wonder therefore that a recent trend has been to find innovative uses for raised or rooftop spaces – take my earlier blog on the High Line as an example.
Recreational use is a favourite for these elevated spaces, and Manhattanites have found the perfect blend of a great view and a place to let your hair down with a drink thanks to the influx of roof top bars.
Being my usual guidebook research obsessive before we visited, I had read about a fantastic example with a view that was guaranteed to make you catch your breath just a couple of blocks down from the Empire State Building: the ‘Top of the Strand’, located on the 21st floor of The Strand Hotel.
This intimate roof top space not only has a cocktail menu to die for (as a bit of a cocktail fan myself), but I think it is fair to say, boasts one of the best views of the Empire State Building around.
The ‘urban oasis’ has an impressive retractable glass roof, meaning that you can enjoy the space come rain or shine, heatwave or bitter winter. A lounge design provides lots of corners to hide out and enjoy yourself – although my friend and I spent most of the evening chatting to the very friendly bartenders and enjoying some coffee Patron tequila. It made for an interesting 11 block walk back to our hotel at the end of the night!
If you find yourself at the Top of the Strand and are wondering where to start on the cocktail menu, then I highly recommend my tipple, the ‘Strawberry Gimlet’. Made with vodka, fresh strawberries and lime, this was fruity with a kick! For those with a taste for a sparkling cocktail, then you might also want to try ‘Forbidden Fruit’, with Prosecco, Crème de Paplemousse Rose and Grapefruit Twist.
The Top of the Strand can be found at The Strand Hotel, 33 West 37th Street, New York. Cheers!