The Rooftop Cafe, The Exchange

  • DATE #157
  • Written by Dasha Afanasieva (Guest Author)
  • 6 years ago
Rooftop Cafe at The Exchange
Stripped back dating

The Vibe

The latest in altitude dining, the Rooftop Cafe’s minimalist approach to food and wine combined with a 360° view of London from the south of the river, make it a memorable date. The fact that it lives in a start-up incubator space makes it a bit cooler too. It’s not as high or flash as the Heron Tower’s restaurants but much more individual. It is a canteen by day and only serves dinner twice a week, which gives it a relaxed but unique feel. Given that this place is pretty new, it’s unlikely your date will have been before. Get in there before it becomes a standard stop on the well-trodden gastronomy tour of London Bridge.

The Order

No way of knowing till you get there. Four starters, five mains and four puddings – the modern menu from Australian chef Magnus Reid changes daily. Keep an eye out for the razor clams. Start and finish with Prosecco.

The Game

Don’t tell your date where you’re going – just arrange to meet at the bottom of the Shard. Ring the buzzer at the Exchange, an unassuming office block. The lift can be a bit of a buzzkill – there was a bucket of dirty, soapy water when we went up – all the better for the element of contrast when you actually get to the top. Your reservation should be for one of the tables on the left as you walk in, by the window. In between courses, suggest checking out the view from the terrace – currently empty but for some potted fruit and veg (no doubt organic and obviously seasonal). Enjoy the view of the night skyline including the Shard and use this time to make sure you’re on the same page for after dinner… Gents, put your jacket around her shoulders – a cold summer has some dating benefits. Ladies – this might be a good time to lean in.

Bedales wine bar in Borough market is a good option for a final nightcap.

The Faults

At the moment dinner is served only on Thursdays and Fridays.

Sex Factor

The compact space with its handmade range of furniture and open kitchen is cosy: you’ll be footsy-distance from your date but possibly also the other diners. That said, the opportunity for intra-course canoodling on the terrace bump sex factor score to a 4, reserving the right to a cut if it gets too popular and crowded (if we ever get a summer).

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