Rumpus Rooms


Rumpus Rooms

As I’ve said many times before I adore going up to the top of tall buildings and looking down. I like taking in the sights and sounds of a city from up high. So, after a recommendation, my friends and I thought we would try the Rumpus Rooms at the top of Sea Containers in London for an early evening cocktail.

Sea Containers was originally designed as a luxury hotel back in 1970 but because of the economy at the time, it was changed to be utilised for office space. More recently it has been refurbished and now is used partially as a hotel, as well as office space. Within the hotel remit, it also houses a spa and a number of bars and restaurants.

At the top of Sea Containers House is the Rumpus Rooms, which was the venue for our cocktails.

Rumpus Rooms
© Copyright Robert Lamb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

On arrival, we were shown to our table, which one of my friends had kindly phoned to reserve for us. She had requested a table next to the window, so we could take in the views across the river. We were kindly enough to be allocated a table next to the window, but unfortunately the balcony area was so populated we had no view at all.

The bar was incredibly busy and even though we had a reserved table, a couple perched on to the end of our sofa and a large group of chaps in suits stood so close to our table and yelled drunkenly to each other. I might sound like a square, but it was incredibly hard to have a conversation over them!

Rumpus Rooms

Trying to get a drink was equally as disappointing. At first we tried the bar, after queuing for around 20 minutes, I eventually got served and ordered a cocktail for my friend and I. The cocktails were really interesting and we enjoyed them. They were only offering a limited menu, so we couldn’t try the ones we really wanted, but the one I had, a vodka-based cocktail was very nice and refreshing.

After a couple more friends joined us, we decided to order another drink. We had been told there was table service so we attracted the attention of what looked like a waiter. It indeed was, he came over and promptly disappeared as we were still chatting about what to order next. I thought this was very rude as we might have wanted his input. He eventually returned about 10 minutes later and took our order.

This time I ordered one of the other cocktails and when it arrived it was overly gin-tasting. I’m not keen on excessive gin-tasting cocktails so I swapped with my friend who loves gin. She remarked that it tasted just like a gin and tonic. When settling our bill, we discovered that we had been served just a gin and tonic and not a gin-based cocktail.

Soon after this, our two hour booking was up, so we finished our cocktails and headed off the restaurant we had booked.

All in all, should have been a great place to have a drink with friends, but pretty much every part of it was let down by something. Maybe we visited on a very busy evening. To be fair, the reason behind visiting was from a personal recommendation and the online reviews look quite favourable. Unless I was guaranteed a decent view and a slightly quieter experience, I probably wouldn’t go back.

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Head image © Copyright Rob Sinclair and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


23 thoughts on “Rumpus Rooms

  1. When I started reading I was so excited for you, this looks like such a great place to go for drinks, looking out over the lights. But what a bummer that you couldn’t see the sights and that the service was so bad. Perhaps it was a busy evening, but it would have been nice if your server had clued you into that so you would know that if you returned it wouldn’t be so crowded and loud. It looks like a gorgeous place and obviously it’s liked by a lot of people, perhaps too many that didn’t come for the view.

    • Sally Sally says:

      Yes it really was a shame. I know, it held so much promise. We are spoilt in London for places to go, so we’ll just have to try somewhere else.

  2. Oh sorry to hear that it was a bit of a disappointing visit – I’ve been to few places in London (all cocktail bars too) that just get so over-crowded that it becomes a bit annoying and stressful. Why is it that everyone seems to find out about the same place?! I was interested though as I’d not heard of this one and love finding new places to have a few drinks after work. Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam Hope to see you next time x

    • Sally Sally says:

      I know exactly what you mean. I love going out in London but when you are queuing in a bar for 1/2 an hour it’s so frustrating. I just want to spend time with my friends. Me too. I love finding new gems.

  3. Sorry to hear your experience was disappointing. It doesn’t sound like much fun at all and it’s not somewhere I would rush to – especially if they don’t know the difference between a cocktail and a G&T!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

    • Sally Sally says:

      I know, crazy right Debbie. Lucky for me I have a friend who is a gin genie and swapped with me. The other cocktail was pretty tasty.

    • Sally Sally says:

      Yes very true. It’s such a shame as the building is so interesting and I’m sure the hotel is lovely.

  4. How disappointing! What should have been an awesome experience there was blighted – maybe it would be different at a quieter time? Queuing for so long for a drink is never fun and in my experience, never worth it. Hope you enjoyed your next venue! Sim x #TriedTested

    • Sally Sally says:

      I wondered that myself Sim. It did seem very busy for the amount of staff they had working, so maybe they were just caught out. The only problem is there are so many nice bars in London, it would be a bit risky to go back in case it was the same.

    • Sally Sally says:

      No, there’s so many places in London to go for cocktails where the service is better Louise. Shame really as it sounded so nice.

  5. I too love to go to high up places to peer down on everything below me! Shame the experience was a bit naff, and I hate it when you’ve only got a certain slot and have to get out! My favourite up high bar is in Frankfurt, 42 stories up and amazing views!

    • Sally Sally says:

      Ooh, that sounds right up my street Lauren. Can I ask is this a bar called Frankfurt or a bar in Frankfurt?

  6. Aww sorry to hear you didn’t have a good time. It’s so annoying when you’re looking forward to going somewhere and it ends up being a let down xx #dreamteam

    • Sally Sally says:

      You’re absolutely right Wendy. Luckily the restaurant we went to afterwards was brilliant so we still had a lovely evening. It just stresses everyone out a bit when service isn’t up to scratch.

  7. That is so disappointing. Nights out with friends can be such rare occurrences, so when they are a let down it all feels like such a waste. I sympathise and thank you for sharing your experience. Alison x #AnythingGoes

    • Sally Sally says:

      I know, it was even more disappointing that it was my birthday drinks. But never mind, you never know until you try it.

  8. Sorry to hear your experience was unsatisfactory. As my husband would say, “Never know until you try, right?” As you said, maybe another night would be better!

    • Sally Sally says:

      I think you might be right Emily. It was the Friday before bank holiday, so it may have been busier than usual, but you think they would know that. It’s a really nice place, just not quite right.

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