The Aviary review: Fine food in a serene spot above the streets of London

The Aviary
The Aviary's Sunday roasts (Image: Tom Webb/Provided)

Situated high above the streets of London, The Aviary Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace Bar makes for the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Head on up to the ninth floor of the charming Montcalm Royal London House Hotel and you’ll find yourself a quiet little spot, ideal for a peaceful and classy Sunday roast.

It’s a quiet, grey, and somewhat blustery Sunday when a friend and I venture up to The Aviary to try out their bottomless Sunday lunch. The website boasts it’s “Where breathtaking views meet unforgettable Sunday roasts.” The weather may slightly inhibit the views save for the skyscrapers around Finsbury Square but we delight in the serene atmosphere of the secluded spot and it’s easy to imagine that on a clear day, you can see for miles around.

The Aviary
The Aviary’s roast chicken (Image: Tom Webb/Provided)

The menu offers many a delectable-sounding dish with appetizers and starters to whet your appetite. I opt for the pressed Barbary duck terrine, smoked duck breast, cranberry relish, and sourdough crisps. My friend goes for the melt-in-your-mouth burrata. We both devour our respective and satisfyingly portioned dishes feeling suitably prepared for the mains.

The Aviary has a choice of four roasts – three meat (chicken, beef, and pork) and one vegetarian option (a wild mushroom and chestnut Wellington) All are served with roasted potatoes cooked in duck fat, roasted carrots, hispi cabbage, a substantially-sized Yorkshire pudding, and gravy. Sides are also available.

The Aviary
The Aviary’s roast pork (Image: Tom Webb/Provided)

Pork is the roast I go for the least. It comes with a healthy serving of crackling as well, for that extra crunch. The meat itself is soft and delicate, easy to cut through, and delightful on the tongue. The apple sauce is thick, treacly, and rich. There’s very little to critique with the meal, each component cooked wonderfully and tasting utterly delicious. My friend’s tender roast chicken is a sizable portion and I’m told is also exquisite.

I’m tempted by the dessert menu and choose the apple and damson crumble with oat crumb, and vanilla ice cream. This could have been warmer but was scrumptious nonetheless.

Apple and damson crumble
Apple and damson crumble (Image: Alastair James)

For clarity, the bottomless aspect refers to the wine, not the food. Guests have a choice of wines as well as beers and ciders. I go for the crisp, fruity, and very drinkable rosé. It may not be the season but I’ve started the year on an optimistic and aspirational note and so my choice feels in keeping with that. Bring on summer nights and chilled rosé! The staff are very good at topping the glass up so it’s sometimes hard to keep track of how much one has consumed. Thankfully we’re well fed to balance everything out.

All in all our experience was heavenly. In addition to the best company, the food easily matches the iconic views offered from the rooftop locale. My companion and I leave feeling substantially full and content and decide to walk a few stops rather than relying entirely on the Underground. The wind offers some resistance and, we hope, helps burn off a few extra calories.

Book at The Aviary here.

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