Secreted away atop the Centre Point building next to notoriously hectic Tottenham Court Road, it's surprising that this one of all the British restaurants in London hasn't had more hype; we'd certainly heard of it before, but more as the event space that hosts a revolving roster of DJ club nights, rather than a stand-alone destination restaurant. And that's exactly what it is, with serious foodies flocking alongside club kids for fabulous fare, cool cocktails and jaw-dropping panoramas. The views are Paramount's undisputed crowning glory and there's something distinctly New York about the place (particularly at night, when the twinkling lights that spread out before you could easily be the Big Apple, were it not for the illuminated shape of the London Eye in the distance). The Tom Dixon-designed interiors, meanwhile, have a Manhattan vibe, too, with a sleek pewter bar as you enter in the lounge, moody lighting throughout and dark wooden tables flanked by bright red chairs in the restaurant. Indeed, it's the perfect place for a date - provided your date is paying, of course (the prices are undeniably steep - but then you are paying for arguably the best views in the capital). The food itself is courtesy of head chef Mark Kay, and is a modern European affair that's carefully balanced between meat and fish; starters include dishes such as seared Foie Gras with blood orange purée and spiced ginger bread powder, while mains span everything from fillet of turbot to stuffed leg of rabbit. It's small, but perfectly formed. The Valrhona chocolate pudding wraps things up in suitably decadent fashion, and is the restaurant's signature dessert. Once done with dinner, diners ascend one more floor to the viewing gallery; working its way around the entire circumference of the building, it affords 360-degree views of the city below and rather fabulous cocktails to boot (a particular favourite is the Basil and Water Melon Cooler, made from plump strawberries, fresh watermelon, basil, lemon, cranberry juice, Grey Goose vodka and just a pinch of black pepper). They certainly aren't cheap at £11 a pop, but by God it's worth it. And it's not just an evening affair at Paramount; open for breakfast and lunch too, it's always bustling with white-collared folk who like to conduct their business in style. And now it boasts a brand new accolade: the highest tea in London. Serving up a fantastic array of aromatic teas alongside gourmet sandwiches such as ocean-fresh smoked salmon and fromage blanc on rye pumpernickel, small savoury bites and freshly baked scones with silky clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, we could quite happily work our way though the tiers of treats all afternoon. We’d recommend adding bubbles to your high altitude tea for that all-important flourish. After all, Champagne does goes so well with the view.
Food: 7, Service: 9, Atmosphere: 8
Centre Point, 101-103 New Oxford Street
+44 20 7420 2900
Open: 8am-1:30am Mon-Wed, 8am-2:30am Thurs-Fri, 11:30am-2:30am Sat, noon-4pm Sun