25 June 2022

Midsummer drinks with
panoramic views on
Britain’s highest viewpoint

The 30 metre high, LED-lit stainless steel sun design circle on the Hotel La Tour in Milton Keynes was created to align with the sun on the longest day of the year (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Patrick Comerford

After walking through Campbell Park earlier this week to catch a glimpse of the midsummer sunset on Midsummer Boulevard in Milton Keynes, two of us went to Fourteen, the sky bar and restaurant on the top floor of the new Hotel La Tour, with its breath-taking views over Campbell Park and Central Milton Keynes.

As we made our way up to the 43-metre high top floor and the fourteenth-floor sky bar and restaurant, with its panoramic views, the panoramic lift gave us a unique visual experience.

On the top floor, Fourteen is Britain’s highest destination bar and restaurant, offering the highest viewpoint in the whole of the country. Soaring 50 metres above ground level, the 14th floor stylish all-day contemporary British restaurant – it offers 360-degree vistas over Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

The statement marble effect central bar, with high and low tables and plush green, grey, and pink seating, offers classic and contemporary cocktails, fine wines, champagnes, and locally sourced brews, as well as sharing plates and delicious bar bites.

Hotel La Tour opened in Milton Keynes in April, next to the Milton Keynes shopping centre, and the hotel stands tall overlooking the sights of the new city. The hotel is a 14-storey, split-tower, 50-metre-high concrete and steel framed building. It has 261 bedrooms, a 12,900 sq ft conference floor with meeting spaces, and an external terrace.

Every one of the 261 bedrooms and suites features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with views over either Milton Keynes Central or Campbell Park.

The hotel is located at the highest point of the new city. This prominent location led to the building undergoing an extensive stakeholder consultation, with real and significant changes to the design.

Hotel La Tour is a culmination to Midsummer Boulevard and a gateway sign to the city centre (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

The building form is a simple split tower, minimal in form and detail with mirror cladding, all capturing the classic forms of the city.

With this overall simplicity forming a screen, the east facing façade is dominated by a huge circle that is illuminated at night to form both a culmination to Midsummer Boulevard and a gateway sign to the city centre. This 30 metre high, LED-lit stainless steel sun design circle was created to align with the sun on the longest day of the year.

A large sculpture, ‘Cycloidal Form,’ by the artist Keith McCarter, stands adjacent to the canopy entrance.

The hotel was designed by pHp architects, a service led architectural practice with over five decades of experience in both the public and private sectors. The practice is led by three partners, supported by three directors, each with specialised roles. They are active in a number of sectors, with activity split across logistics, education, leisure, office and Industrial developments.

The project was completed in March 2022 and Hotel La Tour opened in April. The design used 3D design capabilities and this is the first building to meet the ‘Exceptional Developments’ policy in the Central Milton Keynes Alliance Plan (CMKAP).

Hotel La Tour is dedicated to enhancing and supporting the development of Milton Keynes, economically and environmentally, with its modern build emphasising sustainability from the ground-up and the creation of 180 local jobs.

Hotel La Tour’s managing director, Mark Stuart, is quoted as saying: ‘Encapsulating the town’s aspiration to be better by design, we have worked hard to create an aesthetically pleasing and sustainable building that delivers on luxury as well as functionality. We are committed to supporting the growth of Milton Keynes’ economy and this investment demonstrates our confidence in its strength.’

Midsummer drinks in Fourteen, Britain’s highest destination bar and restaurant (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

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