London is now full of high-end dining with sky-high spectacular views – The Shard, Heron Tower, The Gherkin to name a few. Tonight was all about 20 Fenchurch Street or rather the Walkie Talkie as it’s affectionately known. So off we trotted through the airport like security and whizzed up to the heady heights of the 35th floor Sky Garden.
Out of the lift you immediately step into a huge hanger like space surrounded by glorious views of the city. Flanked either side are banks of greenery or the so-called gardens. The story goes that originally a park became the ground on which the huge skyscraper was built. The council insisted a public garden remained, so the developers built one at the top. It’s probably the reason why it’s free to head up to the 35th floor – and hang out in the Starship Enterprise sipping a drink from the Sky Pod and taking in the breathtaking skyline.
However, free comes at a price too – a queue!
The dreaded queue scenario can be averted if you have a reservation at either of the two restaurants. In which case you will be whisked through faster than Captain Kirk. As luck would have it we were indeed dining at Fenchurch that evening…
The restaurant is located in a suspended glass pod on the 37th floor, which you have to climb up to.
Not that you’ll complain as it’s rather lovely meandering through the tropical plants and palms.
The dining space is kitted out in black, brown and gold and emanates a very elegant and sophisticated vibe. You’d think being two floors higher your view would be amazing. Wrong. Oddly enough the views are all obscured, which is disappointing considering you’re sitting in the most expensive restaurant in the building. Unless you like steel roof girders. There are plenty of those and all very Instagram worthy.
We started with a refreshingly tasty amuse-bouche of chicory, cheese, fried sourdough and chives. Down in one, I wanted more.
My starter was a colourful plate of heritage tomato and cottage cheese (£11.50). The added surprise of sweet peach, not mentioned on the menu added a wonderful contrast. Summer in a bowl.
Mr S went for the Jerusalum artichoke soup served with buttermilk brioche and truffle butter (£10.50). It smelt and looked divine. He ate it so quick, I didn’t even get a look in.
My main of broccoli with potato, hazelnut and olive (£18.00) was perfectly cooked. The different textures along with the flavours had me scraping my plate clean.
The roast cod with cockle risotto and parsley (£24.50) Mr S informed me was ‘well executed.’ Between mouthfuls I got the words ‘Fresh,’ ‘tangy’ and ‘perfectly all’ando’ (in other words – perfectly cooked and seasoned risotto).
We decided to share the pud, a bitter chocolate fondant with banana ice-cream and honeycomb (£11.50). Ending the evening on gooey chocolately high note.
All in all it was a pricey but fantastic meal. Also as a vegetarian it was a delight to see how well catered for herbivores are in an establishment which markets itself as a seafood bar and grill. The vegetarian tasting menu looked amazing, I just wasn’t hungry enough to go for it this time around. There’s always a next time!
The Sky Garden is definitely worth a visit even if you don’t venture into the restaurants. Did I mention it’s free? Not bad when you consider what it costs to go up The Shard. It took us a while to even head out, as the changing light had us gawping at the magnificent skyline again.
Have you been to the Sky Garden? What did you think? Let me know in the comments box below.
Fenchurch | 20 Fenchurch Street | London | EC3M 8AF
Have you been to the Sky Garden? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below or at:
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