Ok, I didn’t exactly sneak more like booked a table…but still. The Gherkin has opened up their private members club for five weeks only over summer. Normally the top floors of the Gherkin are only the domain of people who can pay the £750 a year to be part of the club. So this is your chance, and I would snap it up because Searcys is beautiful.
To get to the restaurant was an experience in itself. I in fact did something I have never before done in London, I hailed a black cab. I know, I know – the black cab is a perfectly valid form of transport but in my head its only the sort of thing that rich people do. But when you are running late for a crazy expensive brunch what is £5 on a cool cab ride.
Arriving at the Gherkin you first have to show ID, sign in and go through security. Then you are guided into a private lift and taken to the 34th floor where you are greeted by two lovely ladies who guide you to another lift. This one takes you up to the 39th floor, the start of Searcys. At this point if you are lucky (I was) you will be taken up the finalstaircase to the top of the world, the 40th floor.
It is the most beautiful room I have ever had the pleasure to be in. If I were an evil overlord who had just taken over the city the 40th floor would be my bedroom. The entire room is class, with shiny floor tiles which just serve to reflect whatever is going on outside. I was there on a sunny day with a few clouds, and you really noticed when a cloud went over the sun – the entire room changed its mood. As the security guy said “when its raining you feel like you need an umbrella”.
The nice thing about the layout is that they actually have tables around the edge of the room, so you dine while looking out over London. I was lucky enough to be sat overlooking my favourite part of London, Tower Bridge, the Thames and the Tower of London – particularly moving with the sea of red poppies in the moat to commemorate WW1.
Oh and there was food in the room also, that is after all the entire reason I was there. The three course brunch menu was £35 and I’m going to be honest I was totally paying for the view (and happy to do so!). For the starter I went with the typical kiwi choice of eggs benedict, it was absolutely fine but when compared to the current level of brunch awesome in London it was nothing special.
The next course was the very ambitious Poisson, fondant, leek ash and saffron sauce. Again, it was fine. The chicken was a little dry and the potato was too dense and stodgy for my liking (especially for a three course brunch), but when looking out over the beautiful crazy that is London who cares what the chicken is like.
Final course was strawberries and cream, can’t go wrong with a classic and actually a really nice way to finish a heavy brunch.
I know I have rubbished the food a bit, but it was just not as good as the food on the ground at half the price. The view however? I would have paid the £35 to just sit in that amazing glass bubble for two hours.
If you can get a seat please please please book Searcys, a super special London experience.