One of my aims on this trip to London was to see some of the newer skyscrapers up close, and to have a special meal at one of them. The Gherkin and the Cheesegrater only offer public access and restaurants at the ground level, while the viewing platforms at the Shard offer only snacks. So, the choice was clear: Fenchurch Restaurant at the Walkie Talkie!
As regular readers know, Rom and I are (95%) vegetarian and we had a previous fine dining experience in London at the delightful Vanilla Black. We were ready to up the ante price-wise for a memorable occasion. I made a reservation for the 5-course vegetarian tasting menu weeks ahead of the visit. Happily it was a fine day and we enjoyed excellent views.
Tourists can book a time slot for a free visit to the two-story tropical garden at the top of the building (it has a café and a bar). At the time of our trip to London, all the spaces had been snapped up immediately when they were released online. During the high season, obtaining a drop-in time slot would be unlikely. With a restaurant reservation, we didn’t need a booking to visit the SkyGarden, and I felt both privileged and a little embarrassed when we were ushered to the front of the queue. From there, we took the high-speed elevator to the 35th floor. We arrived early to take in the views:
The garden area has a central column set back from the exterior windows. Here are located the elevators and restaurants. So, diners are enclosed in a glass-faced restaurant inside the glass-faced building. Depending on the seating, it is possible to receive panoramic views or not. We were fortunate to have good sight lines to the gardens and the city.
Since Rom doesn’t drink alcohol, I decided not to order the wine pairing menu. Perhaps the server was concerned when I started with a glass of inexpensive Prosecco, but I was redeemed in the sommelier’s eyes with my choice of a dessert wine later. Rom tried a non-alcoholic “gin” called Seedlip: who knew there was such a thing?
Fenchurch has a dedicated bread server who brought a selection of rolls three times throughout the meal.
The meal started with an amuse-bouche (pre-appetizer) which I believe was a potato velouté with crackling caramelized onions and basil oil:
This was followed by samples of two lovely salad starters:
Next were generous samples of two main courses:
We finished with a delicious fruit dessert and drinks:
The two-hour meal with attentive and unobtrusive service was a luxurious city break in an unparalleled setting. We loved it!
- Smart casual or better dress is required
- All visitors pass through security on the ground floor which includes x-rays and/or bag searches
- 5-course vegetarian sampler lunch was £45 pp ($75 Canadian) plus drinks and suggested service charge (tip) of 12.5%
See also their web site: https://skygarden.london/fenchurch-restaurant
This is not a sponsored post.
I would be interested in hearing about any special location / splurge meals you have enjoyed!