11 September 2014

Searcys at The Gherkin (St Marys Axe)

Jaw-dropping views of the London skyline, watching the sun dip below the horizon as Twilight creeps across the city. This evening was quite literally the high life - and well worth the 3 days I had spent ill in bed, affording me the time to stumble across the brief window of public bookings available in St Marys Axe (known to one and all as the Gherkin).


I have been dreaming of getting inside this modern marvel ever since I lived in London. Strategising the best way to avoid 4-hour queues on London's Open House, trying to see what strings I could pull with the many people I knew and just wishing I had the kahunas to wander up to the security desk pretending we had a booking, all whilst knowing none of it would work. Who could have thought that all it would take was a well timed wander into the incredible world of Twitter on an auspicious afternoon?




An exclusive members club, Searcys Restaurant/bar sits at the pinnacle of the glass faced Gherkin, normally a haunt reserved for rich and well-connected businessmen; a place to take clients for schmoozing and wooing them out of contracts, deals and their hard earned cash. For 5 weeks this summer the restaurant was taking bookings for brunch or dinner, and weirdly allowing the public through the hallowed doors. Somehow we managed to book in. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore Twitter?


When the day finally arrived (after a morning wandering through Lavender fields) walking out of Liverpool Street station I could almost have cried. It was raining. Big fat raindrops from the moody grey sky. All that waiting and wishing, only to end up feeling like we'd be sitting under an enormous glass umbrella.

Luckily, with the promised popped of a celebratory champagne cork (who says champagne isn't magic?) the sun peeked her face out over the capital.




We were usherd into the building, through a series of lifts before being seated in front of spectacular views. The food, it was good. Gourmet quality (I chose the pork and apricot terrine, then lamb whilst Mr Kiwi opted for a deconstructed Waldorf Salad, and cod) we enjoyed our meal and the attentive service was lovely, but they were simply overwhelmed by the gorgeous view of dusk settling over London.



Cheesy, I know, sorry!




Dessert was a hurried affair of Honeycomb parfait with pistachio cake (light on the palate) accompanied with a deconstructed cheesecake that puzzled my Mr Kiwi) as we had been invited to take our coffee upstairs on the mezzanine floor, with 360' views of London.


Coffee may have transmogrified itself into a crisp glass of New Zealand Sav Blanc or two, whilst we subtly tried to soak in every single aspect of the breathtaking view.




Then, only then did the sun decide to set. The twisting Thames River, the wild East End, gleaming skyscrapers in the City, Tower bridge, the Cheesegrater, the Shard & Walkie Talkie, St Paul's Cathedral and lights of buildings slowly coming to life.




The most breathtaking view of London, hands down.



London, I have fallen in love all over again.


24 comments :

  1. This looks so amazing. If I'm ever back in London I have to try and time it right so I can go.

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  2. Seriously beautiful. And the food doesn't look too shabby either! x

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  3. So beautiful!! I had to cancel my reservation in the end :( but so great to see it through your eyes!

    Lots of love,

    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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  4. I was one of those people who waiting in a queue for 3 hours at Open House London last year just to get inside. Really wish I'd been able to do it your way instead! At least it was worth the long wait.

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  5. Not cheesy - that photo of you is gorgeous! I'm so glad you've started including more of yourself in your blog posts! Your pictures are fab, too, by the way!

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  6. What an amazing view and such an interesting building!! I'm glad you got to experience this!

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  7. Wow what a cool building with an excellent view!

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  8. Wow that a view, I think my food would get cold taking it all in!

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  9. I always wondered how people managed to get up to the top of the Gherkin! Now I know :)

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  10. How lucky you were in the right place at the right time for reservations. Completely worth it! I agree with Sarah, that picture of you is really lovely!

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  11. I still can't really believe we were allowed in! Awww, shucks!

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  12. We barely noticed the (perfectly nice) meal.

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  13. One that I clearly need to learn for my next holiday in London!

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  14. It is stunning, and not bad for a skyscraper!

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  15. We were totally starstruck (unlike another couple dining in sweat gear (!))

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  16. But, I think it is absolutely worth it - the only reason keeping us last year was queuing outside Battersea Power Station and having scheduled holidays that weekend the two years prior *sigh*!

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  17. That is such a shame - the views are incredible - but life has to take precedence!

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  18. It was stunning - I was a mop of disappointment when we first arrived...

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  19. I too had missed the previous year because of holiday. The Gherkin was the main thing I wanted to see though so it was worth it. I am really keen to check out some of the open buildings again this weekend but I hope to avoid any more 3 hour queues!

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  20. Go early, early, early! Or, volunteers usually get to skip the queues in return for a few hours helping out :)

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  21. Eeep what gorgeous photographs! We have just booked a room here for my work team's Christmas party and now I'm even more excited!

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