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Given the unique location of this restaurant (the Gherkin is one of the few iconic restaurant locations in London), we were so looking forward to trying the Sunday Brunch at the Gherkin four course menu at Helix, the Searcys’ restaurant located right at the very top of the building, split over the top two floors.
Sunday Brunch at the Gherkin
Upon arrival we had to clear security first (x-ray machines and all), and then we were ushered up to the 34th floor, to get another lift up a few more levels. We were greeted by a member of staff to say service was running a little behind, which was fine was we got to experience the upstairs Iris bar (arguably a better vantage point than the restaurant as it is a 360 view right at the top, beneath the apex / glass dome).
It had been pouring with rain all morning so we were very fortunate that the sun started shining just as we arrived for brunch and we had a brief moment of beautiful blue skies!
About 30 minutes later, we were finally taken downstairs and shown to our table. We were definitely one of the ‘luckier’ set of diners to get a prime window seat – about two thirds of the tables are seated a bit further away.
The restaurant is actually a lot smaller than we expected, taking up around a third of the floor (I guess you’d call the resulting views 120 degrees). We had pre-booked the four course brunch menu served with a glass of champagne – £45 each plus service.
We were seated around 3pm and by this time of day (the last session of brunch), some of the courses were not available so we had to make alternative choices. For the first course we shared a small platter of breads and a few pastries, plus a tall glass of Perrier-Jouet champagne each.
For the second course we opted for a cold meat platter which was plentiful but average quality (less and more quality would be better), and the smoked salmon which was delicious.
For our mains (the third course), we chose the Eggs Arlington (poached eggs and smoked salmon on top of a muffin with hollandaise sauce), and the Bavette steak with red wine sauce and a fried egg on sourdough. Both dishes were really nice and easily the best course so far.
For dessert, we opted for the chocolate ganache tart and eton mess. The eton mess had next to no meringue and was pretty much all cream, likely due to the end of a busy brunch session. The chocolate ganache however was really yummy.
As for the service, it started off well if not a little chaotic (for example they asked us for our name on three separate occasions whilst we were waiting for a table), but then petered out after the main course. It was very frustrating that we had to wait around 30 minutes for someone to take our dessert order after our main dishes had been taken.
All in all, this is worth a visit purely for the location, although based on the underwhelming food and service, we’d likely opt to just go for a drink at in the Iris bar next time.
You can book this 4 course Sunday Brunch at the Gherkin and glass of champagne by clicking on this link. Time slots are only available between 11am – 3pm, and costs £45.00 per person.
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Blog post written by Neil Hassall and Caroline Keyzor.
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