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Awaken the Senses and Practise Wellbeing with Searcys at the Gherkin
A lunch menu from Bake Off finalist Ruby Bhogal combined with the opportunity to dine at the top of one of London’s great architectural landmarks promised a special experience. Searcys at The Gherkin has been running a series of chef and wellness events to celebrate ‘The Art of Being’. There’s an all-female line-up of artists, cooks and yogis each sharing their own take on how to live life to the full. In addition to Ruby Bhogal’s lunch menu, there is a supper club and Q&A hosted by renowned nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, watercolour classes in collaboration with artist-in-resident, Clotilde Lataille and biweekly panoramic yoga classes with Yogasphere.
The experience of making our way to the top of The Gherkin and appreciating the architecture gave us a hint of what was to come. We were wowed by the views across London when we arrived in the restaurant which set the scene for a delicious lunch.
My companion worked in the city and was quickly and happily obsessed with pointing out places she recognised, seeing them from a different angle.
We kicked off lunch with some champagne. (Shush! My dry January just became a moist one). But, how could we not celebrate such a special place?
I follow a gluten-free diet and, on request, the most excellent gluten-free bread was conjured up. (A small but important test of a good restaurant)
Ruby’s menu celebrates seasonal and ethically-sourced ingredients which she says is inspired by her childhood. The three-course lunch menu has a good choice and as a gluten-free diner I was impressed with the care the waiter took to reassure me that I was able to eat so much of it.
Jerusalem artichoke soup with a Burford brown egg was my choice of starter. A delicate yet hearty soup, ideal for the cold winter day. As always, how a simple dish is served is essential to the experience. I wasn’t disappointed here. The dish arrived with the egg in the centre and the soup was poured from a small pan over the egg, an amazing contrast of flavours in a silken soup.
My companion’s choice was the salt baked beetroots, goat’s cheese, pumpkin seeds with a caper dressing. Stunning to look at, the dish contained a vibrant selection of different coloured heritage beetroot. Goat’s cheese was full flavoured and smooth, contrasting beautifully with the sharp and fresh taste of the beets.
The third choice on the menu was a seashore cocktail, green apple, crab cracker.
For main I chose pot-roast guinea fowl and turnips in a winter broth. Perfectly cooked, the guinea fowl was moist and the dish as a whole had a good balance of flavours with the turnips shining through.
My companion’s choice was Cornish cod loin, kohlrabi and steamed mussels. A lighter option, this was nevertheless pleasantly warming. For vegetarians, there was a baked squash, barley, apple, sprout hearts and walnuts.
To accompany our dishes, Hispi cabbage and Vichy carrots. Lightly cooked and al-dente, with a delicate char on the cabbage, these were fresh and full flavoured.
Giving a nod to her baking passion, Ruby’s puddings consisted of a deliciously indulgent Chocolate and coffee fondant. I made the mistake of letting my companion have this, thinking it might not be gluten-free! It was clear why Ruby was so successful on Bake Off as the fondant was divine, accompanied by an almond honey biscuit. On serving, we were told it was all gluten free so I could have some too!
I opted for a health-conscious option, Pineapple carpaccio, garnished with agave syrup, black pepper, fresh chilli and mint. I was not disappointed as it was light, fresh and packed full of flavour.
There is a good selection of drinks and wines and we accompanied our meal with a detox cocktail, Fresh Start, with ginger in an attempt to be healthy. It was delicious.
The perfect end to our lunch was fresh mint tea and chocolates.
There’s something very special about sitting here, so close to the windows, watching the low winter sun shining through the sky scrapers of London’s city.
We finished with a trip up to the Iris Bar right at the top of The Gherkin where you can really appreciate the architecture of the roof and the views across London.
The Helix Restaurant at The Gherkin exudes an atmosphere of casual elegance and the view itself from the lofty heights of The Gherkin is an experience well worth the visit.
So go ahead and take in the magnificent London skyline whilst you enjoy a three-course lunch by Bake Off’s Ruby Bhogal at The Helix restaurant, Searcys at The Gherkin.
Available through to 10th February 12 pm – 2 pm
£45 for 3 courses plus a drink
0330 107 0816
Disclosure – We were guests of Searcys at The Gherkin.