I have often wondered what it would be like to visit The Gherkin (after taking multiple shots with it in the background from the Heron Tower), so what better opportunity to experience it during the summer when it was transformed into a luxurious and idyllic Moroccan Sky Riad – a pop-up that took inspiration from Le Fondouk and Le Comptoir Darna restaurants in Marrakech.
Normally a strictly-operated private members’ bar, Searcy’s at the top in the glass domed roof of the iconic Gherkin have never opened to the public, so this was a chance to gain exclusive access to this impressive and breathtaking space, where we got to experience 360 degree, unparalleled views of London.
Making our way from the station through the wind and rain, we eventually found the entrance and went through a security check before ascending up 180 metres to the 40th floor.
We were sat by the benches along the side where we had a view overlooking the River Thames and Tower Bridge, and a slightly hazy view of The Shard in the distance. The weather was probably not what we had hoped for, but it was still pretty stunning.
Our reservation was for the Deluxe Cocktail Mezze which included a cocktail and a selection of savoury and sweet dishes. We both chose a couple of sweet and fruity cocktails to kick-start our afternoon:
Hindi Zahara – Scotch whisky, Benedictine, sumac, lime and pineapple
Bgheet Neshreb (Give me a drink) – Orange marmalade, Martini rosato, black cardamom and prosecco
Not long after, our first tray of savoury bites arrived. Khobez flat bread was used for the sardine open sandwiches, spread with spice tomato. The smoky baba ganoush came with pieces of crisp pitta whilst the homemade falafel was served with a tahini dip – there was however a slight bitter aftertaste that we were not too fond of. In the centre was a bowl of chickpea salad with tomatoes, dates, coriander and onion.
My favourite amongst them has got to be the Harissa chicken which had a slight hint of spiciness and was served on delicious mini saffron scones.
We then moved on to the sweet delights, starting with some small glasses of pomegranate jelly, followed by the sweet and fragrant rose Turkish delight tartlets. The little dome-shaped dessert had lovely flavours of yogurt, cherry and pistachio. My favourite was the saffron and orange blossom choux which was really light with a luscious creamy centre.
We ordered some additional pots of tea to warm up as it was a bit chilly that day. I did enjoy my Saffron tea, although I must say that as pretty as these teapots look, they really are quite hot to touch!
The food portions were clearly quite small so we did feel quite peckish after we had finished, but overall we both had a pleasant and fun afternoon.
Now I should really start planning that long overdue trip to Marrakesh soon…anyone fancy coming along?
The Cheekster, signing out x