London. Home to some of the most incredible architecture, design & landscapes. The problem is that for the most part, you cant see it as every square inch is blocked in by buildings… To see it, you need to head up… No, I mean high up.
It is rare that I am instantly wowed by a view, but sure as Vegans and Tofu, this seemed to do it.
It has been said that my obsession with The Shard and London landscape is borderline (totally over the line) weird, and so you can imagine the jaw-dropping moment that the lift doors opened to an uninterrupted view of this building. Ok thats weird even for me.
If the 37th floor, 360 degree view isn’t enough (We should probably address your levels of expectation in life) then there is the Sky Garden – three storeys of exquisitely landscaped public gardens.
Suspended over the Gardens is the Fenchurch restaurant.
From the outside, it looks like a Hunger Games observation room. From the inside, it is cool, clean and has an un-compromised view of London with a periphery view of the bar and gardens… Again, a bit like the Hunger games with cocktails in place of Axes.
The restaurant has west-facing views of the capital and well designed mustard, cream and dark wood interiors.
Should you want to share this with a group (Lucky buggers) then you should check out the Viñoly Room, their private dining room for up to 16 guests. This has views of pretty much everything and everyone and is perfect for a get together or my next birthday incase you were offering.
We had the 6 course tasting menu designed by Zac Whittle (previously of Conran, Galvin) with wine pairing. The Head sommelier Alexandru Pastrav (Harvey Nichols, Penny Hill Park) has hand selected the wines. My god, would I recommend this.
One of my highlights was definitely the Chopped mackerel pickled cockles, sea herbs & oyster cream. If you like seafood, (or if you’re selective about your seafood) this dish ended up being my favourite in presentation and flavour.FYI, it also is garnished with little crispy batter scraps that are seriously more-ish.
The dish was served with the Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett, Paulinshof, Mosel, Germany, 2011. Usually, I would steer clear of a Riesling (it has an unfair rep that I do not tend to help) but this was well chosen by the sommelier to compliment the seafood.
I also need to give some serious praise to the Highland Game Ragout with Chestnuts and Cranberries. Why? Because this tasted like a little bowl of Christmas, (providing your christmas is incredibly lavish and features Scottish venison of course).
I mean, if you were a deer, then this would be your crowning glory ambition. It was served with the Chinon Tradition, Pierre Sourdais, Loire 2013 which was delicious and met with what has become known as my “wide-eyed, duck pout” (aka Great).
This is sometimes substituted for a Rabbit Bolognaise. Its all about seasonal/available produce people.
For the fish lovers, we also had the Cornish Turbot with summer vegetable broth, mussels & seaweed and served with the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc “Clos La Roquète”, Rhône Valley, 2013.
This was light enough to leave you room for the fantastic Loin and Sausage of Venison with Pickled Red Cabbage, pear and juniper. Being quite the juniper veteran with my years of service to Gin, it was a welcomed addition to the dish.
The deconstructed Clementine cheesecake was incredibly well received by my guest. I have never been a fan of orange flavoured desserts, but even I was pretty impressed with the cheesecake and use of sorrel. Yes. Sorrel.
Finally, the Glazed peanut & chocolate bar with banana yoghurt ice cream is every bit as insanely good as it sounds. These 3 things are like cat-nip to me and I can safely guarantee that you will love this, (providing you dont have a lethal nut allergy).
In addition to the wine pairing, we also enjoyed a Pouligny Montrachet. Like, really enjoyed.
After dinner, take the scenic route (the open stairs) through the garden and down to the bar and grab yourself a windowseat cocktail. *Enter a million selfies.
I am a total sucker for a view, and this one in particular is beyond. Nothing quite beats a birds-eye view, of a Birds-eye view.