Gin cocktails, a Ploughmans sharing board and sunset views across London; what more could you want?
As soon as I saw the advert for Seaside in the Sky at Searcys at The Gherkin I wanted to go; Facebook targeted marketing got it right for once! I was drawn in with promises of cheese boards, cocktails and stunning views.
Seaside in the Sky was a pop-up bar collaboration between Nyetimber champagne and Plymouth Gin; the menu contained classic offerings from Nyetimber and exciting gin cocktails. Naturally, we went for the gin cocktails.
We started with Coral (served in the fish) which was Plymouth gin, tangerine, marmalade, sweet vermouth, agave syrup and rosemary. Described as well-balanced and refreshing yet complex I was really excited to try it but I was disappointed as I didn’t find it particularly refreshing and in truth, it was quite bland. On the right we have a Plymouth Gin Cup which was like a stronger and more refreshing Pimms – a definite stand-out winner in the cocktail stakes.
On to the food. Despite the lure of the cheese board we went for the Ploughmans sharing board. I love a Ploughmans sandwich so having it deconstructed and served to share was always going to be a winner for me.
The selection of cold meats was excellent; the apple was fresh and crisp, the piccalilli was absolutely divine and the crusty bread was perfect. I didn’t touch the deconstructed pork pie because I don’t like them, we didn’t get any pickled onions (my fave) but the cheese was delicious so I was happy.
Let’s take a minute to just marvel at the building itself. I’ve never really been a fan of The Gherkin, architecturally it isn’t my style but, as Searcys is usually members only, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get inside when given the opportunity.
Security is tight, you have to present ID and go through a metal detector before taking a lift to the 34th floor. Once there you take another lift up to the 39th floor where Searcys have a restaurant – and what looked like the most incredible panoramic views – before climbing a small flight of stairs to the 40th floor which is in the very top of the building. The views are incredible though somewhat obscured by other skyscrapers – Leadenhall Building I’m looking at you – but this doesn’t distract at all from the ‘wow’ factor at all.
We were really fortunate to be given a window table considering we’d booked a sunset slot but I was really super grateful that we were.
It was slightly overcast on Tuesday but the sunset was still awesome. I love watching the sun set and this year I’ve been really fortunate to see it set in some incredible places but there’s something so magical about watching the sun set over London and watching the City light up in response to the darkness.
The service was a little slow but I actually enjoyed it, nothing felt rushed which only added to the summer vibe – there’s no need to rush anything during the summer!
One final foray into the cocktail menu resulted in an Elisa Day: Havana Especial, Earl Grey, raspberries and elderflower liqueur. I really enjoyed this, it was lovely and fruity and I wish I’d ordered it first!
One final picture of the view – we were so close to The Shard – and it was time to go home. The bill came to less than £90 including service which I think was really reasonable. The whole thing was such a good experience and the venue was incredible, I fully recommend going if you get the chance.
Unfortunately Seaside in the Sky closes today but it’s my understanding that Searcys hold regular open evenings and if you get the opportunity you should definitely go. Next time they open their doors to the public I’d like to go to the restaurant, the views looked incredible!
A random point: I’m petrified of heights and whenever I go to The Shard I suffer really bad vertigo but I was absolutely fine at The Gherkin, I think it’s because you’re surrounded by other tall buildings so you get a greater perspective whereas at The Shard you’re so high up and nothing is as tall so it really messes with my head!