When you look at the London skyline there is one building you will recognise from it’s shape, but the name 30 St Mary’s Axe probably won’t mean anything to you. That’s likely because like most people you’ll know it by it’s colloquial nickname The Gherkin. One thing Londoners really love is giving our favourite, most unusually shaped skyscrapers nicknames. From the Aerosol to the Walkie Talkie, they are so ingrained we forgo their real names all together, and The Gherkin with it’s curved shape is a favourite among many. Recently I headed to this iconic building for cocktails and nibbles inside it’s beautiful sky bar.
The Gherkin has a renowned restaurant near the top of the building, what few people realise that on top of the restaurant, in the very top of the building, is a bar few know about. You get some of the best views of London all the way round this stunning bar. Normally you have to be a member to gain access to the bar but they do occasionally open it up to members of the public, keep an eye on their website for details. I was kindly invited along by my sister who’d booked us in a few weeks prior, you have to go through some enhanced security more akin to that of a small airport then a bar, and you are lead towards the elevators (make sure you bring I.D, everyone needs it to get into the building here). This area is rather spectacular and reminded me a more modern version of the interior of the Empire State Building. There are two lifts and a small set of stairs you need to take to get to the bar on the 40th floor, and these lifts really fly! Expect your ears to pop on the way up!
Arriving in the bar you are greeted by the spectacular surround views. Sitting there in the top of the dome you feel as though you are sitting in the clouds! Unfortunately we were initially given the worst seats in the house, facing the entrance and the complete opposite side from where the setting sun. Thankfully we were soon given a better space as soon as one became available. We were moved to a seat with beautiful view of The Themes and Tower Bridge and I of course I just had to walk around to get some shots of the sunset. It was crazy being thus high up and seeing helicopters looping round so close you felt like you could almost see the faces of the people on board. We ordered the Viva La Vida cocktail as we chatted and watch the city turn from day to night, there is something really magical about seeing the lights come on Tower Bridge bridge and seeing it become more and more spectacular as the sun goes down.
Our cocktail was just sweet enough with the tea flavours complementing it well. We also opted for the Charcuterie board to share and it at took us hours to get through it all, slowly nibbling away. The selection of meats was filling and tasty, although I did feel very hydrated after from all the cured meats, I was surprised by just how much we got.
We had a very relaxed time, sipping away and watching the view, ordering more delicious cocktails throughout the night. The cocktail menu isn’t what you’d find in other bars, everything is hand crafted and often a unique creation, no sex on the beach’s here!
It’s a gorgeous venue that’s defiantly worth a visit if you get the chance, my only slight complaint was the odd music choice seemed a little at odds with the vibe and the noise level was rather high, it wouldn’t be the best place to go on a first date as it’s pretty heard to hear. Other then that it’s an amazing venue. It’s defiantly a high end place to grab a cocktail, with prices ranging from around £11-£15 per cocktail . It’s out of my usual budget but it’s worth it for a special occasion for the views and the experience, I highly recommend it.
Have you ever visited The Gherkin?