While living in London I thought I’d treat myself and set myself a challenge at the same time. The challenge has been to eat at the highest restaurants in London. This is the fourth ‘high’ restaurant I’ve been to and the 3rd Highest in London.
Fenchurch Restaurant is situated on the 37th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street. There is another restaurant in the building however this is the highest.
After being dropped off outside the front of the building, it didn’t take long for us to find the restaurant/bar entrance at the back. It is clearly marked so although the building looks shut, it is only the office part that was closed due to the late hour. Once inside we were greeted by reception who directed us to security where we were scanned through metal detectors. It is good to know that security is tight when you visit tourist places. A weird start to the day involved the security man, after scanning us and our bags, rushing to get in the lift and not hold it for us before zipping up to the 35 floor. There are two lifts, but the other one was on floor 35 so we would have to wait for it to come down. A small annoyance but it was more of a really strange thing for the security guard to do. Made weirder still by the fact when we did arrive at the 35th floor, he was just chatting and laughing with some other security people. I have not experienced this behaviour before so it certainly stood out. Why did he rush infront of us and why did he not wait for us, the paying customers? Never mind.
We were on the 35th floor and here they had the ‘SkyGarden’. This is a collection of trees and plants as well as a lovely looking bar with tables around. This bar had excellent views and was much more spacious than the one at Hutongs in The Shard. We were directed to another lift and THIS lift took us straight to the 37 floor. Only two stops but it was the only button to press so we had no choice. Out of the lift and we were greeted by a lovely lady in reception who took our coats and handed us over to the floor manager to be seated.
Within no time at all our waiter appeared and introduced himself. He took our drinks order and told us about the special starter they had – braised Ox cheek. While he went to get our drinks we were delivered some handmade bread. I chose the focaccia and also some of the thyme roll they had. Both were still warm and served with some home-made butter. Our table had been booked for quite a late hour, and seeing as I’d had lunch nearly 10 hours earlier, I was grateful for the bread! Our waiter came back with our drinks and took our orders.
The starters we had were Game Ragout and I decided I must try the Ox Cheek. For the main-course we were both undecided so we decided to share the Beef Rib. This was a main course for 2 people and would be served with triple cooked chips, a salad and their special Mac & Cheese. I also asked the Waiter if he could get the barman to make us some nice cocktails, entirely of his choosing. The waiter said sure and off he went.
While we waited for our starters we were amazed by the views from our seats. We were sat right next to the window – we could have had one of the tables on the ‘inside’ which still have a view but only past the window tables. From our seats we had an amazing view of one of the most iconic buildings in London – St. Paul’s Cathedral. The barman came over with our specially made cocktails and talked us through them. One of them was passion fruit based with fresh chilli and the other was raspberry based with cranberries. They were both out of this world! A short while later our starters arrived. I nearly ordered the ragout myself but I’m so glad I had the ox cheek. The meat was so tender and it was served with an amazing puree. The person I was eating with enjoyed their starter but was happy that I’d shared mine – it was so good!
Once the starters had been cleared away we were served the main course. A rib of beef is always a wonderful meal to share with someone and this was no exception. The meat had been pre-cut (as expected) however I did feel their ‘medium-rare’ was much closer to ‘rare/blue’. I guess they agreed with me also as the meat had been then cooked on one side of each slice. Not a huge issue for either of us however it did scare off my dining partner as they are much more of a fan of medium than rare meat. I’ve eaten a rib of beef served like this in a few places, and never has it then been cooked again on one side. I presume this was a ‘cooking style’ of the chefs rather than a cooking mistake. At least that is what I’d hope!
The beef was served with Triple cooked chips that were like jenga blocks! I was worried these would be not cooked properly in the middle – sometimes this happens in pubs that offer triple cooked chips but don’t really know how to do them properly. I need not have been worried. They were lovely and crispy on the outside, while remaining fluffy on the inside. We had a huge bowl of a pre-dressed leafy salad to share and two individual portions of their truffled mac & cheese. The salad was a little too dressed for my liking but the truffled macaroni cheese was heavenly. It complemented the steak well. I rarely have a side order of sauce when I eat steak but this one came with béarnaise. Every time I have béarnaise sauce I can never quite remember why I don’t always have it. It’s so lovely and helped to give another layer of flavour to the beef-rib.
By the time we had finished we were both stuffed. As much as I wanted to try a dessert, neither of us had the room for even sharing one. We asked for the bill and it was brought over. I noticed that the cocktails were missing. Being far too honest for my own good, I called over our waiter and explained the missing drinks. He then told us that the barman offered us the drinks for free so there was nothing for us to pay on them. The total bill for two starters, the shared beef chop and all our drinks PLUS the tip came to just over £100. We both agreed that this is one of the best high-up meals we’ve had in London and it blew both Duck & Waffle and The Shard out of the water.
Outside it was dark. There was no rain and London city was illuminated by the moon and the lights of cars and offices. We left our table and took the steps down to the Sky Garden where we could see the River and the Tower of London. Everything looked peaceful and we reminded ourselves how lucky we are. We live in the greatest city in the world and there is so much more to explore.
If you are in London and fancy eating high up then do try Fenchurch @ The Sky Garden. It’s actually not much more than dinner anywhere nice in London but you will get a view that not many people have shared.
Have you eaten at a ‘high’ restaurant anywhere? Where was it and what did you eat? Leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.