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One of three eating and drinking establishments atop the Walkie Talkie building, Fenchurch has recently transformed itself from a glitzy seafood restaurant into a contemporary bistro. Stylish modern European food now holds sway – best enjoyed at lunch, to relish the views. Navigating the lifts and airport-style security to gain entrance might leave you needing refreshment, so we’d recommend cocktails at the bar before taking a plush mustard-yellow seat near the window. The £50 six-course vegetarian tasting meal is great value, with dishes such as slow-cooked egg yolk, Parmesan toast and squash soup indicating chef Zac Whittle’s desire for a Michelin star. The carte is equally inventive, perhaps starting with an amuse of chopped raw mackerel and crunchy ‘scraps’ served in an oyster shell, followed by grilled red mullet, smoky braised octopus and crispy shards of ibérico ham with red-pepper sauce. Loin and sausage of venison pairs perfectly with a glass of Château Haut Pezat, although our pickled red cabbage seemed too tart. Fish remains a highlight, with the subtle flavours of poached Dover sole elevated by shrimp mousse and mussel cream. Yes, some dishes could have arrived hotter, but service is otherwise exemplary, helping make Fenchurch ideal for celebratory meals.
One chilling walk from the tube and an MI5 style security check later and I was in the lift shooting up towards the Walkie-Talkie’s infamous Sky Garden. The doors opened, I turned left and there it was – that notorious view. This ‘glasshouse’ offers spectacular 360 degree views of our city, through stunning yet daunting glass panes which span across the venue and comfortably house lusciously groomed greenery, two restaurants and a minimalist, sleek bar – the perfect place to begin an evening. Making my way over to meet my friend, I couldn’t help feeling that there was surprisingly a huge amount of intimacy within...
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The Sky Garden is one of the latest ways to enjoy a birds eye view of London. And it’s free!Unlike some of the other tall buildings of London, it’s not a gherkin-shaped office block with no public access nor a soaring pay-to-ascend tourist attraction. You don’t even have to book a table for dinner and drinks – you are welcome to enjoy the terrace and garden area completely free, as long as you book in advance.The Sky Garden is on the 35th floor of the building most commonly referred to as the Walkie Talkie, though personally I think it more closely resembles an old-school mobile phone.
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