Searcys, well known to Barbican residents for running the Osteria and Bonfire restaurants at the Barbican Centre, has relaunched its private members’ club at the iconic Gherkin skyscraper on St Mary Axe, as a public restaurant and bar called Helix and Iris.
The Gherkin was the building that first changed the landscape of the new London skyline. And now it is reasserting its architectural worth as well as its culinary credibility in the face of its new sky-high neighbours.
On levels 39 and 40 of London’s iconic Norman Foster-designed building, Searcys at the Gherkin relaunches with a re-imagined dining and bar concept – Helix and Iris, opened to the public on July 13th.
Helix restaurant will offer sky-high contemporary dining at both lunch and dinner with majestic views across the city. A proud celebration of British produce in one of London’s finest landmarks, Executive Chef Daniel Loftin, previously head chef at Royal House London and Peninsula Restaurant, will deliver menus that put seasonal and local produce centre stage.
Alongside the restaurant, the new bar Iris will open these epic 360° views to the public for the very first time. Previously the site of a members-only club, Iris is open to all and will offer an extensive cocktail menu as unique as the setting, paying homage to the London sights and neighbourhoods that can all be spied below from the Gherkin’s distinctive position.
Perched high above the city, this elegant, contemporary space combines big-sky views and intimate dining. Helix’s menus focus on celebrating seasonality and the best ingredients available in the British Isles, keeping Searcys’ commitment to sustainability and quality at its heart. Salmon comes directly from John Ross Jr, holders of the Queen’s warrant, in Scotland, all fruit and vegetables are sourced from the UK, and meat is locally and lovingly selected from some of the country’s finest farms.
Menu highlights include; English green asparagus, Dorset crab, grapefruit, soy and sesame and Rhug Estate Welsh lamb with bell peppers, aubergine, courgette, pepper and pine nuts.
IRIS BAR: The eye of the City
Open to the public daily for the very first time, guests are able to reserve a space in the Iris bar from 11am to 11pm. Searcys’ expertise in exquisite champagne, English sparkling wine and cocktails, alongside unrivalled London views, make every visit to the Iris bar a celebration.
The unique cocktail menu draws inspiration from its very special view. Head Mixologist Federico Geniale has overseen the list, which will include, The Little White Bird, inspired by the Kensington Gardens, with its Peter Pan associations (Violet liqueur, vanilla vodka, lychee, elderflower, lemon and English sparkling wine), whilst the Jack the Ripper (Mediterranean herbs vodka, beetroot juice, tomato, lemon, Worcester sauce, Mexican sauce), a dark local twist on the Bloody Mary, references Whitechapel’s most famous former visitor.
The new names derive from the Gherkin’s structure itself, the helix shape which is the pinnacle of the building is an iconic sight, visible across the city. Less well known, is that when viewed from above it forms an iris shape – designed by Foster to reflect the Gherkin’s place as the eye over the city.
Opening hours: Helix lunch service: 12pm – 2.15pm, Helix dinner service: 6pm – 9pm
Iris Bar: 11am-11pm. Web: www.searcysatthegherkin.co.uk
This one-of-a-kind venue is also available for event bookings, including weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. Both Iris and Helix require bookings in advance. No walk-ins.