I heart the gherkin!

I know ladies aren’t meant to divulge their age but…I’m celebrating a big birthday later this week, one that’ll make me older than 29 but younger than 31. A few weeks ago my friend Han asked me to keep Friday 24 September free and then said no more on the subject. I realised there was some form of birthday surprise plan being hatched but had no clue what until last weekend, when I was treated to a few tip tit bits…it was something that not everyone can do, involved all the things I love and required me to dress up smart…to be honest I was none the wiser! Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had a proper surprise, so until now I didn’t realise that I’m not very good at them…I’m far too much of a control freak. The only way to not drive myself insane was to force it to the back of my mind until the morning of Friday 24th, when I received a text from Han, telling me to meet her at a City bar at 6.15pm. I obeyed, put on my poshest frock and headed on down to Aldgate. I was greeted by 2 friends, which soon grew to a gang of 8! After a couple of drinks and some red herrings to try and throw me off the scent we left the bar. A few steps down the street they stopped and blindfolded me. I was led uncertainly, via a revolving door into a building, where we had to show ID, walk through a security arch and go up in 2 lifts! I still didn’t have any clue as to where I was but I was finally freed from my blindfold and this was the view that met me…

I was only in the bloody gherkin!

I absolutely love the gherkin and since moving to London have been dreaming of visiting the restaurant and bar at the very top! Unfortunately this was hampered by the fact that it’s private members only…but somehow my lovely friends made it possible for me! It felt like all of my Christmases had come at once! 

We drank champagne in the bar at the very top to begin with…I was in awe, as you can imagine the view was immense. My photo’s really don’t do it justice but I’ve safely stored it all in my memory banks!

If you look closely you can see St Pauls in the very centre…

Once my heart had stopped racing we were shown to our table on the floor below and given gorgeously fresh veggies and olive tapenade to nibble on whilst we perused the menu’s…

Han is our resident wine expert and together with the sommelier we were presented with the most perfect complimentary wine for each and every course!

Before the main event we were given a goats cheese and pea pre-starter …

I chose carpaccio and tartar of beef with aged balsamic and horseradish bavaroise for my starter…

I’d never had beef tartare but figured that if I was going to eat raw meat topped with a raw egg I’d rather do it in a smart restaurant. I was amazed! it was so well seasoned and tender, it just melted in my mouth!

For main I had pan roasted fillet of cod with chorizo, feta stuffed squid and roasted fennel…

it was divine and came with roasted new potatoes and runner beans…

The portions weren’t at all stingy and I savoured every mouthful!

Next up was a pre desert, which involved (green!) white chocolate mousse…

which was followed by a special birthday cold chocolate fondant with apricot, black pepper and blood orange sorbet…

I had to take this photo upside down and rotate it on the computer so as not to obscure the message with my shadow, a bit strange I know…but you get the idea…

and last but not least an array of petit fours…

The food alone was amazing, so the fact that every time I looked across the table and was subjected to the truly most amazing view over London and I realised I was dining in my favourite building and realising my dream, things couldn’t get any better! I felt like I was dreaming! I officially have the best friends ever and am feeling extremely special right now!

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