I had a lifestyle experience voucher to dine at the Helix restaurant in The Gherkin, one of London’s famous landmarks.
This is the type of place I wouldn’t normally go to. It is clearly not intended for families and the prices are steep. But since it was free, I thought “why not sample a bit of luxury?”
I have to say… it was a somewhat surreal experience. After going through strict security checks on the ground floor, we were shown to an elevator that only took us part of the way up the building.
After that came another ID check and additional lifts to take us up to the restaurant. It reminded me of the film, The Andromeda Strain. I guess it’s a sad reminder of the dangerous times we’re living in that such security measures are necessary.
Once we were up there, the restaurant was lavishly decorated and looked mildly festive.
The view was interesting simply due to how high up we were.
The view, however, was mostly of other buildings, which wasn’t particularly inspiring.
But I liked the fact that we were higher than the Sky Garden.
While the location was interesting, sadly the food was a letdown. Considering the price of each dish, this left me with one inescapable conclusion…
Rich people eat weird stuff.
I went for the Roast Norfolk cauliflower… a large slice of cauliflower with a couple of leeks in sauce. That was £25.
My wife went for the £39 lamb dish.
Along with the starters, I was surprised by how bland the dishes were. Although they were well presented.
The most enjoyable part of the meal was the cocktail.
I absolutely cannot fault Elle’s chocolate cocktail. It was delicious!
I had checked beforehand that it was okay to bring a baby and buggy. The restaurant confirmed by email that it would be fine and that they would make a note of it on the booking. Yet the staff seemed surprised when we walked in with our daughter, Robyn. They even moved us to another table at the back “because of the other guests.”
They’d initially sat us by the window with a great view but were obviously worried about CEOs having their £39 palm-sized chunk of lamb spoiled by the sounds of an adorable baby.
Overall, I can’t say I had a fun time here nor a good meal. But again… it was free so I can’t really complain.
So that’s my experience at the Helix. If you’re a city worker with no kids and tonnes of money, you may find some joy to be had here. Anyone else should probably avoid it.
Thanks for reading, folks!