The place is just gorgeous, and is my kinda spot for lunch. A chilled yet vibrant atmosphere with décor that has the right amount of luxury without feeling stuffy. Our birthday celebrations with champagne were perfectly at home among the tables of business lunches and family outings. It couldn’t be part of the Sky Garden without having a serious botanical influence in the design, and they nailed it. I think I actually enjoyed the experience more because it was raining: we looked out from the terrace to a rather moody London skyline and was grateful that we could enjoy all the sensory experiences of al fresco dining in a warm, cosy restaurant. Check out my thoughts on their menu below.
Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden
Eat and drink at the Sky Garden, the very top of 20 Fenchurch Street, London:
The famous enlarged glass dome of 20 Fenchurch Street is dedicated to three storeys of exquisitely landscaped public gardens and London’s most exclusive social spaces, including observation decks and an open air terrace.
Smoked ham hock & chicken terrine honey & mustard mayonnaise with grilled sourdough
Pastrami cured Scottish salmon pickled fennel, taramasalata & rye melba toast
Imam Bayildi (v) black olive crumb, crème fraîche & grilled sourdough
Roast goodwood estate pork belly borlotti beans, girolles & roasting juices
Smoked haddock colcannon, poached egg & mustard butter
Golden beetroot gnocchi (v) grilled aubergines, wild rocket & Pecorino
Berry salad, Champagne jelly & mint granite
Egg custard tart & yorkshire rhubarb compote
Chocolate bar & Jivara ganache with banana ice cream
Selection of 5 british Isle cheeses
There were two slightly overlapping lunch menus available, with our party choosing a mixture of the à la carte lunch menu and the set lunch menu. Depending on how thirsty you are, you can come away from the Darwin Brasserie having had a full three courses and your wallet only £40 lighter. Not bad for a lunch in town.
This is an example of their set lunch menu. I wasn’t fussed about any of the starters here so opted for seared mackerel with beetroot slaw, spring onion and cucumber oil. The oil was a nice touch; it was delicate yet zesty and complimented the fish beautifully without overwhelming the palatte. I had the pork belly to follow, which was gloriously juicy and tender as all good bellies of pork should be! The portions were generous, and quite frankly, I absolutely did not need a dessert.
So of course I had the chocolate bar: a seriously rich, huge layer of smooth milk chocolate ganache sat on a crumbly base. The roast banana ice cream was delicious and made a delightful pairing with the richness of the chocolate. All in all, a fabulously satisfying dining experience.
If I’m honest, these dishes could have been found anywhere across town. It was a very traditional brasserie menu, with no surprises; should I have gone for the salmon starter and steak for mains, I could have been eating almost anywhere. But I wasn’t – I was dining in a garden in the sky, whilst peering over the Thames and the rooftops of London. It really was fun and truly breathtaking, even through the clouds. If you fancy something a little different for your next brunch (and you’ve already done the Shard, like, 3 times now) you definitely need to book a table at the Sky Garden.
Where’s your favourite London lunch spot?