The Gherkin, literally top of the London Clubs

We cannot think of anybody who would not wish to be a welcome insider within the spectacular London landmark that is the Gherkin. Who among us would not like to invite clients, colleagues, family, friends, bank manager or broker to share the pleasure? For one thing—leaving the delicious food, wines, cocktails and general bonhomie to one side for a moment—there is no more prestigious nor iconic contemporary address in London. To suggest holding your meetings at ‘The Gherkin’ in the City of London has limitless potential for one-upmanship: with its soaring views of the City, who could possibly fail to be so impressed as to back your latest wizard invention, invest in your new enterprise, or give you their blessing to marry their daughter?

Top of the London clubs, literally, Searcys The Gherkin is laid out in seemingly infinite space at the very apex of Norman Foster’s iconic architectural masterpiece, an integral part of the famous London skyline since 2004. Standing up here in the private top-floor bar almost 600ft high you have a 360-degree panorama that is breathtaking. Look east, to the Thames Barrage, the Olympic Stadium and Millennium Dome. Follow the Thames to Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Parliament and beyond. Below you, that other iconoclastic building, Lloyd’s of London. This panorama continues. Look up! As the light fades, the sky glows and then darkens into velvety night and twinkling stars, and the whole city lights up around you. All London is literally and figuratively at your feet.

The Gherkin is ordinarily open only to those who work in The Gherkin itself, to others holding a private membership costing some £900 per year plus £300 to join, to private parties and occasional public openings throughout the year. But the doors have been opened also to our Club Members. As a Member of CountryClubuk you are invited to use the private bar and restaurant, and to entertain your personal guests—all that is asked is that you book through our Member Services team in advance; security is understandably tight here. Everybody knows the City of London has plenty of closely guarded doors, but perhaps the most closely guarded of all belong to The Gherkin.

To get in, one must be on the day’s guest list and undergo airport-style security on the ground floor. Pass muster, and a silent lift transports you smoothly up The Gherkin, and into the even smoother Searcys Club operation. Searcys has an enviable reputation, and a prestigious list of venues including the Bank of England Club and the Hurlingham Club. None is quite so lofty in real terms as The Gherkin, and as a showcase operation the quality of the food and drink are of paramount importance. So, what might you enjoy in these fabulous environs, and when?

In the Bar, beneath the soaring all-glass apex, it is impossible not to stand and drink in the view. This is thirsty work. Refreshment will be required. Champagne springs to mind. The list of Champagnes, by the bottle and glass, is lengthy, as are the excellent wine and spirits lists, and, seemingly, every cocktail ever shaken, stirred or dreamed of. The prices are no more than usual in five-star London. It can be pointed out that a visit to the top of the Empire State Building costs $US90, without either privacy or so much as a glass of water.

As to lunch or dinner in the restaurant, every London landmark lies beneath you as you dine, and the food is suitably excellent, the menu changing with the seasons. The Gherkin being such a star attraction for private events, it is often booked and therefore unavailable. The Bar and Restaurant can both be booked as a whole for private occasions, as can other private rooms, which are ideal for important business meetings and they are more reasonably priced than one might think. If you would like to host your own private, or non-private gathering in the Gherkin, call us and all can be arranged!

30 St Mary Axe
London EC3A 8EP

To make your reservations (subject to availability), call Member Services on 020 7399 2960.