The Handbook
The Handbook

If we sultrily whispered the words: rooftop, gin and exclusive, to Londoners, chances are they’d get a little flustered. You can keep your 50 Shades of Grey stuff, in London what gets us really going is the chance to drink gin and get an Instagram of that #ViewOfLondon – don’t judge.

It’s why ‘Seaside in the Sky’ at The Gherkin is so popular and it’s why you need to hurry up and book yourself in. Normally only open to members, Searcys at The Gherkin and the bar are now open to the public until the 1st September. Inspired by our coastline, the pop-up is serving a menu of British classics, Nyetimber English sparkling wine and Plymouth Gin cocktails – you can either head to the Coastline restaurant on the 39th floor or go right up in the gods on the 40th floor at the Beach Hut Bar, as we did.

Arriving at 8pm just as the sun was setting, it’s got date night written all over it – you’re going to get your snaps and impress your date, you just have to hope the sun shines, although, chances are it’s going to be very atmospheric if it does rain. Throughout are nods to the British seaside with pink candy stripes, wooden beach huts, pebbles, drift wood, an old boat and deckchairs.

To drink we suggest the Coral – served in a vessel shaped like a fish it’s made from Plymouth gin, tangerine, orange marmalade, sweet vermouth, agave syrup and rosemary – refreshing and not too sweet. To eat, it’s all about the best our country has to offer, quality ingredients, used simply.

You have to go for the sea food platter, brimming with fresh rock oysters, meaty dressed crab, cockles, cray fish and mussels, all of which have come from the British coastline – you’ll want to scoop it up with the crusty bread and add a good dollop of cocktail sauce – simple but spot on.  The Ploughman is also excellent, although it’s like a next level Ploughman, much more than the usual you get – English cured meats, from Suffolk, Cumbria, Manchester and Dorset, Cheddar from Somerset, pork pie, pickled onions, piccalilli, quince paste and radishes.

It’s a proper celebration of the best of British produce, with that seaside charm, add it to your summer bucket list… fast.