Helix the panoramic restaurant at the Gherkin

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Emilie Filou

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Helix is ​​the name of the panoramic restaurant located at the top of the 30 St Mary Ax tower, nicknamed "The Gherkin" (the pickle) in reference to its shape! Initially a private club, the top of the building was until July 2018 reserved for members and insurance brokers. Since then, the general public can enjoy the restaurant and bar and contemplate London.


What is Gherkin?


The 30 St Mary Ax building, better known as Gherkin because of its eastern pointed shape, is one of the most remarkable buildings in the City.

Designed by the British architect Norman Foster for the insurance company Swiss Re, the building is considered ecological by its aerodynamic shape, which allows the wind to be used in the building's ventilation system, in summer and in winter. 30 St Mary Ax thus consumes half the energy in heating and air conditioning than a conventional building.

Inaugurated on April 28, 2004, Gherkin is 180 meters high, has 41 floors, nearly 47.000 m2 of offices and houses the Helix restaurant and the Iris bar.

To get the best view and appreciate its architecture, go to the rooftop of Fen Court Garden which offers a panoramic view of London. Another positive point, access to this rooftop is free and without reservation!

Finally, the Gherkin has appeared in several films, including "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Match Point" by Woody Allen.


Presentation of the Helix restaurant


The Helix Restaurant is located on the 39th floor of the Gherkin and offers 180 degree views over London. Contemporary cuisine showcases British products while respecting the seasons.

Chef Daniel Loftin works with local products such as salmon directly from Queen's Mandate holder John Ross Jr, Dorset crab, Cornish mackerel and Welsh lamb.


Some dishes from the Helix restaurant?


As a starter, slices of smoked salmon in sherry accompanied by marinated cucumber and horseradish cream. Special mention for the quality of the salmon but a more elaborate dressing would have been welcome for £ 16!



For the main course, braised shoulder of lamb from Herdwick, carrots and spinach leaves.

Once again, the quality is at the rendezvous and the cooking mastered.

The menu changes according to the seasons, you can consult the map to discover the dishes of the moment.


How much does a meal cost at the Helix restaurant?

Count around £ 80 per person for a dinner including a starter, a main course and a bottle of wine. The prices indicated on the card do not take into account the service which amounts to 12.5% ​​and which is added to the bill.


How is the service?

The service is professional and efficient.


Is there a dress code?

The dress code is smart-casual. Shorts, flip-flops, sneakers and sportswear are not accepted.


A panoramic view of London

The restaurant room offers a 180 ° view of the London skyline from where you can admire the 122 Leadenhall buildings nicknamed The Cheesegrater and 20 Fenchurch Street where the  Khu Vuon Tren May.


Do you have a crush on the Helix restaurant?


The restaurant has many positive points. The view is fantastic, the products are of a high quality and the service is attentive and attentive. But unfortunately, this is not enough to justify such a price!
I was somewhat disappointed with the setting of the restaurant, although the room is modern and spacious, it lacks warmth. In addition, given the prices and the quality of service, we regret the absence of a white tablecloth and especially uncomfortable “canteen” type chairs!

Instead, opt for a lunch where the prices are more decent (£ 39 for two courses with a drink) and the view is clearer during the day.

Very sincerely, I preferred the restaurant Duck & Waffle which offers a more romantic setting with an equally spectacular view and more affordable rates. This is a personal opinion and I have no interest in recommending one restaurant over another!


A good plan to visit the Gherkin and enjoy the view without breaking the bank!


The best plan is to go to the Iris bar located on the upper level of the restaurant, ie on the 40th floor, where the room is more spectacular. Indeed, located on the top floor of the building, we enjoy an incredible view of the arched top of the building and offer a superb 360 ° view of London.

We also benefit from a clearer view from where we can see Tower Bridge Tower of London or the cruiser HMS Belfast.



As for the restaurant, I will advise you to come during the day to enjoy the arched dome of the building. In conclusion go to the bar, you will pay less and the setting is nicer!

The bar is open daily from 11am to 00pm and offers original cocktails around £ 23.

Minors are not accepted after 18:00 p.m.


Do you need to make a reservation to go to Helix restaurant and Iris bar?

Reservations are required and must be made on the restaurant website where you will need to enter your bank details. In the event of cancellation within 24 hours or of absence, a charge will be levied, namely £ 50 per person for the restaurant and £ 10 per person for the bar.

At the end of your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email with your reservation number.

Tables in the restaurant and bar are allocated on a first come, first served basis; tables for windows cannot be guaranteed.


What are the opening hours of the Helix restaurant?

Monday Saturday : 12 p.m.-00 p.m. * and 14 p.m. - 00 p.m. *
Sunday : 10h00 – 16h00*

  • Last order time


Useful information

  • Mandatory reservation
  • Chic casual dress code. Stylish jeans are allowed with a shirt or jacket.
  • You will be asked to provide an identity document or a bank card at the entrance to verify your identity
  • If you arrive before the time of the reservation, you can go to the IRIS bar 30 minutes before
  • Minors are welcome at the Iris bar until 18:00 p.m.
  • The Helix restaurant welcomes children from 12 years old
  • The venue is also available for event bookings, including weddings.


Can we visit the Gherkin without going to the restaurant or the bar?

The Gherkin is open to the public on the occasion of Open House  - the equivalent in France of the Heritage Days - which takes place over two days; from Saturday to Sunday during the third weekend of September.


Where is the Helix restaurant located?

On your arrival, go to reception with your reservation and proof of identity. A bag check will be carried out before inviting you to join the elevator C.

Address : 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP

Metro bus Adgate, Adgate East, Bank, Liverpool Street8, 25, 26, 36, 47, 48, 78, 100, 148, 344, N25, N26



The Helix restaurant offers contemporary cuisine by highlighting local products selected for their qualities and respecting seasonality. Although the dishes are tasty, the service professional and the view grandiose, the price of a meal is still too expensive. At this price, we regret a more cozy and comfortable setting!

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