The Gherkin : Heaven Tastes Like Chocolate

Venison and chocolate sauce by William Curley

The monolithic Gherkin building of London is one of the city’s most iconic monuments and home to Helix and Iris, which occupy the top floor. The restaurant and bar by Searcys – which has a world-famous reputation for its innovation and high quality – celebrate their one year anniversary at The Gherkin this month.

Featuring award-winning private dining spaces, each of which has been named after a cloud (Alto, Cirrus, Stratus, Nimbus and Cumulus), The Gherkin recently partnered with one of the world’s most esteemed chocolatiers: William Curley. The four times winner of ‘Britain’s Best Chocolatier’ by The Academy of Chocolate joined forces with Searcys for a programme of chocolate-themed dinners and tastings events for families and corporate diners alike. 

The Gherkin
The Gherkin’s top floor

William Curley worked closely with Searcys Development Chef, Shaun Rowlands to create a unique, chocolate-inspired tasting menu for Easter. The result was a stunning four-course dinner: a cauliflower and Berkshire blue soup starter topped with cacao nibs, followed by a hearty Rhug Estate venison loin with heritage carrots, spring greens, game chocolate sauce. A pre-dessert of orange and white chocolate granite helped cleanse the palate before the show-stopping Willy’s chocolate mousse, brandy snap, Bailey’s cream. Guests were also treated to one of Curley’s chocolate expresso martini cocktails, as well as a selection of chocolates to take home or enjoy with their coffee. The limited edition menu at The Helix restaurant paid homage to cocoa’s complex and versatile flavour profile in a sublimely luxurious way.   

Chocolate mousse by William Curley
Chocolate mousse by William Curley

Indeed, William Curley himself was on hand for very special chocolate masterclasses at The Gherkin to help inspire, educate and have fun with families. William guided them through every step, starting at the lush tropical forests, home of the cocoa fruit to the transforming process that turns bean to a bar. Guests were able to taste different chocolates and each child decorated their own Easter egg.

William Curley
William Curley, choclatier in his Richmond shop

William Curley trained with some of the country’s finest chefs, including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc, before joining The Savoy Hotel, where he became the youngest Chef Patissier in its history. He opened his own business over a decade ago, selling the finest quality chocolate creations, and achieved the Master of Culinary Arts by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts: the highest accolade awarded to chefs in the UK.

The Gherkin
The Gherkin by night

Congratulations to Searcys and The Gherkin’s 12 month-anniversary, that type of culinary experience reminds us what Dom Perignon and Alain Ducasse did a while ago in Hong Kong. For more information on The Helix restaurant and Iris bar, visit

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