Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Tanya Gold

Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Tanya Gold

Article excerpt

Fenchurch is a restaurant that is scared of terrorists. It cowers at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, a skyscraper which looks like an enormous and unfashionable Nokia 3120 mobile telephone; has it been designed explicitly to telephone for assistance? But who would it telephone? The Shard? I cannot imagine the Shard doing anything for anyone. It is 525 foot high blah and replaces a building that was only 299 foot high blah and so deserved to fail, being so mean and little; I never tire of the rampant Freudian anxiety of property developers and their architect slaves, because, like the phenomenon of the competitive super-yacht, it tells me they, too, are frightened; isn't everyone? The Nokia 3120 also reminds me quite startlingly of Tony Blair, but 525 foot high blah and therefore more annoying.

The entrance is a security checkpoint next to a lift. The initial interaction with Fenchurch is, therefore, reminiscent of the security aisle at Gatwick South Terminal, but without the possibility of escape to somewhere better, or a W.H. Smith. One day, in some tyranny of the future, we will all dine like this, if we dine at all -- behind checkpoints, 525 foot blah above the earth, where the windows do not open but the sky, as an insult, is huge and untouchable. I ask the guards why the security checkpoint/entrance is necessary. They say they are worried about 'guns'. Isn't everyone?

A lift takes you to the 'Sky Garden', a vast atrium that resembles the Hollywood interpretation of a colony on Mars in an ancient Arnold Schwarzenegger film called Total Recall , in which psychic mutants, including one with three breasts and another who was only a head, rebelled against an establishment that charged them for oxygen and shut it off them when they tried to unionise. This establishment was not, sadly, called Atos, Capita, G4S or Serco. …

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