An intense barre class on ice followed by a special Botanical Brunch at Canary Wharf’s Plateau restaurant? Sounds like hard work…
In A Word:
City workers, those into luxury lunches with a view and anyone looking to have a special treat. There seems to be more ladies here than gents.
In an attempt to try something more healthy, I decided to take part in London’s first Barre on Ice event. Define.London’s founder Ashley Verma has teamed up with Ice rink Canary Wharf and D&D restaurant Plateau to lead a one-off, hour-long barre session followed by a plant-based Botanical Brunch. It’s part of D&D’s London’s Mindful City campaign which aims to focus on wellness and fitness throughout January and February. Sounds slightly terrifying but equally rewarding…
Barre on Ice
Now, I’ve never done barre before, so the idea of getting on a yoga mat and doing barre on ice seems like a mad thing for someone like me to do! Luckily, (after a few false starts and some fantastic support from Ashley) I manage to get the hang of it and feel less like a terrified kid at a PE class. Stretching, squatting, bending – my legs feel as though they’re going to fall off. My arms and shoulders feel amazing though! The session feels like it’s ended quickly and soon we’re off to Plateau.
It’s just how you expect it to be when you step in. A sophisticated ambience, luxurious table settings and interiors, and of course, a rather fine view of Canary Wharf. Just the sort of thing you want after a hard workout. So I take my seats with the other guests.
I’m eager to try something from the recently launched Botanical Brunch and we’re all surprised by how big the menu is. There’s lots to choose from and there’s a reasonably good selection for vegans too. What to order?…
All that exercise has made me extremely thirsty, so my eyes pop as the waiter brings over a tray of drinks for our table.
As part of our special brunch, we’re being treated to a Seedlip Mocktail – the Hibiscus and Elderflower Spritz. It has a beautiful, icy pink colour and decorated with lemon peel and an edible flower. After taking a fair few photos we all take a sip. It instantly cools my throat as I drink and images of a botanical garden spring to mind as it travels along my palate. Warm spring days, herb gardens – that sort of thing.
We debate about eating the flower but decide it’s probably OK. It’s light but has a somewhat medicinal taste as it lingers on my tongue. Eating it quick is advisable! However, the drink itself is incredibly refreshing. Ideal after an intense workout.
As the brunch menu is quite extensive, some of the guests on my table opt for a stater only. The Grilled Goat’s Cheese and Beetroot Salad is a particular favourite. Strong in flavour and aroma, although I’m not a fan of goat’s cheese. I enjoy my drink and wait for my main.
I’ve been waiting for my main to arrive for some time and I’ve consumed the last few drops of the mocktail. It’s not very busy in here, but the service is a tad slow. Some of the guests are on their desserts yet I’m still waiting for my main dish…maybe I’m just too hungry to wait. Finally, it arrives, and the points start coming in…
My Butternut Squash Risotto with Aged Parmesan and Pumpkin Seeds looks the perfect antidote to this cold winter afternoon. There’s a gentle aroma of parmesan cheese as I tuck in. The rice is silky, creamy and light with the right amount of butternut squash and parmesan. The handful of toasted pumpkin seeds add a satisfying crunch and a nutty, kind of pistachio undertone. It keeps the risotto interesting with every mouthful. All in all, it’s great comfort food.
Happily, I have enough room for dessert. I was eager to get my spoon into my Poached Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream and thankfully, I didn’t have to wait too long. It arrives on a glass plate and looks incredibly tempting…
The chunky pineapple ring is lightly poached and it retains more of the sweetness and less of the tanginess. Strangely enough, it’s not sickly-sweet despite the thin layer of syrup beneath the ring. The vanilla ice cream perfectly complements the pineapple and the textured biscuit crumbs inside the ring add a satisfying crunch. It’s served with warm pouring cream which adds a richness to the dessert overall. I am now complete.
Another popular dessert with the guests is the Fruit Salad. It sounds pretty simple, but is full of colour and beautifully presented.
So, Barre on Ice proved to be a fun experience. Exhausting, but fun. Plateau’s Botanical Brunch is certainly an exciting concept with an extensive menu offering something flavoursome for everyone from meat lovers to vegans. Obviously, it’s a tad expensive (£25 for 2 courses of £30 for 3)- we are talking about Canary Wharf. The service is slower than expected, however if you want a healthy brunch in a posh setting, then this is the place for you.
The Botanical Brunch is available on Saturdays until the end of March.
Plateau, 4th Floor, Canada Square, London E14 5ER
Tel: 020 7715 7100