The Arbuturian were delighted to celebrate the launch of renowned London seafood restaurant J Sheekey’s new terrace and renamed Atlantic Bar on Wednesday 22nd June, with guest of honour the famed illustrator, Quentin Blake, who has produced a specially commissioned series of sketches entitled ‘Life Under the Atlantic’. The works will line the walls of the Atlantic Bar until 16th September, whilst being depicted on plates, coasters and menus.
“J Sheekey has long been a favourite restaurant of mine and to be able to use the characters I have met on my various trips to inspire this work has been a real joy,” Blake remarked. Best known for his illustrations in the beloved Roald Dahl children’s books, references to the restaurant’s location in the heart of Theatreland, along with the staff and visitors who have passed through J Sheekey’s famous doors during its 120-year history, can be seen in the sketches, including a chef pondering on his next creation, a lady enjoying a glass of wine and an actor popping in for a quick bite before performing around the corner.
After being welcomed with a glass of champagne we mingled with guests including Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace, Leah Wood (daughter of the Rolling Stone musician), actress Olivia Hallinan and comedian Richard Herring, whose presence we were alerted to by the photographer’s camera flash. Champagne continued to flow all evening, while a delicious array of canapés designed by Head Chef Andrew McLay, circulated the bar and terrace at regular intervals; smoked eel and ham hock croquettes, scallops presented on the shell with a chilli dressing, warm truffle and asparagus boat-shaped tarts, and mini lobster and shrimp burgers encased in brioche buns.
Located on St Martin’s Court, just off the theatre strip of St Martin’s Lane, it is a passage long traversed by theatre-goers and therefore makes for an interesting people-watching spot, however, on this occasion, those passing were probably more intrigued by the party in full swing. The new Atlantic terrace is a welcome addition to what was formerly known as the Oyster Bar and can seat up to 50 diners all year round due to being sheltered and heated when necessary. Lobster season is now upon us and makes it an even more tempting time to visit, as the restaurant will be running their Summer Lobster menu, featuring the signature lobster and shrimp burgers we enjoyed, along with classic lobster mayonnaise and lobster and shiso tempura with chilli jam.
For Atlantic Bar and Terrace reservations call 020 7240 2565 or book online via the website. Those booking and quoting “Quentin Blake” will receive a “Life Under the Atlantic” souvenir cotton tote bag.