Compass to oversee BT Tower restaurant reopening

22 June 2015 by
Compass to oversee BT Tower restaurant reopening

The revolving restaurant atop the BT Tower in London will open its doors for the first time in 25 years this summer - for two weeks only - with foodservice giant Compass Group's Eurest brand overseeing the catering.

The famous restaurant closed in 1980 amid fears that it could be a target for the IRA. It opened in 1965 when it was known as the Post Office Tower.

Around 1,400 diners are expected to be able to eat at the restaurant while it is open this summer between 25 July and 7 August, with tables available via a ballot system. The reopening is to mark the restaurant's 50th anniversary.

Head chef for the project will be Compass chef Dan Perea, who has also catered for the Cabinet Office and for Team GB House at the 2012 Olympics.

A four-course lunch will cost £49.95 per person and a seven-course dinner will be £67.95 per person. Places will be allocated via two ballots. The first is open from 22 June until 29 June, and the second is open from 30 June until 7 July.

Sample dishes from the tasting menu include charred summer lettuces, Parmesan crumb, slow-cooked hen's egg, summer truffle; spiced Gressingham duck breast, crispy confit leg, broccoli, hazelnut, apricot; and lemon posset, burnt meringue, lemon sorbet.

The 189-metre-tall Post Office Tower (as it was then) was opened by Harold Wilson on 8 October 1965, with the restaurant launched by Tony Benn and Billy Butlin the following year.

It was closed temporarily in 1971 after an IRA bomb exploded in the lavatories but then opened again unofficially until the lease ran out in 1980.

Gavin Patterson, BT Group chief executive, said: "I'm delighted we're able to reopen the restaurant to the public. The BT Tower was a unique feat of engineering when it was first built and it remains an important and much loved building today. It has been a working icon of technological innovation for 50 years and what better way to celebrate that than by opening it to the public."

"The ballot winners are in for a treat as they will be able to see London in all its glory. People who choose the dinner option will have the added bonus of seeing the sun set followed by the dazzling spectacle of London at night."

Any profits from the restaurant reopening will be donated to the charity ChildLine.

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