Gem and Jennie visit Sexy Fish!

Gem Turner

Oct 5, 2022

Nestled in the heart of Mayfair, Sexy Fish is one of London’s top-rated eateries and experiences, hence why it has been on our list of places to visit for a very long time!

With the premise of the offerings focusing on Japanese cuisine and a predominantly fish-based menu, we were keen to pop by and try it out for ourselves! As disabled people, high-end eateries like this are often inaccessible or not accommodating to us, hence why we were a little concerned before arriving and decided to ring ahead to try and gauge a sense of if this would be viable for us both. We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a really friendly and helpful staff member on their booking telephone line who ran through all of the accessibility accommodations in place and ensured us that they would be reserving a wheelchair-accessible table for us too! Not only this, but the staff member even put us on hold to go and check that both lifts within the building were all in working order and that there would be no issues for us upon arrival. It’s really great to be in a situation like that, where staff go above and beyond to ensure that you are comfortable and confident with all of the accessibility accommodations in place!

As disabled people, it’s almost instilled into us that we can’t go to nice places. We assume that high-flying restaurants don’t cater for us wheelies, which is why we were so shocked to find out that they have put so much thought into this! 🐠

The Accessibility of Sexy Fish, London

Sexy Fish is a high end eatery in the heart of London, Mayfair, somewhere where we thought we wouldn’t be able to visit as wheelchair users - which actually turned out to be such a fantastically accommodating evening! Lots of thought has been put into the aesthetics of how the accessibility accommodations are incorporated into the lavish design of the restaurant, and it was great to see that these accommodations can be put in place so discretely without attracting huge amounts of attention to. This makes the whole experience much more natural when you are needing to use these accommodations and we were really impressed!

Accessible Entrance Of Sexy Fish

In terms of the terrain in the approach to Sexy Fish, there is a wide, block-paved path to approach. Depending on which direction you are coming from, you may or may not need to use the drop curb, which was a slight issue for us, due to this being old and not a full dropped curb. Despite this, staff were already at the entrance ready to greet customers and were happy to assist where needed!
The entrance has a small outdoor drinking area which runs the length of the building and has outdoor heating and different seating options. Although this is on the path, it doesn’t intrude on the space available to get by. The door to enter is a wide, glass door opening left to right, however, as mentioned, door staff are available to assist with this. Once entering the lobby area, you’re greeted with what looks like 4 large steps - however, there is a hidden platform lift and the steps actually pull back to reveal this. Staff were super on the ball with operating this & which is always a reassuring sign. A grab pole can also be added to the platform lift to assist with the motion of the lift in transit.Once the lift reaches the top of the steps, there is then an inward opening wide, glass door to enter the actual restaurant. Again, a second staff member was on hand to ensure this was opened for us!

Accessibility Of The Interior Of Sexy Fish

Once inside, we were greeted by yet again, more staff members who checked our booking and introduced us to our waiter, Nyto for the evening. We were seated not too far from the entrance, on a fab window-facing table. Staff had already asked prior to arriving if we would be needing chairs to transfer into or if these were to be removed. Upon arrival, they were already removed for us as we had requested! The table itself was large with plenty of space for multiple drinks and dishes, and had clearance underneath for our legs to fit under!
Inside, it’s dark with a lot going on sensory-wise - but this varies throughout the day. Obviously, with us visiting on an evening, there was minimal light in the restaurant area, however, the bar area was much more brightly lit. When booking, the staff member also made us aware that it would be quite noisy as sometimes they have a DJ on for the transition from evening meals into drinks later in the evening. Although this wasn’t an issue for us, it’s nice to know that staff had thought about how this can have an impact on disabled customers too.

Nyto was nothing short of world-class. Not only was he super knowledgeable when it came to the food, drinks and recommendations- but he also ensured we were comfortable throughout the evening & even assisted in showing us to the toilet too. Sometimes busy bar areas can be hard to navigate and a bit of a pain in loud spaces to be seen and heard, so this was greatly appreciated. There is a raised area towards the back of the restaurant, with a few steps to get up, which we obviously didn’t visit - so just be sure to inform staff before your arrival to ensure that you aren’t seated in this area if you are a wheelchair user. In terms of seating, there was a wide mixture throughout, with high tables and stools around the bar area and then tables, chairs, booth seating and more in the actual restaurant.

Accessible Toilet - Sexy Fish

All of the toilets are located on the lower ground floor of the establishment. They have another platform lift to the toilets downstairs, which again was disguised with a door and made to look like part of the wall (Image above). We wouldn’t have been aware it was actually there, should staff not have pointed it out! It felt great to know that accessibility doesn’t always have to be a huge spectacle and can be in keeping with decor whilst still serving its important purpose.

The toilet had all standard accommodations, with small touches you don’t often see, such as an open-top bin, shelving for colonoscopy bag emptying etc & pull bars built into the sink to get closer. There was a reasonable amount of turning space, however, it wasn’t the largest of bathrooms we have ever visited. Nevertheless, this was still ample for what we needed. The toilet itself was a right-hand transfer, which had ample room to reverse your wheelchair into and wasn’t blocked by any obstacles. The whole bathroom in fact was free of obstacles, such as cleaning equipment, beer barrels or coat storage, which we often find inaccessible bathrooms. It’s the small things like this that really make the whole experience so much easier and more comfortable!

Final Thoughts

Overall, from start to finish, there really wasn’t a single thing throughout the evening that we would have changed. Although Sexy Fish is a high-end eatery, with high-end prices, this is definitely somewhere you should check out if you are wanting an all-out experience for a special occasion. This, coupled with the great level of thought and attention put into welcoming all customers really made the evening.

All in all, we had an amazing night & can’t thank all the staff enough for such a warm welcome. It’s great to feel accepted in places where your internalised ableism tells you you shouldn’t be. We actually mapped Sexy Fish and added all of the accessibility information to our app, so if you’d like to find out more, be sure to check out the accessibility accommodations of Sexy Fish on this link here.

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A large group of Sociability community members at the Naidex Sociability Social
A large group of Sociability community members at the Naidex Sociability Social
A large group of Sociability community members at the Naidex Sociability Social
Jennie and a group of Sociability community members taking a break in a cafe
Jennie and a group of Sociability community members taking a break in a cafe
Jennie and a group of Sociability community members taking a break in a cafe
A Sociability postcard with a QR code to download the app
A Sociability postcard with a QR code to download the app

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