The Roof Gardens Kensington, London
A glamorous hidden oasis 100 feet above Kensington High Street on the rooftop of the former Barker’s department store. The Roof Gardens are the place to lunch, enjoy a cocktail or dine and dance the night away.
Go for a cocktail or dinner at The Roof Gardens Kensington
On a balmy summer’s evening, dine in Richard Branson’s Babylon restaurant up on the roof and you’ll be in for a surprise. The restaurant gives guests access to the themed gardens with their spectacular London skyline views. They’re often hired for private events so do ring ahead if you want to be sure to see them all when you visit. It’s the only place in London where you’ll be dining in the company of flamingos and ducks. Unique and unexpected.The Foodie Travel Guide
- Wander around the gardens
- Go for a cocktail
- Dine in the restaurant
- Visit Kensington Palace nearby
- Take a walk in Hyde Park
Babylon Restaurant at The Roof Gardens
The Kensington Roof Gardens were designed back in the 1930s by the vice president of John Barker & Co who dreamt of creating an escape from London. It took two years to build and in 1938, the 1.5 acre garden was opened to the public for the price of a shilling. The gardens have been part of London’s party scene since the 1960s, when Barbara Hulanicki – founder of the fashion brand Biba – had a hand in the black and white design of the Tudor Gardens.
Go for a Stroll in the Tudor Garden
Listen to the sound of trickling water in the Spanish Garden which is loosely based on the Alhambra in Granada. Sit down in the shade and you’ll see palms, juniper trees, olive trees and jewel-like colours all around. Walk through the courtyards of the Tudor Garden and you’ll smell the scent of lemon trees before reaching the English Woodland with its spring bulbs and bluebells. There are several trees that are more than 70 years old – including a mulberry tree and a Japanese maple.
Have Sunday Lunch at the Babylon Restaurant
Dine at the Babylon Restaurant which serves contemporary British cuisine or pop in for a cocktail on the terrace. You’ll be greeted by the flamingos and exotic ducks who wander around the pond in the Wildlife Garden. We think it’s a great place to enjoy a traditional Sunday lunch followed by a tour of nearby Kensington Palace where Princess Diana once lived. If you’re really pushing the boat out, treat yourself to a royal afternoon tea on the terrace at The Orangerie in Kensington Palace Gardens.
- The gardens are open to the public free of charge so you don’t need to dine there to see them. Just make sure you take Photo ID with you to gain access
- Go on a Tuesday night for their Jazz evenings
- Visit the Kensington roof gardens as part of National Gardens Week and London’s popular Open House Weekend
WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON
A 15-minute walk from Richmond Tube Station,the Bingham features luxurious rooms, some overlooking the River Thames.
Rooms from £92 a night.
The Hotel Zetter
The Zetter Hotel is a quirky, award-winning boutique hotel located in fashionable Clerkenwell, London.
Rooms from £135 a night.
They tell me that Guide Dogs are welcome. Did you know that in the seventies, they even had penguins living there?