London is full of surprises.
Two very old friends came down from the south east, bringing the sunshine along with them, for what turned out to be an absolutely wonderful day.
The Roof Gardens in Kensington are almost too good to be true. I tried to go with another friend around a year and a half ago, only to turn up and find someone had booked out the entire place for a wedding. To be honest, who could blame them, it’s downright magical!
The secluded entrance gives way to a silent lobby manned by a stern looking security guard and an Italian receptionist. Stepping into this first class entrance, I almost find myself searching for your bow tie as I realised how under dressed I was. A few tentative questions later and we established this is the right place, after which she motions to a lift in the corner. This took us up to a vast open plan bar, so quiet you could hear a pin drop; how could this be free? And then we saw the garden. Wow.
The most amazing thing, in fact, was the sheer tranquility six stories grants this place. It’s hard to imagine that mere moments ago we were brushing through tourists on High Street Kensington. Furthermore, we were, for a good while, the only people in this area except the gardeners. I would have been happy to just sit here and soak up the sun for the rest of the day.
As we pushed further into the gardens, they kept blowing my mind. Ancient looking vines climbed wrought trellises, stone archways and ivy clad doors which lent this place a real secret garden feel. The foliage then gave way to a marquee, which cements this place as top of anyone’s reception venue lists.
It was vast, there was a huge dance floor under the transparent ceiling (shame you don’t really see stars within a hundred miles of Central London!) and curtains invited you further into what we called the “VIP lounge”
But wait, there’s more.
A small trail wound around to the east side of the building and we could finally see a skyline …through a few windows in a wall, which was a shame, but I guess such views are the preserve of patrons in the bar upstairs. We did, however, get to see flamingoes in a little stream that appeared by our feet. Flamingoes!
It was mindblowing, flamingoes! Having been on several safari parks and never seen them from kilometres away, now to be close enough to touch them, was almost like a dream come true. Suffice to say, a lot of photographing, messaging and snapchatting took place.
As if I needed more reasons to love you, London.