For me, Kensington Rooftop Gardens was one of those elusive places that I’d heard about and seen on Made in Chelsea, but actually knew nothing about.
For nearly every weekend this summer, the gardens have been closed for private events. Since I’ve contacted the Gardens every Friday since about May to enquire whether they are open for the coming weekend, I was delighted to hear last weekend that they would be open on Sunday.
The Gardens are free to go to and mooch around. They are on a rooftop on the 6th floor, which doesn’t seem that high up considering that when you’re up there, you feel like you’re in a little oasis away from everything.
On the rooftop, you are free to explore the different gardens.
I think the Spanish gardens are the real statement piece. You can recognise the Spanish theme from the exotic palm trees and flowers, and the grassy strip in the centre that leads up to a colourful Spanish looking building. The tents at the side of the building have a Moroccan feel, with cushions and orange cloth adorning the outside.
The Spanish garden also has benches with cushions around the outside of it. It was a lovely place to relax, people-watch and look out at the gardens around. A drink there would have been lovely!
From the Spanish garden, you can walk through to the Tudor Garden. The Tudor Garden mainly comprises of a narrow walkway, with stone arches along the way and intricate carvings on them. I liked walking through this bit and imagining the past, but I think that brings out the history loving side of me!
The walkway led to an events area, with stone cobbles on the floor, a water pump at one side, and a large space filled with chairs that were divided in half by an aisle. I bet this was the area used by any weddings that took place this summer!
Walking through the Tudor Garden led through to the English Woodland Garden. This had a stream running through it and grass, bushes, and trees. Some of the trees there are 75 years old, which is amazing considering they are growing from the top of a building in central London!
There were ducks in the pond, and standing by one of the walls were four flamingos. They were so still that we saw a few groups of people walk right past them without even seeing them! So we set a trend and went to take photos.
After mooching around for a bit and doing a couple of laps of the gardens, we decided to admire them from a different perspective; from the distance of the bar.
The bar was lovely – possibly the best bit! We sat outside on the balcony and ordered cocktails – I had the House of Cardamon, and Ben had the Dark and Dreamy. The cocktails were excellent. Mine came with a chocolate playing card balanced on top of it, I think it was really fruity and fresh, but I can’t actually remember what it tasted like because I was too preoccupied with taking in the view.
It was a great space to look out across London, and I loved the fact that there were heaters above the tables! It was a bright day, but it felt like I was getting sun burnt from the heaters – there’s nothing like a bit of fake sun.
I don’t know if I’d really need to visit the gardens again now I’ve seen them, but I’d definitely be up for going back to the bar or trying the restaurant!
The gardens are probably a good place for a family outing or a stroll after lunch. I’m sure the Gardens have the biggest wow-factor when they are the venue for an event – I just need to persuade someone to throw a party there!