8 months after having Austyn came our 8th wedding anniversary. We’ve had our ups and downs, and recently there have been far more downs, so to celebrate we thought we would have a weekend in London so we can eat a meal whilst it’s actually hot, to smell of something other than poop and to talk about things that don’t involve a discussion about Lego and how many bricks you’d need to reach the moon.
So to start, we booked ourselves a fabulous table in a restaurant that has been recommended to us by a good friend who has said it will blow our minds. (Thanks Miller – we would have never found this place without your guidance)… As we approached the building, I’ll admit, I was a tad put off, it didn’t look like we were walking to anything that was going to “blow our minds”. We were greeted in the lobby by a charming security guard who directed us to the restaurant.
On exiting the lift, wow, this place is incredible and if you have never been you simply must go! We loved it so much that I went back the following week with my Mum for an impromptu luncheon birthday treat.
So before sitting at our table and ordering, Beard thought we could go for a wander around The Roof Gardens with our glasses of fizz and here, 100 feet above London in 1.5 acres of outdoor space, we were surrounded by meandering rivers flowing into mini lakes, flamingo’s roaming freely in stunning perfectly preened gardens.
The gardens are divided into three distinct areas that each tell a different story as you meander through trying to take it all in and not keep saying “oh my goodness look at that” every 5 seconds.
These gardens, so our waiter told us, are actually based on the original drawings and design of the gardens from 1938 replicating the warmth of the Mediterranean with bright floral tones and palm tree’s edging the greens. It screams ‘sit down, grab a book and a bottle and just chill with me for a while’… and oh my goodness look at that, I so could.
While this is more of a courtyard than a garden, the Tudor-Esq arches that line the walkway are filled with flowers that are typically related to that era and initially designed by Barbara Hulanicki when she owned it in the ’70s. Barbs as she’s known to the Fashion crew, is the diva responsible for the iconic fashion label Biba which dominated the ’60’s and ’70’s with earthy palettes in art nouveau styles, in case you didn’t know. It really does look exquisite.
Here is home to the flamingo’s, the exotic ducks quack quacking along and the many tweeting birds that nestle in the Mulberry tree’s – yes – the real tree’s on the roof of a building, I mean WTF and oh my goodness look at that! This part of the garden is quiet and mesmerising with snowdrops and bluebells huddled between the tree’s. Utterly enchanting. Simply breathtaking. I could spend all night here.
I feel fortunate to have experienced The Roof Gardens both in the evening with Beard and during the day with my Mum – it feels as if you’ve entered a whole new world each time, it almost changes before your very eyes and takes on an entirely new story between light and dark. As if you’ve been magically transported from the bustling streets of London into a real-life wonderland.
After we completed our Christopher Columbus tour around the gardens, we decide to get our game face on and try to tackle the menu of Babylon. Our poor waiter had 5 failed attempts of taking our order as I kept changing my mind and requesting another two minutes. Food envy consumed me, and I leered over other peoples tables exclaiming “oh my goodness look at that…!!!” and in retrospect, I’m glad I was not escorted from the building before stocking up on some truly magnificent delicacies.
Beard and I are really into our food and love eating out.
We love something different but we especially like wining and dining and here, make no mistake, you wine and dine and you are entertained with fantastic musical accompaniment. Our trio of musicians was fab – they were so fab we had a little nightcap with them to find out additional venues they were playing later in the year, but sadly someone had a few too many glasses of fizz and lost the card they gave us.
I’m sure our paths will cross again soon…
Our waiter was fabulous. He had etiquette and style you would expect from a restaurant of this caliber but still maintained down to earth qualities that just made you want to dig deep in your pocket and give the gent a hefty tip (and also see if he wanted to be your new best friend). He really settled us in, knew the menu upside down, recommending things suitable for my “I don’t like weird textures palette” and even offering alternatives after liaising with the impeccable head chef who came out to wish us a happy anniversary. The staff bend over backwards to welcome you – nothing is too much trouble, and the food is to die for. I just cannot wait to go back, it’s been far too long Kensington… get me on that rooftop now.