Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Eat your heart out above London!

I seem to have done a lot of raving about new gardens I've visited recently ... and I make no apology for doing it again today, because I've just had lunch at the wonderful Babylon rooftop restaurant in London and had the chance to wander around the The Roof Gardens there in between the downpours .... and it's absolutely amazing!!! The pergola (above), definitely gets a place in my pergola parlour, the views over London are fantastic, and the food, which is after all why I went there, is commendable. All in all a great day out!!

The restaurant is perched on the top of what used to be Derry & Tom's, the once famous department store in Kensington High Street, and the The Roof Gardens - which extend to an amazing 1.5 acres - are on the floor below, so if you're sitting out on the terrace, you have wonderful views over the greenery beneath you. It's a magical setting for lunch and you also get fine views of London! Today both restaurant and gardens are part of the Virgin empire.

The gardens are divided into four distinct areas - a Spanish Garden modeled on the Alhambra in Grenada, Spain; a Tudor Garden (below); an English Woodland garden (bottom) and a Japanese garden (above) and there are even ducks and flamingoes wandering around as though they own the place! It's really quite enchanting.

I'm sure you'll agree looking at these pictures, that it's hard to believe this is all above busy Kensington High Street in London. But if you've got the time and you're up in town, or visiting from overseas, this is one to aim for ... especially on a summer's day, when you can eat outside.
Babylon offers a set price menu (two or three courses) or a la carte and the food is excellent, but do book ahead, because I suspect that you could be disappointed if you don't. Full details and sample menus are available on their website (including prices for set menus).

Just a brief note to my readers in case you wonder why I love so many places ..... it's simply because I don't write about anywhere that I don't like!! There are many gardens that I've visited that don't make the grade for me, but rather than write negative comments, I leave them out altogether! GG

13 comments:

  1. This is amazing -- another reason for me to try to get back to the UK soon! When I'm in London I often stay in Kensington, so I want to be sure not to miss this. -Jean

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  2. I will put this rooftop paradise on my wish list to visit. I agree with you about your garden reviews, since I have the same philosophy with my book reviews on my blog: I don't review books I don't like. Sweet and simple, so I applaud you spreading good news far and wide.

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  3. I'm always amazed at the gardens you visit! What a wonderful life you lead...viewing and reporting on fabulous spaces. I'm a bit envious...can you tell?! This garden is gorgeous!

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  4. Who would have known this amazing garden is above Kensington High Street? Thanks for the info. I'll definitely go see for myself next time I'm in London. Love the arbor and the Tudor Garden!

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  5. I'm trying to imagine what kind of roofing reinforcements were necessary for such a large and gorgeous garden. Must weigh an astronomical amount. Certainly no "green roof" of sedums;)

    Christine in Alaska

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  6. Next time I come to the UK let's catch up for lunch there! Love to you all, N

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  7. Simply amazing!
    We go to London quite a lot, but you never imagine such things above your heads!
    I am definitely going for lunch there next visit.
    Thanks!!

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  8. I'm stuck dumb!
    And I don't know if I want to come here anymore with you teasing me with all those wonderful places that I would love to see....(just kiddin) I just have to go to London this year! It's been way to long since our last visit and I just LOVE that city (and I'm a country girl "lol") But I'm so glad that you're sharing all those lovely places with us - thank god for internet!

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  9. Amazing that this garden in on rooftops! I would love to visit. Do you need a mortgage to eat there :-)

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  10. Stunning! Especially all those water features.

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  11. Well, I know one place we'll try to eat while we're there this August;-) I plan to review your blog so I can get some other ideas before we go. Flying in to Heathrow, hanging around London for just a couple of days before heading off to Germany & France. With kids there won't be a whole lot of time for 'just garden visits', but, I'll manage to fit something in & with you as a guide I know I'll be led in a good direction.

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  12. Oooh, now when I go home to visit my parents, I can suggest somewhere for us to go, instead of them having to do all the thinking! That looks wonderful, and right in the heart of London. Thanks!

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  13. I sure wish I'd known about this before I visited London this month. Fabulous!

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