One of the most common questions guests who come through my hotel in Kensington ask me is “Oliver, do you know any good places to eat around here?” To which I obviously reply with “of course I do!” before pointing them to one of my favourite restaurants in the area.
I try to keep these recommendations varied, but even still I find my mind slipping quite frequently to one location in particular: the Kensington Roof Gardens. This restaurant and lookout point was once of the most well-kept secrets of my beloved borough, but a recent endorsement by Virgin has – fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view – brought it to the general public’s attention.
However, despite this increase in popularity, this charming location – which includes the Gardens themselves, an excellent restaurant, and a private members’ club – is still secluded enough to appeal to guests staying at a hotel in Kensington and wishing for a little privacy. I am, myself, a frequent visitor, and while I can unfortunately tell you nothing about the private club, I will more than readily endorse the restaurant, which offers a number of refined culinary specialities and – most importantly – a dazzling seventh-floor view over the entirety of Kensington! This is a fabulous place in which to enjoy a quiet meal whilst looking out over what is – at least in my opinion – one of London’s most beautiful quarters!
Should you not fancy a meal, you can always do what I often do when I have a break of a sunny afternoon, and take a leisurely stroll around the gardens. I always love watching the pink flamingos go about their business around the grounds – and yes, they are real pink flamingos, not those horrible plastic ones! But while they may arguably be the main attraction – it’s not every day you see a pink flamingo in the middle of Central London! – visitors who prefer plant life to animal life will certainly find something to interest them in one of the space’s three gardens, arranged in a Tudor, Spanish, and English Woodland style, respectively.
It is not hard to understand, then, why I so often recommend the roof gardens to guests staying at my hotel in Kensington and looking for somewhere to eat or spend a pleasant afternoon at. The space is one of Kensington’s best hidden gems, and well worth a visit on a sunny day!