Just as Babylon’s hanging gardens were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Kensington’s rooftop gardens are among London’s most glorious follies. One hundred feet above the high street lurks 1.5 acres of themed parkland, complete with four flamingos and an air fleet of resident ducks, one of whom lands in a stream in full view of our window table. In such a setting, Richard Branson’s bright and breezy brasserie doesn’t have to go out of its way to pull in the crowds. And nor does it. The greeting was chilly; service was perfunctory and remote; and the food, while perfectly competent, did not deliver the quality or quantity that the steepish prices might suggest. A pressed mosaic of Devon Rose chicken, liver and aubergine terrine was gorgeous to look at, but served fridge-cold with a vapid garlic and parsley dressing, while a nicely simple mixed seafood grill was let down by mushy langoustine. A starter of barbecue asparagus had the flavour of the grill, but just four spears seemed mean, leaving it to a roast fillet of cod with gruyère and parsley crust and flaky ham hock – and the gardens - to save the night.
Your taste buds will be thrilled by the menus. The award-winning food at Babylon is best described as contemporary British, and the menus change regularly to ensure only the freshest seasonal ingredients are used. If it's just a drink you're after you can also kick back on the heated Babylon Terrace and enjoy a cocktail or two.
The restaurant can accommodate everything from an intimate dinner to lunch with friends. The private dining room is ideal for parties or meetings of up to 12 guests, with its own terrace overlooking the resident flamingos. For larger groups of up to 30 guests, a stylish semi-private area can be booked.
Babylon at The Roof Gardens is a sky high venue. The memory of mouth-watering cuisine, exceptional service and spectacular views will stay with you long after you have left.