'Contentment!' came a slightly exasperated voice, from around the next purple-painted olive tree planter overflowing with vermillion flowers. 'Contentment!!' 'CONTENTMENT!!!' The mysterious diner may have been struggling to get their point across, but there's no such confusion for most people having lunch or sipping drinks in this rooftop allotment-cum-woodland-cum-wildflower meadow. At sunny lunchtimes, you'd be hard put to find a prettier setting for a sandwich in central London – it's all tangles of nasturtiums, pergolas dripping with lilacs, boldly sprouting cabbages and an actual garden shed. Make sure you follow the walkway at the back all the way around the corner, to commune with the thickets of full-sized birch trees.
Food and drink come from a smart wooden bar area run by Company of Cooks. Don't hold out for a full meal or a fry-up, but the short menu of light salads, sandwiches, cakes and snacks suits the civilised, slightly otherworldly vibe (there's no smoking, and a cap on crowds). A salad of trout, fennel and radish came in a pre-packaged box but the ingredients were perfect – spanking fresh and at just the right temperature, brought to life by a squeeze of lemon. For a sundowner, things like wild strawberry bellinis or passion fruit mojitos available by the jug sound extremely promising.
And did we mention the view, across rooftops and the sparkling river? And that the volunteer gardeners are part of a charity that promotes gardening as therapy? Oh fine, we'll be quiet. Just – as you leave, trail your palm across the handy thicket of rosemary planted by the head of the sunshine-yellow stairway, and take the garden scent out into the world with you. Contentment, indeed.
|Venue name:||Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café||Contact:|
Queen Elizabeth Hall
|Cross street:||Belvedere Road|
|Opening hours:||Open 10am-10pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Waterloo tube/rail|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
If you've been there, you'll know that this is a haven of peace - native wildflowers, birch trees, birds, butterflies fruits and vegetables - waiting just above the concrete jungle of the Southbank. If you haven't, where have you been?! Do yourself a favour and get up there as soon as you can! It's shut right now for some well-earned R&R after another busy summer, but it'll open again in April. Meanwhile, everyone who knows it loves it. A vote for the Garden is a vote for the Greening of London.
Forgot to rate it in my last posting. The reason I have given it 4 instead of 5 is that it's normal expensive central london prices. But go up just for the garden and sit and watch the Thames and hopefully experience a glorious sunset!