The newly-opened Skygarden is Europe’s highest garden space, located at the top of the Walkie Talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street at the city end of London. It’s free to go up so why not?! We headed over on a cold but sunny Saturday to have a look, just in time for sunset. You have to book your slot on the website (below), and come at the specified time with photo ID, and either a printout or the original confirmation on your phone – not a screenshot as I discovered!
There’s tight security at the bottom; they don’t let you take any drinks or anything up and they wont let you store them at the bottom. We had a bottle of rum (for a party later – we don’t walk around town with bottles of spirits) that had to be dumped unfortunately!
There are two restaurants up there, one brasserie and one seafood, we didn’t go in either, but it seems like the best views are to be had from the bar and surrounding areas. You can walk around the perimeter of the 35th floor which offers stunning views of the Shard, Gherkin, Cheesegrater, Thames, Tower Bridge, and pretty much everything else in London – you really can see for miles, and it’s gorgeous. We were lucky with the timing and weather though, I imagine it’s less good if it’s chucking it down.
After wondering around for a while we sat down in the bar for some drinks – although it’s less a bar and more a collection of tables in the middle of an enormous greenhouse. My hangover limited me to a beer, which went down a treat and prices are standard pub prices which was a nice surprise.
If you’re after a romantic or cosy atmosphere it’s probably not the right place; it feels a bit like an airport and it’s pretty cold, but I imagine it will host some spectacular corporate events. In the meantime it’s great for people watching and the ideal place for a sunset aperitif if you’re heading on somewhere else afterwards.