The “Sky Garden”:http://skygarden.london/sky-garden on the 35th floor of London’s Walkie-Talkie building has been on my ‘to do list’ and having read pb52’s earlier review, we booked the free tickets.
Arriving promptly for our 12.30pm slot, there was a queue round the building and it wasn’t clear whether it was for people with or without tickets but, as it appeared to be moving quickly, and there was no one to ask, we joined the end. Our tickets were checked at the door, and rather than being asked to join the ‘snake queue’ inside the building, we were ushered to the front of it, where identity was checked (you need a passport or driving licence). We’re still not sure why, and can only assume it was because my friend had her arm in a sling.
The lift took us rapidly up to the 35th floor with ears popping mid-way. You walk through the cafeteria “(Sky Pod Bar)”:http://skygarden.london/node/10 before climbing around 20 steps around the gardens which are on three sides of a square. However, what is good is that there are lots of places to sit, rest and admire the views unlike at Chelsea Flower Show which I’d been to earlier in the week.
The gardens are mainly ferns and flowerless plants and so there wasn’t much colour and unlike Chelsea, the plants weren’t quite pristine and they appeared to be suffering from a plague of white fly everywhere. However, it was still a lovely calming experience just wandering around.
The outdoor terrace afforded excellent views including the river, Tower of London, St Pauls and city buildings. But as with the planting, a few more signs (and perhaps one of those etched maps) would have been helpful.
Back at the Sky Pod Bar, we found a table and ordered what we described as our ‘back to our roots Yorkshire lunch’ – prosecco and pork pie! Although the prices in the Darwin Brasserie and Fenchurch Restaurant looked high (as reported by pb52), the glass of prosecco in a saucer glass was £8 and the pork pies £5 but they were pretty large. Still on the basis you’ve not paid to go in, we thought it was reasonable.
Whilst our tickets suggested our stay was an hour, there is no way of controlling this and you can appear to stay as long as you want.
Whilst the day-time views are good, I’m tempted to go back in the evening.