In the book P.S. I Love You, H. Jackson Brown’s mother says to him, "twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do”. I tend to have a more zen approach to life and live without bucket lists or regrets but I did have one regret and it was that I didn’t charge my iPhone the first time I visited the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street in London.
When you first arrive at the 34th floor of the Sky Garden, you exit the lift, turn to your right and can’t help but have your breath taken away by the view. That is a good experience, one that shouldn’t be marred by utter disappointment as your phone (or camera) shuts down. Despite that simple regret, my first visit was ultimately quite incredible – without camera in hand to distract me, I was able to sit for a full hour and simply experience my surroundings. It was magical in its own way.
My second visit was far more satisfying for it involved friends, brunch and a working camera. Bright and early one Saturday morning, Stephen and I bundled off to London at the crack of dawn and met up with Melissa, Kara, Davide, Yannick, Emma and Richard at the foot of the Sky Garden. We travelled up in the lift and I was able to watch the expressions of those visiting for the first time. It is indeed a special place.
The Sky Garden is a green space located right at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, known as the Walkie Talkie building, in London. You might recall seeing the building in the news because of its summer heat ray or the fact that it won the Carbuncle Cup in 2015 for the worst designed building of the year. I can honestly say that I am not a detractor – 20 Fenchurch Street is one of my favourite buildings in London and it has long surpassed the Shard as my favourite example of modern architecture. You can see photos of the exterior of the building in the posts Winter's Return and An End is a Beginning.
The Sky Garden was conceptualised as a green space at the top of the building, perhaps to compensate for the building’s massive footprint. There is certainly less green than in the original architect’s drawings but the Sky Garden is a beautiful, calm oasis in the centre of the City.
And the views….
Our destination for the morning was the Darwin Brasserie. Stephen and I opted for the Ultimate Breakfast option for £22. This included an unlimited continental buffet where we took advantage of fresh juices, pastries, yoghurt, nuts, cereal and fresh fruit.
Stephen chose a full English breakfast as his main dish and I chose a delicious poached egg and smashed avocado on toast.
With our tummies full, it was time to explore more of the Sky Garden and to chat and laugh with friends.
I really enjoyed our time at the Sky Garden and would definitely like to visit again. I’d love the company so do let me know if you’re keen on joining me!
20 Fenchurch St
Cost: free of charge!
Advance booking: You don’t need to book ahead if you have a reservation at any of the three restaurants at the Sky Garden but you can also book ahead by visiting Sky Garden Tickets.