London - A Twinkly Evening at The Sky Garden

September 01, 2015

The second part of our evening in London for Ben's Birthday. I had planned a little surprise for him by going up to the Sky Garden afterwards in the Walkie Talkie building, it only opened this year. Ticket wise, you can book tickets in advance {although they only release a certain number of days at a time so you need to keep checking}, all tickets are free. But if you don't have any luck in ordering tickets or want to go out of hours {ticketed hours are only until 5pm} then you need to either book a table in the Sky Pod Bar, or a table for one of the restaurants or just go for a walk-in like we did.

We walked from the Oxo Tower along the river to get to it. I love London in the evenings, when all the city workers are starting to go home, and you're left with a quiet city to explore.

Walk-ins only work in the week after 6pm and after 9pm at a weekend. We didn't have a problem getting in but it was a Tuesday and rather grey and cloudy. If you wanted to go on a Friday sunny night, it might be harder to get into so it would probably be worth booking a ticket in advance. Although they do get booked out ridiculously fast, I think it's by a lot of corporate people. Anyway, we turned up about 7pm and walked straight in without a problem. You have to go through airport style security before taking the lift to the 34th floor. 

The views from the top were amazing, you can see almost all of London. Personally I think it's better than The Shard or The London Eye because of the view from all four sides of the building. I liked The Shard but it focuses mainly on the South of the river, and it's almost too high up and makes London look too much like a toy town. Plus the Sky Garden is free which is crazy really!

You can see Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and down to the City of London from the left side, the Shard and The Thames directly in front, The Gherkin behind and the whole of the West End with the River Thames, The London Eye, St Pauls and The BT Tower out of the right side of the building.

The actual garden part of it was a little disappointing, it makes for a nice backdrop but it's not really a garden in the sky as such. There was an outside terrace, which was shut when we were there because of the rain earlier in the day, which would have been amazing to go out onto.

You can see the restaurant in the photos above and below, I think there are two there actually. I've heard mixed reviews, in places like this with a view you're always going to pay a bit more for food that's maybe not quite up to standard as a restaurant solely known for it's food. And some of the tables didn't even have a view so if you do go then make sure you request one.

The bar itself was amazing, creating incredible cocktails out of mason jars and copper cups. So on trend. You can book bar tables for food or just drinks, and there are sofa areas which you can reserve in advance. If you don't book though there is plenty of space to get a drink and wander around or sit with it. 

It clouded over just before the sunset but on a clear night the sky would be amazing as the sun goes down over London. I definitely think it's worth going at twilight too so you can see the City get dark and the changing light.

I loved it as it started to get dark and all the lights started coming on outside. The bar is lit in a way that it can be hard to get good photos from inside as it's dark because of the reflections, but hopefully next time it will be nice enough for the outside deck to be open.

Location wise, the building is at 20 Fenchurch Street very close to Bank tube station. It's called the Walkie Talkie building and is kind of curved like a walkie talkie {no say..}. It was the building that got loads of publicity when it was being built as the sun was reflecting on the glass and setting cars on fire to start with, it was nicknamed the Walkie Scorchie for a while.

We really loved it, and definitely want to go back the next time we're in London for an evening. When it's free and you have a view over the sparkly city, what's not to love?!

R <3 xx 

You can find the Sky Garden website here.

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