Have you ever wondered where the idea came from for Frankie Finch‘s notorious rooftop nightclub? It was actually inspired by a trip (many years ago) to Kensington Roof Gardens. Sadly this closed to the public in 2018 but I’m hoping that one day it will be re-opened (and is being maintained in the meantime!)
The roof gardens cover 1.5 acres of rooftop above a department store and the venue has been used for various things over the years. For a while it was a tea pavilion, then a nightclub, then a restaurant.
Kensington Roof Gardens are a series of three beautiful gardens perched high above Kensington High Street. They were opened in 1938 and cost £25k to create (which would be a whopping £1.8 million today).
According to Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge) it is divided into three themed gardens:
– a Spanish garden, in a Moorish style based upon the Alhambra in Spain, with fountains, vine-covered walkways and Chusan palms;
– a Tudor style garden, characterised by its archways, secret corners and hanging wisteria. Roses, lilies and lavender contribute the rich summer scent to the garden;
– an English water garden, with over 100 species of trees, a stream, and a garden pond.
It was also home to four flamingos called Bill, Ben, Splosh and Pecks (pictured below).
Above: Kensington Roof Gardens sit on top of this building, barely visible from the street below
The view over London from Kensington Roof Garden