First Look at the Sky Garden – London Landmark

Updated on 18 August 2017
Imagine a skyscraper with an indoor garden, three eateries and arguably the best views in London. If you like the sound of this, you will love the new Sky Garden. Read on for the first look at this new London landmark.

SkyGarden London - a review by Luxury Columnist
We arrived at 20 Fenchurch Street or the Walkie Talkie as it’s knicknamed, although I’m not sure it looks much like one. We were lucky to get tickets for a few days after the opening, thanks to my husband’s eagle eye. A workman actually had to prise the doors open for us! Inside, we were greeted by smiling and very smartly dressed staff. After showing your ticket, you’ll pass through airport style security. We were strangely asked if we were carrying a candle! From here we took an express lift up to the 35th floor and entered the atrium.
sky garden luxury columnist blogYou step out into the Sky Garden bar and this area has been beautifully decorated. There are fake fur throws, lanterns, comfy cushions and an outdoor terrace which was closed on our visit as it was so windy. It didn’t stop us drinking in the sight of The Shard though.

Review of Sky Garden by Luxury Columnist luxury blog
All the views are stupendous – to the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and further afield to Canary Wharf.

sky garden 20 fenchurch street
…And here to St Paul’s, with the London Eye on the left.

sky garden fenchurch street
Or here – Tower 42 on the left, the “Cheesegrater” aka 122 Leadenhall Street in the middle and the famous “Gherkin”, 30 St Mary Axe on the right. You can also see all the way to the Wembley Arch.

skygarden luxury blog
The garden itself is a work in progress and more flowers will gradually appear, although some Bird of Paradise flowers are already flourishing. Designed by award-winning landscape architecture practice Gillespies, the plants have been chosen to work with the quality of light under the roof canopy and to resist drought.

skygarden luxury columnist travel blog
There are some quiet spots along the way to sit and take stock of the serenity. The space is so vast, it never feels overcrowded.
sky garden luxurycolumnist lifestyle blog

Dining in the Sky Garden London

There are three places to eat in the Sky Garden: the Sky Pod Bar, shown below, Darwin Brasserie and the Seafood Bar and Grill. All are run by Rhubarb, a London caterer providing the food and drink at The Royal Albert Hall and The Gallery Mess cafe at The Saatchi Gallery, so they have good form! The Sky Pod Bar serves up casual snacks and afternoon tea. We hadn’t booked anywhere but managed to get a walk in at Darwin Brasserie. Attention to detail is impressive, I loved the lighting and the pared-down decor of this Sky Garden restaurant.

darwin brasserie skygarden
The panoramic view over the London skyline is simply mesmerizing.

darwin brasserie luxury columnist blog
The food was really impressive, exactly the sort of hearty comfort food that you dream of in cold weather but so rarely find in London. We shared a sticky shallot tarte tatin to start. Topped with goat’s cheese, this was utter perfection. My main was a venison pie with golden puff pastry, buttered kale and mustard fruits. I hadn’t tried these before but they reminded me of a chutney and worked really well with the dish. My husband went for Goodwood Estate pork belly with crackling, Puy lentils, heritage carrot and apple puree. I usually find pork belly fatty but this was easily the best I have ever tried.

Darwin food skygarden
As for the chocolate pave dessert, I’m already dreaming of my next portion! Served with banana and toffee ice cream, it was beautifully decorated with edible gold leaf. After our meal, we ventured onto the terrace of the Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill – it looked very cosy inside.

darwin brasserie dessert London

Sky Garden Booking

Visitors can reserve their Sky Garden tickets online, however at the time of writing, it is fully booked for free visits. They now allow walk-ins if you don’t mind queuing for a bit – 30 minutes on my last visit. Another solution is to reserve in one of the restaurants. As you would expect, you aren’t allowed to take your own food in, apart from baby food and milk. Don’t forget to take a camera, it is a photographer’s dream and the light is constantly changing. The Sky Garden is also available for hire, I can imagine it being a hot ticket for events!
Opening hours: 10 am-6 pm, Monday to Friday. 10 am-10 pm – weekends.
Transport: By tube – Monument is the closest. Tower Hill, Tower Gate, Aldgate and Bank are less than 10 minutes walk. By train – London Fenchurch Street, Cannon Street, and London Bridge.

We hope you have enjoyed our Sky Garden review. Do you agree that this is the best view in London? Which do you think is the best in London or your city?

Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street London EC3M 3BY

20 fenchurch street walkie talkie luxury columnist

  • Oh wow so that’s what it looks like by day! Catherine and I went for dinner last night and we were wondering what the view was like in the daytime. I really must go back when it’s light and take advantage of the perfect ‘selfie lighting!’ x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • We’ll have to compare notes! The view from Darwin Brasserie was fantastic, now I want to go back at night to check out the ambiance in the bar. Might wait until it gets warmer though!

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    It’s great to see a first look of it! It looks so lovely. I heard a few negative comments about the food but yours looks gorgeous, though I’d been thinking about going to the Fenchurch Seafood one, I’ll wait to read a review of it.

    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

    • Catherine and Jasiminne have just been to the Seafood one. Interesting that some didn’t like the food, maybe that was during the soft opening. I literally couldn’t find fault with any of it and didn’t even need to eat again in the evening, it was so filling

  • SO amazing!! Love the high glass windows, stunning.
    Rosie xx

    • Yes the windows are impressive, looking forward to returning when the outdoor terrace is open

  • Lovely photos. I have tickets to go up in the middle of February and I’m looking forward to it now after seeing this. Thank you.

    • Thanks Lisa, I would say wrap up quite warm for the main bar area – you’ll have a great time!

  • Wow! I had never heard of this place before. I love the name ‘skygarden’! It is beautiful and the views are magnificent!

    • Hi Holly, I agree, the name is fantastic – just sums it all up really! Having said that there’s not many flowers yet but hopefully more will bloom in time

  • Amazing views and great photos! I tried a few weeks back to get a time slot and it was all mid morning on Tuesday and Wednesday so not luck. I’m going to keep trying though as it looks amazing!

    • Definitely keep trying and book yourself into the cafe or one of the restaurants if you want to go on the weekend, it’s worth the effort!

  • This looks delicious and like so much fun! The best view on Oahu, in my opinion, is from the Pillbox Trail in Kailua. You have to hike a bit to get up there but it’s so worth it!

    • Oh that sounds like a beautiful view, I would love to visit Oahu one day

  • Lady Lilith Bloodcrave

    Nice. It looks like a really great tourist attraction.

    • I actually feel a bit sorry for tourists as it’s so hard to book onto, hopefully people will manage to do so far in advance!

  • Wild Hearts + Green Tea

    I just saw this on another blog an am so happy to see it here and enjoy more photos of the place – so cool and that view is breathtaking, I can only imagine eating here at night and seeing all the city lights. This is just awesome. Ha, I couldn’t help but laugh at security asking you if you guys had a candle with you… 🙂

    • They also noticed we had food shopping for dinner, and told us that you can’t bring food in to eat there, fair enough!

  • Lifeplus1

    The photos look unreal Suze! I will definitely be making a trip there next time I’m in town. Can’t wait!

    A candle? So weird.


    • Yes the candle was quite random! I have a fairly big bag but I don’t think I had one in there ;-). If you get time, would be lovely to have a coffee

      • Lifeplus1

        Wouldn’t that be fun?! I definitely will. :o)

  • Lucy

    Stunning pictures this is now on the to do list it looks wonderful. Your food looks divine and what a good looking couple you make. The chocolate pave dessert looks wonderful a foodie dream Lucy x

    • Oh that’s very sweet, think the photo was just taken on a good day!

  • Sarah Shumate

    Your pictures are some of the best I’ve seen yet from this place! I also don’t really think it looks like a walkie-talkie, but I suppose every major building in London needs a nickname. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing this place myself…in like a year when there’s finally availability again…

    • Thanks Sarah, that’s very kind – agreed that it doesn’t look much like a walkie talkie!

  • Jaime

    Love this post and really want to visit! My favourite view of London so far has been from a table for two at Duck & Waffle at the top of Heron Tower … it’s breathtaking! Although, I did love the View from the Shard as well. Sky Garden is next on my list, but I know I’ll need to book far in advance.

    • Thanks Jaime, I want to go to Duck and Waffle! Did you eat the actual duck and waffle or have other dishes?

      • Jaime

        You’d love it, Suze! We did have the duck and waffle (which was delicious!) but we also had the spicy ox cheek doughnut and toasted peanut butter & jelly (I know, we went a bit overboard). Totally recommend it for brunch – you can read more about our visit here, if you’re interested:

        • Thanks Jaime, will read your review – not sure about the ox cheek doughnut but they do say try something you’re afraid of every day!

          • Jaime

            Oh, don’t be put off – it was delicious! It was very similar to a BBQ pork bun, if you’ve ever had that at dim sum. The name is slightly misleading. 🙂 p.s. love your dress in this post!

          • Ooh yes I love BBQ pork buns. I was wearing a jumper with a necklace, so cold that day!

  • Isabel

    Yes it is magnificent!

    • Thanks Isabel, well worth a visit next time you’re in London

  • Emily Ray

    Wow, absolutely gorgeous photos! I work right by here so it’s been super exciting to watch the whole building slowly coming to life! I had tickets to the Sky Garden but had to help my friend find a house – I’m determined to get up there when they release more tickets.

    • Thanks Emily, hope you manage to get there soon – shame that you couldn’t make it first time but no doubt your friend was very grateful for the help

  • Great photos! This place looks really good, so I’ve now booked into Darwin for my next visit to London. I love that the menu isn’t pretentious. Thanks for the recommendation! X

  • Wow! Look at those views of London! Nice there’s a garden up there from which to take in those views. And restos with good food. The Sky Garden is sure to become a top London visitor attraction.

  • Those views look incredible, Suze! Amazing that you managed to get there just as it opened. Definitely a great post for the #LondonLiving link up! xx

  • Amy

    Great post! I went to the Sky Garden for my birthday and had the pork belly and I was equally impressed. Isn’t it such a lovely place to visit?

    Young London

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