20 Fenchurch Street in London, more commonly know as, The Walkie-Talkie Building, got a lot of hate when it popped up as one of London’s newest skyscrapers in 2014. We have to admit that we thought it was a bit of an eye-sore too, having it spoil the city skyline that we so admired from our East-London balcony every day. However, when the Sky Garden opened at the very top of the building, we completely changed our minds…
In January 2015 The Sky Garden opened at the top of the Walkie-Talkie building and we booked our free tickets to go check it out. We went with cynical minds, scoffing that we were only going because it was free and confidently agreeing with the masses that it was an eye-sore on the London skyline… we were wrong. It was awesome.
As the tickets are free, we presumed it would be too full to even get close to the windows to admire the view, again we were wrong… they are good at keeping numbers low so the experience doesn’t feel rushed or stressful, in fact it is probably one of the most chilled out places you could go in central London.
At first, we wandered around for a while taking in the amazing view you get when you are 155m above London. There is something quite emotional about looking down over your own city; we could appreciate how hectic and loud it was, but it felt so tranquil observing it from above, surrounded by the hushed tones of people talking and calming music playing gently in the background.
After taking some long exposures, to battle the darkness of the garden, and simply giving up on trying to take photos of the view through the glare on the windows, (one of the only faults with the design of the building), we retired to the bar. The waiting staff were very nice, offering us hot water bottles and blankets to feel cosy and warm whilst we sat on the faux fur – covered sofas and enjoyed the serenity. We actually held off buying cocktails for a while because, well, it’s central London and the bar looked super swanky. Finally, we figured we would be staying a while and so we glanced over the cocktail menu. Surprise, surprise, we were wrong again… the cocktails averaged at a reasonable £8 – £10 and they were delicious.
We got through a couple of cocktails before moving on to some coffee to finish of the evening, relaxing and taking in the simple, yet stylish decor. By the time we were ready to leave we nearly had the entire place to ourselves and remorsefully agreed that it had been a very, very nice evening together.
We haven’t been up The Shard yet, but if you are after a view of London then we strongly recommend visiting the Sky Garden. It’s peaceful, relaxing and romantic. We also spent most of the evening with The Shard framed perfectly by the window next to us, which we think must make it the best view of London going at the moment.