I’d thought about going up the shard but it was £20 just to visit the viewing platform… nah thanks. I did a little googling and found the sky garden, it said it had amazing views over the river. It looked pretty high too so I thought I’d give it a go.
It’s free to visit the sky garden but you’ll need to book in advance… wait! and they’re gone. The tickets are online 3 weeks before and you can choose a 1 hour time slot. If you want to amend your booking don’t bother emailing them they will not respond! If you can’t get a ticket you can get in without one after 9pm.
We were there a little early but it wasn’t a problem and we were allowed straight up. We walked in and, not being in an airport, I was surprised at the amount of security. We had to go through a metal detector and put our bags through a scanner!
When we got to the front, one of the security guards sneaked a bag through in front of ours. A little black and pink gift bag… weird for a little man. We got to the other side and the square box that was in the gift bag had fallen out… It was from Ann Summers – let’s just say it was something you would find on a hen party… The guards face quickly went a deep shade of pink and he attempted to salvage the situation by claiming it was not his! No one believed him ha ha! All the security guards were in hysterics and I was crying.
Still laughing we got in the lift, there were 2 options floors 20 or 35. We got to the top and walked out half expecting to enter a jungle. It wasn’t quite a jungle, it was more like a fancy shopping centre food hall.
The pod bar was nice, covered in pink flowers and there was a bit of music playing. Either side of the main floor were stairs going up and these were covered in greenery but this was it, this was three storeys of exquisitely landscaped gardens. The website lied, three floors of gardens was a massive exaggeration!
We walked up to the top floor and ordered some drinks at the City Garden Bar, we ordered the flower power, a gin based cocktail with Tanqueray gin infused rosemary, elderflower liqueur, fresh basil, grape, kiwi & lemon juice. It was a masterpiece but with all masterpieces it took aggggeeeessssss! It was delicious though, and had it not been £12 per cocktail I would’ve got silly on them.
We walked the rest of the floor, the views were really good you could see all along the river from the London Eye to Canary Wharf. Each window you look out of tells you what building you should see! Either they’re wrong or I am blind, I could not for the life of me find Wembley stadium!
As it got darker the lights came on and they looked to be setting up for some live music. The outdoor balcony closed around 6pm.
Our time was up so we made our way back down, your ears will pop!
I was disappointed with the inside but the views were really good. I would recommend the sky garden if you want a free view over the river, make sure you have saved some pennies for a couple of cocktails as well.
What Sky Garden says about itself:
“The famous enlarged glass dome of 20 Fenchurch Street is dedicated to three storeys of exquisitely landscaped public gardens and London’s most exclusive social spaces, including observation decks and an open air terrace.”
Cocktail Rating: 8/10