Unbeknown to the crowds on the South Bank, there’s a hidden oasis just above their heads. Up the bright yellow staircase by the Southbank Centre is the Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden, sitting atop the hall of the same name.
The bar does the job nicely. It’s fun to stop off here on a sunny afternoon and order a cocktail pitcher with a group of friends (or without a group of friends, if it’s been that kind of week), and there are sandwiches and salads to munch on too. However, the main attraction is the setting: the Roof Garden allows you to surround yourself with fruit trees and wild flowers, as well as vegetable and herb allotments. To add to its appeal, it was designed by Cornwall’s Eden Project and created by a team of men and women from London’s Providence Row Housing Association, many of whom had suffered from homelessness.
The garden also offers bowl-me-over views of the Thames, with Big Ben peeking approvingly out through his scaffolding as you take your first refreshing sip.