The Roof Gardens

London

About us

The Roof Gardens in Kensington has long been one of London’s most spectacular and extraordinary landmarks. Set 100ft above London, The Roof Gardens comprises three gardens spanning across 1.5 acres, a private members Club and Babylon Restaurant! The Roof Gardens is an ideal venue for every special event, from dinners to discos, weddings to business meetings and even BBQs on balmy summer nights!

Up on the 7th floor with amazing views over London's skyline and The Roof Gardens is Babylon Restaurant which offers an eclectic menu seven days a week for both lunch and dinner.

For you party goers The Roof Garden’s Private Members Club is as glamorous as it comes. Open Friday and Saturday nights between 10pm and 2am you’re guaranteed a great night out!

Meet the Roof Gardens team

Sam Wilson

General Manager

Sam is responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of The Roof Gardens in Kensington, London. She is from Ayrshire in Scotland, an area famous for its golf courses. Sam has an extensive background in hotels and venues in the UK, having been deputy General Manager in a number of positions as well as GM at two venues in London prior to joining The Roof Gardens. Sam is a photographer in her spare time and has recently exhibited in London.

Peter Avis

Restaurant Manager

In 2001 Peter Avis was approached to join the opening team of Babylon Restaurant as Restaurant Supervisor. Peter became Restaurant Manager during 2006. In 2008 Babylon scooped the Best London Restaurant award at the Visit London Awards. Peter Avis has been awarded ‘2009 Restaurant Manager of the Year’ Award and the 2014 Catey Award for ‘Manager of the Year’.

Ian Howard

Executive Chef

Ian is Executive Chef at The Roof Gardens, overseeing both the banqueting kitchens and Babylon Restaurant. Ian’s career started at a variety of members’ clubs including the Savoy under Anton Edelmann and the Cumberland and W1 Brassiere under Gary Rhodes. Ian then went on to become the Head Chef of the Woodlands Park Hotel in Cobham, Surrey – which explains Ian’s flair for creating dishes using fresh and in-season produce. In March 2009 Ian joined us as Head Chef for Babylon and has always supported both Kitchens at The Roof Gardens. His ability for producing sustainable dishes has contributed towards Babylon achieving a three-star rating with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) over two consecutive years, and winning ‘Most Sustainable Business’ at the 2013 SRA Awards.

Kate Malcolm

Pastry Chef

Kate found her love of desserts whilst working for Cinnamon Square, before leaving to study at Westminster College. Since graduating, Kate took up a position at the Ledbury, before coming to join the family at Babylon in April 2014. As a rising young star, her passion and dessert creations inspire us daily! Working for a sustainable restaurant means that she gets to be creative with a lot of seasonal ingredients… constantly adapting and changing the menu. Something she has grown up with as her parents used to have a vegetable patch that Kate would use to create her recipes!

Our History

The Roof Gardens in Kensington has long been one of London’s most spectacular and extraordinary landmarks. Originally above Derry and Tom's department store which opened in 1933, they were designed as an escape from London rather than a pedestal above it. The Roof Gardens were the dream child of the vice president of Barkers, Trevor Bowen, who employed landscape architect Ralph Hancock to realise his vision throughout the 1.5 acres of three themed gardens; The English Woodland Garden, The Tudor Garden and The Spanish Garden.

The building housed the department store Derry and Toms until 1973, and then became home to Biba, an iconic and popular London fashion store of the 1960s and 70s until 1975. In 1964 the original music video for Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ was filmed in the gardens.

In 1981 a young man in jeans and scruffy shoes queued up to get into a well-known Kensington night club called Regine's, but was turned away at the door because he didn't meet the strict dress code. Undeterred, the same young man arranged a meeting with the club's owner, who admitted that it wasn't doing particularly well and offered it for sale. The individual, a still-to-be knighted Richard Branson, went on to purchase the venue, relaunched the Club as 'The Roof Gardens', and we can confirm that he hasn't been refused entry since!

Although the building and the gardens on the 6th floor were first established in the 1930s, it wasn't until 1986 that The Roof Gardens was awarded 'Grade II Star' listed status by English Heritage, marking the building as one of special architectural and historic interest. The following year in 1987, The Tudor, Spanish and English Woodland Gardens received a major facelift and didn't reopen until spring 1992.

In 2001 an additional floor was added to the Clubhouse to accommodate Babylon Restaurant which celebrated its 10th birthday in 2011.

We celebrated 75 years of The Gardens in May 2013 with a calendar of events to help mark such a momentous occasion, finishing with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2014, where Ralph Hancock exhibited in 1938!

Awards

We’ve also been the proud recipients of a few awards over the years – here’s just a selection.

2017
• The Roof Gardens and Babylon was awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2017
• The Roof Gardens won ‘COOLest venue for galas’ at the Cool Venue Awards 2017
• Best European Restaurant in London – Bookatable Awards 2017

2016
• Time Out Love London Awards – Best Bar in Kensington 2016
• The Roof Gardens received first prize in the hotel and club category of the Brighter Kensington and Chelsea Scheme 2016
• London Garden Society Certificate of Excellence 2016
• The Roof Gardens won ‘Best Rooftop Venue’ at the London Venue Awards 2016
• ‘Best London Rooftop Honey’ at the 2016 London Honey Show
• Babylon won the Open Table Diners’ Choice Award in 2015 and 2016
• The Roof Gardens named as one of the Top 30 ‘Best Places to Work in Hospitality’ 2016 by The Caterer
• Babylon was voted the ‘Best Al Fresco Restaurant’ in London by Bookatable
• Babylon was voted one of the Top Ten European Restaurants in London by Bookatable
• Babylon was voted one of the Top 50 Restaurants in London by Bookatable

2015
• The Roof Gardens won 'Prestigious Birthday Party Venue’ at The Prestigious Star Awards 2015
• The Roof Gardens was awarded a certificate of excellence for ‘Best Unusual or Unique venue’ in the London Venue Awards 2015
• London Garden Society Certificate of Excellence 2015
• Time Out Love London Awards – Best Restaurant in Kensington 2015
• Babylon was voted as one of the Top 10 Best Al Fresco Restaurants in London by Bookatable 2015
• Babylon received a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2015 and 2016
• Megan Buffington and Martins Dacis were shortlisted for the Hospitality award category of the Aspiring Manager Award 2015 (Institute of Hospitality)
• Babylon retained two AA rosettes in the 2015 AA Restaurant guide (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
• Babylon Restaurant maintained a three-star rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) – 2016 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
• Babylon was shortlisted for Caterer.com Best Employers in Hospitality 2015
• The Club was runner up for ‘Club of the Year’ at the London Lifestyle Awards 2015
• Babylon was awarded ‘Best Restaurant in Kensington’ at the Time Out Love London Awards 2015
• The Roof Gardens won a Mark of Excellence for Best Unusual or Unique Venue at The London Venue Awards 2015
• The Roof Gardens received a Certificate of Excellence from the London Garden Society 2015
• The Roof Gardens won 'Prestigious Birthday Party Venue’ at The Prestigious Star Awards 2015
• The Roof Gardens won ‘COOLest venue for receptions’ at the Cool Venue Awards 2015

2014
• Time Out Love London Awards – Best Restaurant in Kensington 2014
• The Roof Gardens’ 75th anniversary commemorative artisan garden at the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show received a Bronze medal
• Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 - The Roof Gardens
• Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 – Babylon
• Peter Avis – Catey Manager of the Year 2014
• The Club won ‘Best Interior Design and Venue Concept’ at the London Club Awards 2014
• 'COOLest venue for film premiere after parties' - Cool Venue Awards 2014


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