It was my 50th birthday in January, but I had to wait until yesterday to receive my birthday present. For my 30th birthday I took a trip in a hot air balloon; for my 40th I flew a helicopter; for my 50th, my wife Margarita took me to London, where we dined in Sky Garden, London’s third highest restaurant.
Apologies for the image quality – these photos were taken with a camera phone.
Sky Garden sites at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, known locally as the “Walkie Talkie” building, because of its distinctive curved shape. The uppermost 35th, 36th and 37th floors of the building are an open-plan glass-domed indoor garden featuring a bar, brasserie, and – at the very top – the Fenchurch Restaurant, where we ate. Sky Garden offers 360 degree uninterrupted views across the City of London and beyond.
But the day didn’t begin at Sky Garden. First we checked into our hotel.
Then took the tube from Baker Street.
To Embankment. We walked along the River Thames. After weeks of snow, rain and generally horrible weather, it was unseasonably sunny – but still cold.
We paused next to Cleopatra’s Needle for a quick photo shoot.
London’s skyline has changed drastically in the past 20 years and is still evolving rapidly. There are as many cranes as buildings in some parts of the city. The Walkie Talkie building is on the right, below.
We crossed the Thames via the Millenium Bridge.
Which gave us a good view of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Close up, it seems smaller, somehow.
We saw the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
And stopped at Tate Modern gallery.
Where we refreshed ourselves with a cup of tea.
And pondered the exhibits.
We walked past the Lloyds Building.
And made our way to the 35th floor of Fenchurch Street where we took in the atmosphere of Sky Garden’s bar.
To the south we could see the Shard – currently the tallest building in Western Europe.
Our meal was very enjoyable.
And it was strange to be looking down at the Gherkin as we dined.
30 was good; 40 was better; 50 was the best yet. So now I’m looking forward to 60!