The Stunning Kensington Roof Gardens Have Closed

The most important question: what will happen to the flamingos?

If you thought 2018 was off to a jolly old start, here’s something to even out your mood. After thirty-five years of rooftop views and delightfully decadent parties, Kensington Roof Gardens are closing their doors. According to the Guardian, owners Virgin have said that an unstable market and the cost of operating the gardens and attached restaurant Babylon have become too much. As a result, they won’t be renewing their lease, with 85 jobs now at risk unless staff can be placed in alternative roles.

Photo: @theroofgardens

The closure has been somewhat sudden, with tickets to upcoming events already sold, and other parties booked privately. (Virgin explain how to claim a refund on their website.) One stunned Twitter-er is apparently looking for a new wedding venue in a hurry:

.@virgin @richardbranson is there anything you can do to help now that you have cancelled my wedding at the Kensington Roof Gardens?Flights & hotel rooms have been booked and we now have to find a venue at very short notice. Always been impressed by your customer service in past

— Nick Levine (@nicklevine) 3 January 2018

The Grade-II listed gardens were designed in 1936 by landscape architect Ralph Hancock, as part of the Derry & Toms department store. Since Virgin took over the lease in 1981, Kensington Roof Gardens has played host to weddings and concerts, but it’s also gained notoriety as one of London’s most famous party venues, often featuring the rich and famous. Kate Moss, The Duchess of Cambridge, and Madonna are just some of the names who’ve graced the heights above Kensington High Street.

Photo: @theroofgardens

Not exactly hard to see what attracted them here, is it? The gardens feature a running stream, winding trees and plants, and buildings modelled on the Alhambra palace. Also present are four party-ready flamingos, who’ve been charming guests for years.

Photo: @theroofgardens

No word yet on what will be happening to our long-legged friends, but hopefully someone else save the day and pick up the lease. If you have some spare change lying around, and desperately need a party venue, why not look into making a bid? London needs your help, and who amongst us hasn’t wanted four flamingos as pets before?

Featured image: @theroofgardens