Canary Wharf’s exotic rooftop garden at Crossrail Place will make you forget about your desk, spreadsheets and figures.
The last place I expect to find a tropical roof garden is amongst the business suits and the many skyscrapers that is Canary Wharf.
It’s a great juxtaposition; for me Canary Wharf has connotations of serious negotiations and the frantic atmosphere of the trading centre (yes, I’m basing this entirely on the movie Wolf of Wall Street). But I guess the bankers and corporate suits need somewhere to relax after a chaotic day, right?
The futuristic Crossrail tunnel reminds me of a set design taken from a Sci fi film. Or Walle-E (love that movie).
Taking the escalator to the roof garden provides a nice surprise as the roof garden slowly comes into view as you reach the top.
Much like the Japanese inspired Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, you feel instantly removed from the busy London streets.
The only reminders of Canary Wharf are the huge skyscrapers which shoot past the garden and reach far into the sky.
There’s a certain tropical feel to the garden provided by the palm trees (they’re probably not palm trees). The whole experience does have the feel of a botanical garden or the subterranean zone at an aquarium. Little information boards provide further details about the surrounding plants and trees if you’d like to learn more (wishing I had read whether those were palm trees or not now).
Even the style of the high ceiling roof, which makes the garden feel bigger than it actually is, seems to be a nod towards the Eden Project in Cornwall.
I’m glad they left some roof panels open as unlike 2015’s Summer Pavilion at Serpentine Gallery, it’s not unbearably warm on a summers day. The view is slightly blocked due to the windows not being clear transparent which is unfortunate.
Many benches around the paths together with the quietness make the roof garden an ideal spot to catch up with friends and family. Why not grab a cup of coffee and cake from Notes cafe on the ground floor? I can also recommend Wahaca and The Parlour Bar and Restaurant which are just a stone’s throw away from the Crossrail Place entrance.
All photos taken with the Nokia 1020.