When you take the lift up to the seventh floor reaching Babylon’s Restaurant & Seafood Terrace, you find an imaginative world of luxurious interior décor that includes fish tanks that brighten up the powder rooms. It’s owned by Sir Richard Branson and overlooks the suburbs of Kensington, London and the perfectly manicured The Roof Gardens below.
Although the London skyline is nothing like the Banyan Tree’s rooftop restaurant Vertigo in Bangkok or At.mosphere in the Burj Khalifa, (a whopping 122 floors up in the heavens of Dubai), Babylon’s Seafood Terrace has a linear alfresco dining space, just perfect for an intimate lunch or supper.
The staff are really friendly, Max Butterfield the bar manager who is a shining asset to Babylon, knows a thing or two about cocktails and wine! They have their own ‘home grown libations’ cocktails that include freshly pick herbs and flowers from the gardens.
I tried a champagne cocktail called Skye High. This had lots of wonderful ingredients, two of which are my favourites, Sipsmith gin and Talisker Skye whisky with the addition of Beaumet champagne and violet liqueur.
I visited the Talisker whisky distillery last year on my family holiday to the Isle of Skye and there’s nothing better than choosing food, wine or cocktails that bring back happy memories.
My old school friend Charlotte chose a Red Edition cocktail, a very quaffable strawberry and champagne based drink topped with lychee foam. Both cocktails were priced at a reasonable £12 each.
The outdoor terrace is seated and the waiters are attentive. There’s no fear of getting cold because of the outdoor heating and lovely warm blankets that can be provided, but we had the warmth of a balmy outdoor evening and a wonderful Seafood Stand to look forward to.
Babylon is generating a reputation for its outdoor Seafood Terrace and if the Seafood Stand is anything to go by, it will be successful. Served on a bed of crushed ice was half a lobster, a whole dressed Cornish crab, king prawns, Colchester oysters, smoked trout fillet and smoked salmon. It was all delicious but being a Norfolk girl, I need to point out Cromer crabs are the ones to buy!
The large Seafood Stand is sumptuously presented with warm homemade mini breads rolls, mayonnaise, prawn Marie Rose cocktail sauce, a shallot and sherry vinegar lemon and tabasco sauce. There is certainly enough for two people and if you are really hungry order extra oysters (1/2 dozen priced at £15) and a side of chips. The large Seafood Stand is priced at £72 and the smaller version is £39.00.
It was served with an elegant bottle of Sauvignon Blanc Sancerre Les Grands Champs. It had a refreshing finish and wasn’t too overpowering that it took away the delicate flavours of the seafood. This was priced at £55.
My round-up of the Seafood Terrace at Babylon is that it was an excellent alfresco dining experience, serving tasty fresh seafood with excellent service where we found it value for money. I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again.
If you get a chance visit the ‘The Club’ The Roof Gardens on the sixth floor. Also owned by the Virgin Limited Edition , there’s 1.5 acres of beautifully manicured gardens including the ‘Spanish Garden’ and a stream adorned by ducks and flamingos! It has various bars and VIP tables all geared up for private members, corporate events and parties.
For reservations telephone: 02073683993 or email Babylon@roofgardens.virgin.com.
Babylon Restaurant, 7th Floor, The Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street, London. W8 5SA.
Nearest Tube: High Street Kensington
Myself and my friend were guests of Virgin Limited Edition.