If I said to you that there was a secret English garden on London’s busiest shopping street, Oxford Street, would you believe me? Well, this is what’s hiding up on the rooftop of John Lewis. For the summer, the retailer has transformed its rooftop with beautiful flowers, hidden little nooks to watch the sunset, and even added a vegetable patch for its The Gardening Society pop-up concept, which will host three restaurants – The Dairy, B.O.B.’s Lobster and Shotgun.
This place is a little slice of the countryside, designed by Tony Woods, a former RHS national young garden designer of the year, and it has everything from vibrant flowers to potted trees and shrubbery, there’s even a vegetable and herb garden, plus beehives. As well as little sheltered spots including The Den and The Secret Garden, where you feel like you are in your own garden, just at the top of one of London’s department stores on one of the city’s busiest shopping streets, which FYI you totally forget is below. It’s a sanctuary and on a gloriously sunny day, this place is going to be the hot spot for a delicious cocktail or two, or on a Tuesday morning a yoga class.
The first restaurant is The Dairy, from May 27, with its “back to basics” style food, the sample menu includes sour potato flatbread, crab crackers, smoked cod and fried bread, Welsh lamb ribs, as well as English strawberries with yoghurt ice cream. On the night I seemed to miss most of the food except the seriously dreamy sour apple and elderflower popsicles, how great do these look. From June 27, B.O.B.’s Lobster will be serving its signature seafood rolls and fish tacos and then from August 1, Shotgun takes over with its low and slow barbecue cooking serving brisket and pork belly.
Each restaurant will be accompanied by a cocktail menu from Background Bars, the team behind Night Tales, using herbs grown and freshly picked from The Gardening Society’s garden. For June, expect seasonal takes on classic British tipples including the Sunday Tonic, a ginger infused gin, rhubarb, homemade tonic bitters and Fentiman’s tonic. Also, try Carlsberg’s new refreshing craft beer, Shed Head, an American pale ale brewed in Sweden. For during the day try one of their healthy juices.