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Jump east across the roofs from Babylon in Kensington to Cannon Street and you’ll chance upon the roof garden at Skinners’ Hall, a hidden oasis tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the City. Although just yards from Cannon Street station, once you pass through the grand gates of this Grade I-listed house and ascend the stairs to the paved roof terrace, you feel as if you’re in a tranquil English country house, rather than the heart of the Square Mile (though the view of the Mission to Seafarers Church might give it away).
The terrace is centred around an ornamental fountain surrounded by pretty flowers, with a patio punctuated with graceful ornamental bay trees. It proves most popular as a wedding venue, accommodating up to 300 for a drinks reception, and in-house caterers Party Ingredients offer a wide variety of menus, from BBQs to English tea parties. The Hall itself, with its range of stunning historic rooms, is hired on an exclusive basis, so those wishing to hold an event on the terrace can also set up in a large former courtroom at the bottom of the stairs in case of bad weather.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Spring 2008.