This Easter weekend isn’t looking as sunny as we all had planned – but as a Londoner well-versed to seasonal disappointments I have a well thumbed and visited list of indoor activities at my disposal! Last Sunday finding myself very alone with a toddler due to Dave’s delayed flight from San Francisco (we were hoping to have him home for a Sunday Roast after a week away at a conference) I headed out to investigate with the single recommendation of just one friend – the Conservatory, which I had never heard of nestled inside the Barbican.
Housed within the Barbican’s Brutalist facade the spectacular and little known attraction is London’s second-largest heated conservatory, sitting right on top of the Barbican arts centre.
A visual feast of concrete and greenery it has a wonderfully overgrown and surreal Little Shop of Horrors feel where the plants seem completely in charge. Trailing, climbing, winding and nesting into and out of every concrete nook and cranny – 2,000 species of tropical plant-life are arranged over the two levels, with an entire climate controlled room which I could have stayed in all day dedicated to amazing sculptural cacti.
It is free to visit and has a wonderful dreamy vibe – there is plenty to see and explore and koi ponds dotted about the place. The conservatory is only open on Sundays which kind of makes it the perfect meandering activity, you can also book for afternoon tea under its light filled domes.
Oh and most importantly Museum Shop also houses a great selection of plant themed gifts!
The Barbican Conservatory
Open 12 noon–5pm Sundays
London EC2Y 8DS
Underground: Barbican / Moorgate
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org