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  • Writer's pictureT M Thorne

The Real Life Inspiration for Frankie Finch's Flamingo Club

Have you ever wondered where the idea came from for Frankie Finch's notorious rooftop nightclub? It was actually inspired by a trip (many years ago) to Kensington Roof Gardens. Sadly this closed to the public in 2018 but I'm hoping that one day it will be re-opened (and is being maintained in the meantime!)

The rooft gardens cover 1.5 acres of rooftop above a department store and the venue has roofbeen used for various things over the years. For a while it was a tea pavillion, then a nightclub, then a restaurant.

Kensington Roof Gardens are a series of three beautiful gardens perched high above Kensington High Street. They were opened in 1938 and cost £25k to create (which would be a whopping £1.8 million today).

According to Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge) it is divided into three themed gardens:

- a Spanish garden, in a Moorish style based upon the Alhambra in Spain, with fountains, vine-covered walkways and Chusan palms;

- a Tudor style garden, characterised by its archways, secret corners and hanging wisteria. Roses, lilies and lavender contribute the rich summer scent to the garden;

- an English water garden, with over 100 species of trees, a stream, and a garden pond.

It was also home to four flamingos called Bill, Ben, Splosh and Pecks (pictured below).

Kensington Roof gardens from the street
Kensington Roof Gardens sit on top of this building, barely visible from the street below
The famous Kensington Roof Garden flamingos
The famous Kensington Roof Garden flamingos
The view over London from Kensington Roof Garden
The view over London from Kensington Roof Garden


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