Kens Bar on the Cromwell Road has a secret garden hidden behind it.
You can tell because they have the words LONDON SECRET GARDEN emblazoned on the awnings out front.
Of course, we’re forced to assume that this is all a spectacularly deft, irony-baiting double-bluff because the real secret is the beach parked next to it. And they’ve taken the super-clandestine move of not even plastering a single awning with the words ALSO THERE’S A SECRET BEACH. Truly, they are masters in the dark arts of concealment.
Wander inside the bar, and through to the back, and you’ll find yourself being whisked around to the secluded courtyard backing onto St Stephens Church. It really is extremely quiet & tranquil considering that you’re almost within sight of the Natural History Museum and the relentless bustle of South Ken.
The beach itself is a sand-filled pitch scattered with sun-loungers, little dome-like cabanas, and a few tables, sofas, and comfy chairs. Take off your shoes, close your eyes, and on a sunny day you might even be able to briefly convince yourself that you’re not even in London anymore.
The food & drink is basic, but does the job. Asian-style light bites include the likes of coconut-coated prawns; duck spring rolls with plum sauce; and salt & pepper squid dipped in chilli jam. And if you fancy something more substantial, there’s a club sandwich or a burger with your name on it. Similarly, the cocktails don’t stray too far from the classics (a daiquiri here, an espresso martini there, etc.), while a glass of wine will set you back around £7.
Which isn’t bad for a beach bar.
NOTE: If you fancy a brief jaunt in the sand it’s a minimum spend of £20pp based on a 3hr timeslot. Walk-ins are technically available, but bookings are advisable. You can make one, and find out more right HERE.
Kens Bar | 90 Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, SW7 4ER
Hungry? Here are the best restaurants in Kensington…