By Flick Hardingham.
The Kensington Roof Gardens have come alive with the hip-swinging, foot-tapping tones of Jazz FM. In a stroke of utter genius, an eclectic array of jazz, groove and whole lot of funk took over the Tudor Garden last month.
I know what you're thinking...do I need to wear my thermals for watching jazz up on the roof high above Kensington? Fortunately, the clever folk at the Kensington Roof Gardens pre-empted London's hatred for sub-zero temperatures. A heated marquee closeted us from the big freeze 100ft above Kensington High Street. Doors opened at 7:30pm so we decided to get in to the groove with a delectable cocktail or two.
First up was the ‘Rumour’ - fresh raspberries, mint and lemon juice shaken with homemade rhubarb syrup, raspberry liqueur and Tanqueray gin - delivered on a silver tray by a corseted waitress. Ooh la la. Then on to yet more Tanqueray in the form of a ‘Charleton’s Muse’ with fresh passion fruit, lime, mint and elderflower liqueur.
Our entertainment for the evening came in the form of the URBAN JAZZ Collective, led by Mike Hobart. The experimental jazz-fusion trio were far from their Californian pad but could not have been more at home within the fairie light canopy of the white tent.
Their warm, fluid tones unfolded through ‘60s shuffles and Blue Note swing to edgy funk and R’n’B, lulling us into a mild intoxicated haze. The pianist was a peculiarly attractive cross between Bob Geldof and Avid Merrion (strangely lush!) and amused us with random gesticulations as we reclined on a large squishable white leather puff.
My favourite tipple of evening was the Fine and Dandy. Pampero Anejo Especial rum, Grand Marnier, dandelion and burdock and a splash of pink grapefruit shaken over ice.
Jazz FM's weekly sessions at the The Kensington Roof Gardens will kick off again on Saturday 15th January with R'n'B, soul and jazz singer Natalie Williams. If you need some help to shift the January Blues be sure to pay it a visit. You’ll leave feeling more than fine and dandy.
Read more about Jazz FM here.