Where do frogs rub shoulders with actors? Where can you ponder at pansies while eating your panini? Where can you enjoy daisies in the shade of skyscrapers? Yes, there is such a place. In fact it's hidden just behind Shaftesbury Avenue.
Despite being packed on a sunny day it always feels like The Phoenix Garden is a secret garden. Perhaps a magical one that only appears to those who need it like Hogwort's Chamber of Requirement. Although small it's long, thin space is designed so that it is full of little nooks and crannies for a private picnic, or even a little lunchtime romance.
The Phoenix is a private garden run by a charitable trust. As such it is lent to the public in good faith that it will be respected and cherished. So far their faith seems to be well placed. When I visited, the garden was beautiful and litter free. The idea of the garden is to provide a retreat for West-End workers and a place for wildlife to thrive within the city. It is maintained by sustainable techniques - such as choosing plants that grow well in dry conditions - including many wildflowers. Wildness in the west end - isn't that a lovely thought.
My lunch space - my bottle (don't worry I took it with me)