Standing at 350 square metres with over 10,000 ferns, herbaceous plants and 16 tons of soil, The Rubens at the Palace Hotel in Victoria has today unveiled one of London’s largest and most colourful living walls.
Located on the doorstep of Buckingham Palace, the wall reaches over 21 metres high and is packed with over 20 seasonal plant species including buttercups, crocuses, strawberries, lavender, spring bulbs, and winter geraniums. The flowers have been chosen to ensure the wall is ‘in-bloom’ all year round.
Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Green Lungs of Victoria’, the wall boasts significant environmental benefits, such as improving the air quality for those working in and passing through the area and attracting much-needed wildlife such as bees, butterflies and birds. It is also London’s largest living wall dedicated to reducing the risk of urban flooding, which is a challenge in the Victoria area, due to the low absorbency of urban surfaces. The wall will also be a tourist landmark, brightening the popular walk from Victoria station to the Royal residence.
In celebration of Victoria’s impressive new feature, the Rubens at the Palace hotel has launched a Living Wall-inspired menu, designed to incorporate plants and flowers featured in the wall itself. The Rubens’ new Garden Afternoon Tea includes a mouth-watering tea-stand of delicious morsels: wild strawberry cheesecake, honey cream and walnut financier, lavender cupcake, violet ganache and rose petal macaroon alongside the typical tasty finger sandwiches and fluffy white scones with thick cream and homemade jam. The new garden afternoon tea costs from £29.50 per person.
The bar team at the Rubens at the Palace have also been inspired, and will be serving delicious offerings of their own. A new cocktail menu has been designed, including the English Garden, featuring Bloom gin, elderflower, ginger ale, basil, strawberries and lemon and the Green Goddess packed with mint, lemon verbena, lime zest, Chase vodka and lemonade. The Living Wall-inspired cocktails will cost £11 each.
Given the height and scale of the wall, it graces not only the side wall of the Rubens, but also that of its five-star sister property Hotel 41, recently awarded Hotel of the Year 2013 by industry authority Caterer and Hotelkeeper, as well as above Victoria’s vibrant cocktail and casual dining haunt Bbar and Restaurant.
Malcolm Hendry, General Manager of the Rubens commented:
“The buzz about the Living Wall is palpable. People are stopping to admire it, take photos of it and generally wonder what it’s all about. We wanted to bring some of that excitement through the doors of the hotels and the bar, so we have launched a complementary selection of afternoon tea cakes and cocktails so the wall is living and breathing inside the hotel and out.
“But the wall has a very serious purpose beyond just looking great – we’re excited to be able to positively impact the people living and working in, as well as the huge amount of visitors passing through, this area by improving the air quality, attracting wildlife and reducing the risk of urban flooding.”