It's free to go up to the viewing platform, but you do have to book a time slot, which unfortunately means you can't just rock up whenever. And booking this slot, well, that turned out to be slightly harder than I thought it would be..! I tried to get in on a few occasions before this, but they never had anything available for when I would have wanted to go. When my dad told me he'd be here during the week, I saw my opportunity arise - surely it would be easier to get a slot for a weekday! I'm not sure if that ended up being the case, or if it was just the fact that I wasn't trying to book at the last minute this time (you can book up until 2 weeks before), but whatever it was, it worked. I finally had a time slot!
The actual garden is on the 36th floor, so you can just imagine how great the views are. Also, unlike many other (free) viewing platforms or restaurants with a view, you could actually walk all the way around the building and so see London from every possible angle. There are also two cafes serving cocktails and other drinks with sweet and savoury snacks, so you don't have to enjoy the views with an empty stomach either.
I had a tropical smoothie with mango, papaya & pineapple, which was exactly what I needed in my sickly state (worlds longest cold here!), but I have to say that this gin cocktail that my dad's wife had was pretty tempting too. Look at all those decorations! Apparently it tasted pretty good too, so there's that, of course...
I'm not sure what else I can say - I think the pictures, and the name of the place, speak well for themselves. It's what it says on the tin: a lovely viewing platform full of light, plants and plenty of eating and drinking opportunities. We went on a nice, sunny day, which made everything just that one bit better too, so I really don't have a lot of bad things to say. Go book a slot now - do it!