Leisure pursuits, Things to do now

Monty’s Winter Garden: Fake penguin, genuine panorama

As you dodge the demented crowds of shoppers in Oxford St, your frazzled nerves may well cry out for the balm only a people-free view can provide.

So walk up to the roof at John Lewis, currently home to Monty’s Winter Garden. Yes, it’s another retail opportunity encouraging you to spend and consume. But then, a hot coffee with a view of London may be just the ticket.

Let’s not delude ourselves: what’s on offer isn’t the marble roofs of Rome, nor are we as high up as Panorama Bar in Centre Point. But it’s lovely still.

As for Monty the Penguin, he’s obviously fake. But children are impressionable and they don’t seem to mind. Instead, they’re happily playing with the gadgets and materials laid on by a Japanese electronics producer. It’s all quite creative — kids get to produce their own Christmas cards among other stuff, so it can’t be all bad.

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