Monday, August 04, 2008

Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner - Petersham Nurseries

London can be hectic, frenetic and stressful but few people realise that a short ride on the underground will take you to the fabulous county of Surrey. Visiting Petersham Nurseries is a breath of fresh air - literally. Situated on the edge of Richmond this place is heaven on earth.

petersham nurseries
If you can't find a gift here then you need therapy

I met with the lovely Charlotte Senn for a guided tour and a cup of coffee. I was like a kid in a sweet shop.
The brain child of Francesco and Gael Boglione an Italian and an Australian these are the most imaginative nurseries I have ever come across. Every single thing I saw I loved from the 80ft long experimental cutting garden that looks like Mother Nature's jewelry box to the deliciously beautiful cakes in The Tea House.

petersham nurseries
Mother Nature's Jewelry Box

petersham nurseries
A massive range of Astier de Villatte ceramics

The nurseries are made up of 4 enormously long greenhouses with floors of terracotta coloured fine soil - no vacuuming and washing required. In between these greenhouses are displays of antique garden furniture and amazing plants, flowers and antique pots - all for sale.
petersham nurseries
A fabulous antique garden bench outside the Cafe's kitchen
petersham nurseries
Impossible to take a bad photo in this place. Skye Gyngell's - A Year In My Kitchen

Because I visited on Monday the award winning Cafe/Restaurant run by Skye Gyngell was closed so I couldn't sample the food but what a setting. A random collection of antique tables some with zinc tops, which you can buy also, were scattered around the dining area - it was heart stopping stuff as these photos prove.
petersham nurseries
The reception area of the Cafe/Restaurant - how imaginative is this?
petersham nurseries
Ensuring you, the diner, always has a fabulous view

petersham nurseries
Wherever you are sitting

Look the other way and see your food being cooked

petersham nurseries
Look what I missed (click to enlarge)

If you want lighter refreshments then you can head for The Tea House. Take a look
petersham nurseries
Make new friends at the long table
petersham nurseries
Even the cutlery is sitting in garden trugs
petersham nurseries
Or you can sip your tea and nibble your cakes Al Fresco
petersham nurseries
If it's crowded you can spill over into another fabulous area
petersham nurseries
As I said from Mother Nature's jewelry box to deliciously beautiful cakes. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did and if you want to see more then go to their website which is choc full of fabulous images and information.
Don't rush off just yet, join me on the walk back to the Richmond Station.
petersham nurseries
We cross a meadow - look at that enormous house over there
petersham nurseries
A walk along the Thames takes us into the town of Richmond - great shops by the way

The future of Petersham Nurseries is under threat. Up to 29th November 2008 Richmond Council will be monitoring the amount of cars using the lane leading up to the Nurseries. If you visit (and you must) then please arrive by foot, ferry or taxi from Richmond and if it's a taxi you choose then ask them to drop you at the bottom of the lane.
It would be a sin for this place to close because of the traffic. I have no idea why Richmond Council are so opposed to this place and its success but then I never do understand how our councils operate anyway.
If you love what you have seen here and feel strongly about preserving this beautiful place then you can sign the Petition here.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dum
YES I've loved what I've seen!! It must smell heavenly in there! A place good for the soul! How ironic that such a gift to all people is under threat. I will sign the petition now!
Happy Monday!

Anonymous said...

Dear Di,
Just realized I didn't write DI!!
Oh my!!
Please fix my prob if possible.
or delete it if you will!

Country French Antiques said...

Lovely place and I did spot a few French pieces.
I signed the petition, don't know if my US vote will count though.
Like the song says, people want to pave paradise. Truly sad.

Dede Warren said...

I'm glad to see so many of us signing the petition. Why would anyone want to do away with such beauty? Hope this helps.

Parisbreakfasts said...

What a treat Di
I wanna go this just temporary like the Chelsea Garden Fair? Or permenant...

The Paris Apartment said...

Oh that's so beautiful and so sickening that there's opposition to such a place!
Do you think US signatures matter? tie yourself to a table, I'll meet you there!

Parisbreakfasts said...

I wanna meet you there too!
I've just spent hours on their site!!!
Icould paint there till the cows come home...sigh

la la Lovely said...

What an amazing place. I'm putting it on my list to visit next time in the UK. Thanks for sharing and I'll sign the petition!


London Traveller said...

Wow, that looks amazing. Do you guys have any events on? We'd really love to get them on our London event listing site ( so our visitors can check you out :).

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I want that humungous ball. Can you pop it in your handbag when you come, Di?

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