One of my favourite places in London is The Petersham Nurseries, in Petersham (funnily enough) near Richmond. If you are looking for somewhere a little bit more unusual to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in South West London that isn’t a swanky hotel where you have to book months in advance like Claridges or the Ritz, then you should think about heading towards Richmond and then to Petersham to admire the Petersham Nurseries. Truly a stunning little piece of English countryside – right near the river, so you could plan a walk around it, but with cows and fields to look at.
As the name suggest, they sell plants, but it is far more than a garden centre even though the whole experience is housed in a very large greenhouse. You can book in advance for lunch in the indoor restaurant, but it’s a little out of my price range unless you are being taken by a Count or about to get married or hanging out with celebrities – of which quite a few tend to hang out here. Skye Gyngell put the food on the map when she was head chef there. She even managed to win it a Michelin star…she’s moved on to Somerset House – not sure whose taken over…but if you don’t want to spend too much or book in advance you can just turn up and have a light lunch from the cafe, sitting either outside or in one of their other greenhouses. They also offer delicious cakes. It is the ultimate shabby chic experience – they sell a lot of furniture, pottery and glass as well as indoor and outdoor plants – all gorgeous but not cheap by any means. More just to admire. It’s an eclectic mix done by someone with very good taste.
I went with my daughter recently for tea – here are some photos to give you some idea of what to expect:-
The restaurant menu as an example:-
A sneaky peek at what is going on in their kitchen:-
We shared some carrot cake:-
The wonderful interior:-
A happy daughter, on our way home:-
A horse in the field pretending to be a zebra:-