October 06, 2014

A Morning at Kew

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Last friday a fog hung lazily over London in the early hours.

 Mum had come up for a meeting at Kew Gardens and having woken up feeling as though autumn had arrived over night, we set off praying for the fog to lift in time to enjoy Kew, on what felt like the first day of autumn.

As we wandered from the tube up to the gates the sun poked its head through the clouds and bathed Kew in beautiful morning light.

We set off first to the Glass House dedicated to the Princess of Wales, this is a little gem, one that on a previous visit to Kew I had totally passed by.

A glass house dedicated to distant landscapes.

By the time we had ventured out of the temperate glasshouse the sun was well and truly up. 

The water-lilly house was another discovery on this trip. A very humid, mysterious space dedicated to passion flowers and water-lillies,again a must when you go to Kew.

Mum had a meeting over at the Shirley Sherwood Galley of Botanical Art. This is a modern glass building set off to one side of the park. 

A great collection and gallery space in London dedicated to Botanical Art, they have different themed exhibitions through out the year. 

Tastefully designed and right next to the Marianne North gallery. 

I left Mum to get on with her meeting while I went on into the other gallery. I had never heard of  Marianne North before, but her gallery was such a surprise. 

When I was little I used to spend my Sundays watching every type and style of nature program there was. I wanted to travel the world finding new species. And saw myself as the new David Attenborough!

I would venture in from the garden with a new pet, normally a small bug of some kind - who would be subjected to the next few hours in a Pringle pot, fulfilling my longing for discovery and adventure.

Marianne North was a true explorer. She ventured around the world during the mid 18th Century painting every view and fascinating plant, bird or mammal she stumbled across. 

The collection of her work is vast and inspiring. A must see next time you venture to Kew Gardens.

After a couple of hours, tummies began to rumble. We decided to try out The Tap on the Line.

 A pretty little restaurant, brilliantly situated on the platform of Kew Gardens station. 

Big glass windows open up onto the platform.

You can settle down into the comfiest chairs and people watch in peace and quiet.

We settled on lime and sodas and a baked camembert with soft sourdough and a delicious chutney to share.

(I tried this out with a richer cheese earlier this year) It was the perfect amount to fill the hunger gap before an afternoon of window shopping...

You can find opening times and ticket prices for Kew here...

Depending on where you live, if you are a Londoner and long for open spaces and peace and quiet at the weekend I would really recommend becoming a friend.

It costs £72 but you get your entry for that day off and a further £10 if you opt for direct debit (you can easily cancel this after a year) so it really is worth it if you crave a monthly or weekly escape to an open, quiet space you will quickly make up the cost of your membership.

The next few weeks are going to be beautiful as the trees start to turn so hurry!

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