This year I wanted to make more of an effort to be a tourist within my own country. One of the biggest things I learnt whilst we were away was how damn lucky we are in the UK to be within hours, sometimes minutes of so much. In New Zealand we might have to go a few hours before finding something to do (or even a supermarket!) it changed my perspective massively and has given me a greater reason to just say YES. When a dear, green-fingered friend said that she had also never visited the iconic Kew, we knew now was the time, we had to just GO. So with my birthday approaching we jumped in the car and headed off to London!
With the magnificent Orchid Festival in full swing we knew we were in for a treat but what really took our breath away was the Palm House. The blend of the intricate, geometric architecture of the arboretum with these epic green giants was sheer perfection. It was like stepping into Jurassic Park, I’ve never seen anything like it. Twirling around the spiral staircases and walking amongst the upper level was my highlight of the entire trip.
Surprise snowstorms added an unexpected element to our day which meant we didn’t get to do quite as much exploring in the grounds as we might have done (guess we will just have to do a second trip!) but we at least managed to hide over lunch in the stunning converted Orangerie, where they serve the best bowls of sweet potato wedges before making a dash for it to the incredible gift shop. It is houseplant and book HEAVEN and I finally made a Monstera my own. I dare you to try and come out empty handed!
Before we began the long drive back home there was one last stop, although significantly less advertised than the orchid displays an epic site awaited us in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. Artist Rebecca Louise Law had installed 1000 strands of perfectly dried flowers and seeds creating a room of dreams for all the visitors to walk through and gaze at. It was nothing short of heavenly and I am so thrilled we found it. If you get the chance to see any of her exhibitions they are definitely worth checking out, it really takes your breath away.
Have you been to Kew? What are your must see areas in this historic landmark? Pop your recommendations for a second visit in the comments!
The Temperate House is now open after almost 5 years of dedicated restoration work to bring this incredible listed building back into it’s prime. If you’d like to plan your visit to Kew I’d thoroughly recommend it, you can buy your tickets and see what’s on here: https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/attractions