Petersham Nurseries

Feel the need to escape the hustle and bustle and the smog of the big city? Petersham Nurseries is an oasis of tranquility right in the heart of London. The journey begins with a drive through Richmond Park and today was a glorious day with deer all basking in the sunshine. The approach to Petersham Nurseries is down a small lane and once you reach the end it is as if you were in the middle of the countryside. The old greenhouses are filled with treasures. An eclectic selection of tablewares and decorative objects and opulent flower arrangements and flowers and plants scattered throughout.

The Boglione family are the owners and creators of the Petersham Nurseries. A recent addition to the team is Damian Clisby previously head chef at Hix Soho. He works with Lucy Boyd who is the head gardener and creates the evolving menus inspired by what is seasonal and growing in the garden. She is the daughter of Rose Gray of The River Cafe fame so I imagine has been surrounded and inspired by food throughout her childhood too. The restaurants follow the ethos of the slow food movement using seasonal produce from small farmers and artisans who contribute to grow and produce the ingredients.

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We were inspired on such a fantastic day to visit this little piece of London countryside and were disappointed but not surprised that the restaurant was fully booked. However we opted to help ourselves in the ‘Garden Shed’ which I love. Thoughout the season you can always get a piping hot bowl of soup and crusty bread and today we had the most delicious Beetroot, gorgonzola and kale quiche and a wonderful leafy and tasty green salad. A glass of chilled prosecco from the restaurant was the perfect finishing touch. My sister and I spent a glorious afternoon sitting in the sunshine and enjoying the first burst of spring.

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They have a collection of garden tables in the open air and also in a lovely Victorian greenhouse.This dining area is more ‘hands on’ with a collection of cutlery, glasses and cups in one corner to help yourself. I have not eaten at the restaurant for some time so cannot comment on the more formal dining but I would not hesitate to recommend the casual dining followed by an inspiring browse through the abundantly stocked greenhouses both inside and out.

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