My green and botanical London: eat, walk and go for seeds

searching for the latest seeds, dreaming of a special garden: and, how is your ideal garden? This picture is how I imagine my next age in some of its parts.
It was different, for sure. A new kind of trip to a usual destination. So, my one week holiday in London, after so many times I was there doing fun and visiting my relatives, was again a possibility for the best professional training I could ever dream of. No concerts, no fashion discoveries (ok, these are always round the corner, impossible to avoid), quite some nice eating spots and mainly go green and floral paths. Because it's true, life is long and perfect for an ever lasting learning of different subjects that together, build a splendid cosmos.
So, here I am with the guide to my botanical London. For girls (and boys) who just want to have fun and visions.

Where to start from? I want to start from here, from the Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, one of the starter motor  of my holiday, together with the visit to the Chelsea Flower Show. Petersham is an Eden, and you can go there by boat (ticket 15 pounds), starting from Westminster/Embankment, final destination Richmond: in 2 hrs you are there + a walk or a bus. What I suggest is to book a lunch in advance, around 2pm, so in the morning you have time to visit also Kew Gardens (in this case your trip boat ends in Kew or you go there fast by underground and choose the boat for the return with a hopefully great sunset at 6pm)and from here you can go to Petersham leaving by bus 30 minutes before
Ok, the magnificence of Petersham, you got it. But what about the food? The best thing was to eat those dishes fueled with vegetables and herbs straight from the garden. See the salad, the radish...the colors are so deep and the rest is a crab hummus. 

If you decide to go first to Kew Gardens and then to Petersham, when you take the underground and arrive at the Kew Garden's tube, spend 10 minutes in the super sweet pub/cafè of the station for a coffee or a beer... It's worth.

the great trend in gardening and floral composition: the hairy pots!

I had a dream since 7 years: to eat at the thai restaurant inside Churchill Arms, so some days before starting my trip I booked with a phone call for my arrivals' day dinner. What's the peculiarity? Apart from the thai kitchen that I love, the ceiling is all made by flowers and hanging plants.

The Churchill Arms from outside

green and some purple spots: The Clarence pub is a place to give a visit, as you would visit a museum

Another nice rite of this holiday, was the visit to new pubs for dinner: here is the Culpeper. where the food is "modern european" and I discovered the obsession of the Brits for "fregola", a kind of pasta from Sardinia. Book in advance and go before sunset, the light inside is gorgeous

Meet for a drink at The Botanist in Sloane Square, and take the chance to take a walk in the not so wild anymore  sidewalk of the neighborhood Chelsea, along King's Road, where punk started. At the Botanist I had my Chelsea Flower Show Spritz with Bloom Gin, Kamm & Sons aperitif, Belsazar White vermouth, St. Germain elderflower, dill, pansies, dandelion & burdock and soda.
Sunday morning has a necessary destination: the Columbia Road Flower Market. It's till 2pm and you find flowers for such a price! Beautiful and huge hydrangeas, peonies, dahlias, foxgloves... even if you can't buy, the visit is a great deal, also to snoop into the many shops devoted to gardening, vintage fashion, art and to the areas with second hand/vintage goods.

On sunday after you went to Columbia Road Flower Market, you have already booked for Ottolenghi in Spitafield to taste the famous kitchen of Yotam, the Israeli chef who became a myth: let's have a different kind of Shakshuka, braised eggs with leek, spinach, preserved lemon and za'tar in the breakfast list (before 1pm!) 

After Ottolenghi and a good lunch, if you are a serious Italian, then you should have a coffee: in the area and very near to the restaurant, is Verde and Company, and I hope you find a place outside, or just's always packed.

Well...Did I say that the very starting point of my trip to London was the visit to the Chelsea Flower Show? I wanted to do this experience since years, but it was never the right time. Last february I decided it was and I started with buying the flight ticket for the last week of may. It was so good, only 60 euros. Then came the tickets for the show: I chose the 12 hours (60 pounds)  to be free to go in the late morning and leave 2 hours before the end. There were great projects of gardens to see, but what most hit my inspiration was the presence of the best nursery of England who sold their seeds. I went crazy.
In this frenzy for green I wanted of course to visit the Sky Garden (book 3 weeks in advance or in the very last minute, everyday they give away some places): a huge garden created inside a skyscraper. Great and stunning project concerning the green "fall" and the view you can have on London from here. It's good for a a spectacular view but not for having a coffee in my opinion (even if I dreamt about that moment) because the bar (with paper glasses and cups) reminds me of a train station's service (the worst) and the decor is not certainly up to the expectation I have for a  project like this in London. If it was in Bologna I would say "great!".

The night before leaving I went to visit my lovely friend Giorgia. She went to live to London 3 years ago and I am so happy for her because she could find her desired job, something she could not do if she was still in Bologna. If you want your dreams to become true, sometimes you have to move and change geography. We went to Brixton and of course paid a visit to the Pop Box, the ultimate craze concerning foodist obsession. All spaces, from shops to restaurants and bars are inside shipping containers. This is the next level, watch out.

The last picture is like my postcard: it will remember me about an incredible walk along the Thames and the natural mood of this memorable holiday.


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per me è importante sapere cosa ne pensate! grazie, Bea