Petersham Nurseries is one of my favourite places in London, UK. It is in effect, a secret tucked away garden centre/nurseries of plants, flowers, that is also home to delicious farm to table style food and many many beautiful home and garden-wares.
It can be a little tricky to notice the countryside path off the main road just down the road from Richmond Park. It is down a gravel road that is so bumpy and uneven, you truly feel like you have left the hustle and bustle of London. It is pure magic.
Once you have parked, you step out and feel that gorgeous country air that we forget exists in the heart of London. Take it all in... that's fresh air for you! :p
With a field on one side and the nursery on the other, you are surrounded by greenery and gorgeous flowers and foliage.
Take a stroll and relax.
I head straight to their teahouse where I usually get a trio of salads or a quiche and a salad, and if I'm feeling naughty... ok EVERY SINGLE TIME I GO... I get one of their cakes. They offer a variety including gluten-free and diary-free options. I also always get a 250ml jug of apple juice or pot tea. Everything they make there makes you feel like it's been home-cooked by your grandma or mom in a country cottage. Of course it most likely isn't a bunch of grandmas and moms predominantly cooking all the food but you never know... Just saying that's the way it feels and it's absolute luxury, and so comforting.
There is also a cafe that I must admit I have never eaten at since I am so addicted to their teahouse, and can tend to be a creature of habit. However I have heard wonderful things, so please let me know if you go!
Their shop is a wonderland of rustic & modern in perfect harmony, with moss-covered pots and urns, planters, tools, furniture, seeds, and of course plants, flowers and trees!
They also offer courses and supper clubs so check out their events section here.
It is always busy, and I would recommend that you try and go first thing when it opens - this applies mainly for weekends, but it can't hurt to arrive a bit early on the weekday either. For their opening hours visit :http://petershamnurseries.com/contacts/
While you are in the area you should definitely walk along the River Thames, where a short 15 minute or so walk away there is the beautiful Ham House, part of the National Trust, something I am proud of be a member of and supporting.
It truly is such a magical, peaceful place and it is always the first place I take people from out of town, or jump at the chance to go when someone says they have never been. I wish it was my home. It really is a place to call a home away from home.