Petersham Nurseries in Richmond-Upon-Thames is my go-to place to take visiting friends or family over. It’s just a gorgeous escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Depending on my budget (and who I’m taking there with me lol), I can either go have a quick meal or coffee at the Teahouse which serves seasonal dishes, cakes and salads or opt for the more upscale Café which serves Italian-inspired dishes prepared using only the finest ingredients. The latter requires reservations in advance as it gets filled up quite quickly during lunch hours.
Whichever option you’ll take, the setting is the same – you’ll be surrounded by a charming well-manicured garden filled with flowers and shabby chic furniture. The Café is brimming with overgrown bougainvilleas hanging from the roof carefully trimmed as to not annoy their diners while the scent of jasmine fills the air. It’s a casual yet sophisticated restaurant and high up on the list of Instagram-worthy places in London. It’s a Michelin-starred restaurant with no proper flooring, if it’s not the shabbiest and chic-est place you’ll ever visit then I don’t know what is.
I met the beautiful Cindy of Piccolo Explorer in Petersham Nurseries a few weeks ago, a fellow London resident who I met online through the blogging community way before I moved to this city. We were to meet at lunchtime but I always go there at least 30 minutes earlier to take photos. I have taken numerous photos of this place already but I can’t help but take more of it on every visit.
There’s a lifestyle and homeware shop which sells unique furniture and antiques. Their selections change constantly so no visit will be the same. Whoever their interior designer is did a great job of making everyone want every single thing displayed to recreate it in their own homes. If only I have space in the mouse trap that is called my apartment (and money), I’d buy everything here and make my abode a whimsical fairy tale land.
The Nursery and Garden Shop are also within the location with a stock of plants and flowers some of which I’ve never even seen before. If I was into taking photos of myself to be posted on Instagram, I’d be here every day donning my flowery flowy dress matched with a wide-brimmed straw hat. #blessed But that’s not me, so I continued on walking through the rows of plants and gardening tools dressed in what I can only call a ‘shabby’ fashion. The ‘chic’ was left out for obvious reasons.
For lunch, I had a strawberry bellini (GBP11.50) which is what you’d like to have when the weather’s warm but you still want to have a splash of alcohol in your drink because you’re borderline alcoholic. It’s a refreshing drink with a bit of a kick.
I had chargrilled marinated squid (GBP27.50) as a main course with baby potatoes (GBP6.00) and courgette (GBP5.50) as a side which Cindy and I shared. Ahhh it was marvellous! My main course was light which was what I was after for this meal as it was surprisingly warm that day, I just love the char taste in it. Reminds me of summers in Greece. The potatoes satisfied the starch craving that I needed and has that freshly picked taste in it while the courgette was a healthier alternative. I can never be dissatisfied with a meal here. We had coffee after the meal before bidding farewell to each other with a promise of setting another lunch date soon.
I walked to the bus stop nearby and as I boarded it, I was immediately drawn back to reality where I don’t have the luxury of dining at Petersham Nurseries every week because I’d file for bankruptcy shortly after if I do.