I’m lucky enough to live close to one of the sweetest lunch spots in South West London. Petersham Nurseries is a rare and unusual oasis, nestled between Richmond Park and the river Thames, that has established its own very special magic, available to locals as a cafe after dropping off children at school as well as for those coming from further afield to admire the plethora of plants. The combination of a seemingly effortless, bohemian garden with scattered flower pots, eclectic Italian glass and ceramics, shabby chic garden furniture and random seating are beautifully juxtaposed with the slickly run restaurant and the very serious business of gardening which is at the core of this lovely venture. It has that aspirational quality to it as well – if we all fell head first into a fortune, this is how we would want to live.
On any given day you will find one or several amateur artists sketching the bountiful blooms available everywhere. But it is a haven not only for artists and horticulturists but also foodies, both the serious and the casual. You have to book long in advance to secure a table in the excellent restaurant yet on any day you can come and enjoy the home-made salads and cakes available in the charming cafe, all displayed on large rustic plates, probably sourced in a souk or a flea market in India, that will satisfy even the most discerning lunch guest. The randomness and setting of the place, coupled with the irresistible food and artifacts makes every visit a memorable event. If you get a chance to go, I’m sure you too will fall under its spell. x