There are some people you just trust to show you a good time. When I dipped in late to an email chain and all I read was “10:45am at Richmond station” I just replied all and said I would be there. I mean, how much trouble can three kiwi girls get into on a bank holiday anyway? I didn’t find out where we were headed until I met up with Emma on the train (in one of those bizzare London conincidences we were only a carriage apart), turns out we were heading to the glorious Petersham Nurseries.
Its an amazing kiwi thing, where by on a sunny weekend you head to the garden center. I know it may seem strange to all you foreign readers that in a country like New Zealand, with such natural beauty, we would head to a garden shop for a coffee. But I don’t know, in a place without many formal gardens (of the type that are as common as colds in Europe) the garden center is a little bit of serene order…and they serve coffee.
The Petersham Nurseries was the perfect match for a spring bank holiday. Not a huge shop floor by New Zealand standards, but so artfully laid out with three glass houses, a cafe and a tea-house that you feel like you are in wonderland. Being three kiwis, we instantly investigated the food options, and since we didn’t have a reservation we found ourselves choosing from the eight cakes in the tea house.
Quite delightfully you can’t order a latte or cappuccino at Petersham, you can choose between a small or large cafetiere – side note more cafes should do this, a good cafetiere wins over a bad latte any day. To help wash down our coffee there was cake, oh boy was there cake. I went for the cappuccino cake (the irony did not escape me), the cake itself was perfectly baked and the icing was to die for.
If you need a break from the crush of the city and are lucky enough to find a sunny day the Petersham Nurseries is for you. Cake, coffee and hours of chatting are exactly what is called for on a bank holiday.