An oasis in London you don’t want to miss
London is an amazing city, but sometimes you just need to escape the concrete jungle, the crowds, the tube, the busy life, and just… rejuvenate.
One little oasis I’ve discovered in the big city is Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. With hectares of land dedicated to keeping, preserving and showcasing natural beauty, it’s a great place to escape the daily grind.
Only 10 miles from central London and easily accessible on the District line tube (it even has its own stop – the Kew Gardens Station in Zone 3), any person who dares call themselves a Londoner would have to come up with a damn good excuse to not have visited this spectacular place.
Kew was founded in 1759 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Kew is more than just a botanical park; it has over 100 world-class attractions, including The Palm House – one of the largest surviving Victorian glasshouses in the world, and the Royal Kew Palace which was home to George III and his many children. It also has events running all year, one of which I attended last weekend.
As part of its orchid festival and in conjunction with Valentine’s Day, an exquisite display of orchids of every colour, size and shape were on show in the Princess of Wales Conservatory during an evening adults-only event.
With the accompaniment of enchanting Brazilian music and with a glass of prosecco in hand, I wandered around the massive multi-level conservatory. Marvelling at the bright colours, lush greenery and sweet smells, as the mist sprays that bathed us and the plants kept the air fresh.
Kew went all out to make it an absolutely delightful Brazilian-themed event. Small drink kiosks were available throughout the conservatory offering wine, beers and more prosecco, and botanical cocktail-making classes were on offer. There were also free introductory dance classes (I managed to practice my salsa and rhumba steps), and you could even get your face painted in glittery, nature-inspired designs – just like if you were at the Carnival!
Kew is open all year round and has something to enjoy in every season. It’s a great place to escape, to learn about nature and history, and fill your senses with colour, fresh sounds and smells. If it’s to attend one of their events, or just to relax and wander through the large and ancient trees – go and make the most this nature oasis when you’re in London!