Have you ever gone somewhere and immediately felt giddily happy to be there, in that moment, in that wonderful place? That is Petersham Nurseries for me, a plant nursery and organic restaurant just outside London. We went to have a casual lunch, and admire the plants (if only we could bring them home with us!), and lingered most of the afternoon.
It was a bright, chilly spring day, and everything was in bloom – tulips, primroses, lilies of the valley, fruit trees – everywhere we looked something was budding urgently. There is a tea room and a restaurant at Petersham, both nested snugly inside the greenhouse and separated by a vine-covered arbor. Heavily-fruited lemon trees and spirea standards snuggle up against the vintage re-purposed tables, where they serve things like nettle soup with crème fraiche and blackthorn panna cotta with wild strawberries.
Blackthorn panna cotta with wild Strawberries
A little robin swept in and out of the greenhouse as we ate (the waitress said his name was Robin and he lived there). It was that kind of place – a bit magical in the ease with which living things seemed to coexist so happily. We admired the cheese tray, presented under garden cloches and festooned with cherry blossoms. There were enticing homewares and vintage garden items for sale among the plants and pots, and we wandered the garden rooms bounded by old wagon beds filled with popping buds and wicker-trained jasmine, Lenten roses, and clay pots of violets (violets!).
Needless to say, I took a few photos, because there’s nothing happier than nature when it is being fully appreciated and nurtured by man. I hope you find your Petersham Nursery experience, if you haven’t already. For more photos of Petersham Nurseries, scroll to the last photo and enjoy the slide show.
I ate nettle soup with crème fraiche and blackthorn panna cotta with wild strawberries – and I am still thinking about that meal.
Nettle Soup with Crème Fraiche