November 4, 2008

Petersham Nurseries

When my friends suggested that we have lunch at Petersham Nurseries, I was delighted, because it had been popping up on my radar screen in the last couple of weeks. Instead of taking the train or tube to Richmond, just outside of London, I opted for the adventure of the bus, mainly because I wanted the visuals of leaving London for the suburbs and not the darkness of the Tube.After meeting up at our friend's house, we hopped in the car for the five minute drive to Petersham and turned into a narrow country lane. It was a bit drizzly, but not cold, and when we got out of the car, we turned to find a big field with some cows.
Once we walked in, I was charmed. It was just the kind of place I love - quirky and elegant at the same time (just like me!). It takes a month to get a reservation at the restaurant, but the wait staff wears wellies and aprons. Gardening utensils and seeds share space with crystal Christmas ornaments, and potted plants share space with country French and carved Indonesian furniture. Loads of wonderful things to look at, but most were just too big to consider carrying or shipping home. I did pick up the restaurant's cookbook for Sunday morning partner-in-crime, Kitchenography.
We wandered around for a while and then settled in for a long lunch of Cream of Courgette Soup and a good long chat and catch up. My father had met this family in 1945 in post-WWII South Africa and the friendship changed the course of his life. Over the intervening years, three continents, three generations and thousands of miles, the two families are still friends, and we hope to stay for friends for another couple of generations. Generations two and four are shown here!
All in all, a wonderful afternoon with life-long friends.


  1. What a beautiful place -- I see a million great painting opportunities there.

  2. I bet Kitchenography is head over heels over that cookbook! Looks like a wonderful place. Hope to visit it soon.

  3. Great story about the familys' friendship, and great pictures from your visit to Petersham.

    And, Just a Plane Ride Away, yes! I am totally head over heals for that cookbook. It's beautiful and the food is inspiring.

    BTW, I just read another post about Petersham Nurseries here.

  4. I must put this place on my itinerary for my next trip! It looks just lovely. Glad you are home safe!

  5. I haven't been to Petersham Nurseries as yet but I only ever hear good things and I can't wait to go. I am glad you had such a wonderful trip in the UK. xv

  6. Love seeing your photos - hope Petersham was as wonderful as it looks!



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