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Catch a glimpse of unseen London on Open Garden Squares weekend

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Open Garden Squares is an annual event held across 27 boroughs of London. It is a weekend, usually at the start of summer, where communal gardens that aren’t usually open to the public, unlock their gates and welcome people in. It is held in association with the National Trust and includes traditional gardens, garden squares, allotments and roof terraces.

Attending the Open Garden Squares event is a fabulous way to experience parts of London that are usually unseen. Some gardens offer guided tours, picnics and even activities such as puppet shows for the kids. Whether you want to spend a relaxed afternoon in the sun, enjoy a whirlwind tour or see lots of gardens, this is a great event. Below is a guide to some of the exciting and beautiful gardens that open their gates to visitors.

 

10 Downing Street

The small L-shaped plot of 10 Downing Street will be opened to 25 people only at this year’s Open Garden Squares event. The Prime Minister was happy to accept the invitation from the National Trust and take part in the event. It is very unusual for anyone to be allowed to visit the garden but this year it has been opened to a limited number of Open Garden Squares’ guests.

London has many amazing gardens to go visit.

London has many amazing gardens to go visit.

Larry, the Downing Street cat, often makes use of the garden which has been visited by many famous people over the years. Being allowed to view the Prime Minister’s garden is definitely a glimpse into unseen London, so if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket don’t hesitate to have a look.

 

Fulham Palace

Fulham Palace is one of the main residences of the Bishop of London. The Fulham Palace Gardens, as well as the Fulham Palace Meadows Allotments also open their gates to welcome visitors to experience their secret beauty.

Fulham Palace are also offering guided tours at various points throughout the day, so if you are particularly interested in getting a little more detail, why not embark upon a tour? Tickets are available on the door or by booking in advance online.

 

Valence House

The only one of Dagenham’s historic houses to survive, Valence House dates back to the early 1400’s. Today, the house is open to the public as a local history museum, and it is partially surrounded by a moat.

Why not go and discover some of the unseen parts of London?

Why not go and discover some of the unseen parts of London?

This beautifully historic house has a wonderful herb garden that is accessible only during the Open Garden Squares celebrations. During this exciting event guided tours are available where you can discover an abundance of interesting historical facts about the site and the garden. Entering the Valence House garden during the event is a fantastic way to see the exciting and unusual parts of London.

 

Westminster Abbey Gardens

Westminster Abbey is one of London’s central attractions and biggest icons. The stunning green areas, usually closed off to the general public, will be opened up for Open Garden Squares only. It is located in the centre of London and has hosted 16 Royal weddings, most recently that of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

One of the gardens is situated around the ruins of the old medieval chapel and has numerous beautiful flowers growing across it. Visiting the Westminster Abbey Gardens is truly a once in a lifetime experience to see some of London’s hidden majesty.

 

Conclusion

The Open Gardens Square event is a fantastic and unusual way that you can catch a glimpse of unseen London. With so much hidden beauty in this metropolitan city, you might just be surprised at what you find.

Image credits: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) and Sarah Korf

Explore the world of the IncrEdibles at Kew Gardens

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If you’ve got green fingers and ticklish taste buds, then you’ll love the IncrEdibles summer show at Kew Gardens this year. A great and extremely unique way to enjoy your days come rain or shine, the Kew Gardens grounds are packed with activities for all to enjoy. As well as the amazing fun to be had, visitors are surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Kew where this summer, the place will be brimming with boating, botany and plenty of barbecues! Here’s a little more about the IncrEdible adventures waiting to be explored.

 

Weird and Wonderful

Kew Gardens’ IncrEdibles festival is all about giving you a taste of the wild, from a botanical point of view! While some of us struggle to give our five fruit and vegetables a permanent place in our culinary calendar, this brilliant display of incredible edible plants will certainly spice up your menu! Come to see plants of all shapes and sizes from around the world, and learn how to use them in the fight against a dreary diet. Whether you’re 7 or 70, the IncrEdibles has something new to teach everyone, and is a fantastic family experience.

 

Swimming With Salad!

Kew Gardens isn’t all about the greens; in addition to the beautiful grounds and historic buildings, the Palm House pond is also being transformed this summer for the IncrEdible festival. Bompas & Parr are giving visitors a chance to dive into a brilliant boating experience, colourfully called ‘Tutti Frutti’! From the end of May, right up to the 1st of September, you can set sail on a giant fruit or veg boat, and off onto the open water. Mystical grottos and an impressive Pineapple Island make this boating bonanza engaging and fun for all ages! All it takes is a little advance booking beforehand; to make sure you get your perfect half hour experience. Bring your sea legs and an appetite for adventure!

Kew Gardens is a great day out for all.

Kew Gardens is a great day out for all.

 

Time for Tea

Hosted in the stunning Rose Gardens in the Kew grounds, a delightful tea party is held from May 25th all the way through to the beginning of November. This isn’t your ordinary tea party though, and certainly not one you’ll want to miss! This is a tea party with a twist; an amazing variety of vegetables and fantastic fruit, edible plants abound as they appear to grow from the very platters, dishes and dinnerware before your eyes. Your taste buds are sure to tingle, but there’s plenty to train your brain too. Great interactive riddles and puzzles will challenge you as to what really goes into your favourite scrumptious snacks and guilty grazing pleasures. Surprises are in store!

 

Home-Grown

On Saturday 1st of June, there’s a one day event that you won’t want to miss. Make sure that you come to enjoy this brilliant day to learn all about growing in your community, and all about sustainability from the experts. You may even want to change your lifestyle after these lectures; there are great benefits for learning about the environmental impact, and the huge positives for your community that come with local growing gardens. You may embark on a new journey that you never considered as a possibility before.

Kew Gardens has many amazing parts to it.

Kew Gardens has many amazing parts to it.

 

Conclusion

The IncrEdible festival is a fantastic opportunity to experience something new, exciting and different to anything else available this summer. A great experience for friends, families, adults and children alike, it’s a chance to find out more about our colourful world and the great things that grow in it. Kids 16 and under even get in absolutely free.

If you really are what you eat, then why not be fun, exciting, weird and wonderful? Make your way down to the Royal Botanic Gardens in London this year, for a spectacular summer adventure that you’ll never forget!

Image credits: osde8info and HerryLawford

Indulge in the best that luxurious London has to offer

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As the UK’s capital city, and part time home of the Queen, London certainly has a lot going on. Whether you are visiting with friends, family or have just moved there, you will be spoilt for choice. It is definitely the place to go if you are looking to enjoy a relaxing yet luxurious break in a big city.

If you want to indulge in some of London’s most sumptuous offerings then look no further. Below is a guide to some of London’s top class, 5 star accommodation, cuisine and activities.

 

Hotels

London has many luxury hotels offering stylish accommodation. Some of the top hotels include The Ritz, The Dorchester and The Four Seasons at Park Lane.

The Ritz is world famous and one of London’s most popular high-end hotels. Its ornate décor and high quality service are definitely worthy of the 5 star rating that the hotel proudly boasts.

London eye

This is perhaps one of the greatest views of any city in the world.

The Dorchester is located in Mayfair, one of London’s most wealthy areas. It has a large number of rooms and suites on offer. The cuisine in the Dorchester is unmatchable; with such delicious food and spacious rooms there’s no doubt this is one of the top luxury hotels to stay in while in London.

The Four Seasons is surrounded by greenery and is also located in Mayfair. It houses a glass walled roof-top spa with an accompanying lounge with panoramic views across the city.

 

Restaurants

London is home to many Michelin-starred restaurants, so you can dine in style while you’re in the big city. Why not try out Gordon Ramsey’s personal restaurant if you fancy that celebrity touch? However, if you want a table here you definitely need to book well in advance as demand is high. But if you are lucky enough to get a reservation you will find that the restaurant serves wonderfully unusual dishes as well as many traditional and somewhat simple meals that taste absolutely scrumptious.

London at night has many great places for the rich to visit.

London at night has many great places for the rich to visit.

If foreign food is more your style then why not try Momo? Located in Mayfair, Momo is easily London’s most glamorous Moroccan restaurant. The restaurant makes every effort to completely set the atmosphere with relevant music and lanterns as well as food. If you’re looking for a quirkier high-end restaurant then Momo is definitely the place to eat.

 

Spa

One of the most popular activities to do if you’re looking to indulge in some of the luxuries that London has to offer is to visit a spa. Despite London being a bustling city brimming with excitement, there are a few tranquil havens located in and around the city itself.

Spending a day at the spa is a brilliant way to relax and you can indulge in various treatments to help you, including full body massages. With so much opportunity for pampering, the 5 star spas that London has to offer are a great way to spend a luxurious day lounging around the big city.

 

Shopping

Whatever you are looking for, London is packed with luxury shops waiting to be explored. Mayfair and Bond Street are the primary high end shopping areas where you will find shops such as the world famous store Harrods.

There are also a large number of independent shops in these areas that carry many hidden treasures. If you’re looking to buy something unique yet luxurious then London is definitely a great place to go.

 

Conclusion

Although overflowing with life, London also has many hidden treasures and luxurious locations. Whether you’re looking for accommodation, restaurants, activities or an entire holiday package, you are sure to find the perfect luxurious escape in this wonderful city. 

Image credits: martie1swart and ramonbaile

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