To me, Kew Gardens a must-do when in London. They have the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world (impressive whether you’re a first time visitor or seasoned regular). Founded in 1840, it is one of London’s top tourist attractions (but due to it being 300 acres, it never feels crowded) and is a World Heritage Site. Perfect for a romantic picnic with your love, taking the kids to let them run around and explore, for bloggers looking for that insta-worthy shoot location, or for people like my Dad that just want to look and learn about all the different plants. It really is fun for anyone and only 30 min by tube from Central London.
I highly recommend taking a picnic (and, ahem, Kew allows alcohol so don’t forget your champagne, wine or favorite ale). You can make your own, pop into a Pret a Manger before getting on the tube, or if you’re feeling extra romantic (or bloggery haha) you can go for the fancy picnic (for pick up or delivery) from Newens The Original Maids of Honor Tea Room and Shop.
The Maids of Honor Tarts they are famous for selling were a favorite of King Henry VII. Supposedly he named them that after he saw Ann Boleyn and her “Maids of Honor” eating the cakes at Richmond Palace. He loved them so much he confiscated the recipe and announced it to be for royal consumption only, though the recipe was later leaked in the 18thcentury, quickly becoming a fashionable teatime treat.
You can now include these famous tarts in your own bespoke picnic, along with one of their gorgeous lunch packages, and the tea, wine or champagne of your choice. I wasn’t able to do it this time but next visit I will most certainly be having champagne and Maids of Honor Tarts in the park. And if you’re feeling particularly extra, they even have a special range of vintage and antique items for hire to make that picnic even more British (baskets, flasks, china, silverware, blankets etc.).
In Kew Gardens, there are so many beautiful spots to sit down to eat but my favorite will always be under the canopy of one of their many enormous trees where the leaves touch the ground creating a private, shaded little room.
We were lucky enough to stumble upon the breathtaking aerial performance Harmonic by Cirque Bijou complete with a unique musical score by cellist Rob Lewis. They perform throughout the day in the Temperate House (the largest Victorian glass house in the world and home to some of the world’s rarest plants) to celebrate it’s recent reopening so make sure to check it out as it was absolutely mesmerizing.
I cannot say enough good things about Kew Gardens. When I was little we would spend summers in London with my Granny and she would always take us here. It’s so beautiful and special to me that now I get to watch my own children appreciate and explore one of my favorite places. If you’re in London, you will not regret a trip to Kew!