I've got a lot of posts coming up in the next week or so over what we met up for, how freakishly easy it was to organise a day out and why blogging friendships are so vital for your wellbeing so for today I thought I'd simply share where we went and a few photos of what we saw.
Our plan for the day was Richmond almost from the start and it was a solid choice. A part of London I'd not been to before it was doddle off the motorway and we headed straight to Petersham nurseries for the morning.
Tucked away down the cutest of red brick lanes, the nurseries backs onto Petersham meadows with the river in the distance and it's the fanciest most Instagrammable garden centre I have ever been to. It's a gem, if you didn't know about it before I feel like it'll be on every London bloggers wishlist of places to photograph and it's calling out for an event there.
I mean, just look at these tables? The restaurant in the nurseries is a bit more exclusive and requires booking but the girls had lunch in the cafe (massively Insta worthy in it's own right) and you can eat at the tables outside or in one of the gorgeous greenhouse structures.
Naturally there's flowers and plants everywhere you look, from what you can buy to adorning every archway, table and shelf you can see. There's also lots of horticulture related nick nacks you can pick up from seed packets to dibbers and spritzers to furniture and the most divine mirrors I've ever seen. Would have totally picked one up if I thought I could get it back up the M4 in Sarah's car (and if I had a cool 1K to splash).
I think we probably only spent an hour and a half/2 hours in the nurseries, it was more of our 'morning event' after we'd travelled all the way there and it's not huge. It's perfect if you have a couple of hours to kill in the sunshine, nursing a cuppa, having a slow wander and a few snaps.
After ditching our leather jackets (we massively underestimated the weather) we nipped up the road to Richmond Park - ya'll know it from that Fenton vid which we intended to recreate but Mel wouldn't go for chasing the deer. I didn't even realise you could drive through the park or just how bloody massive it was either. The nurseries is a 5 minute drive if that but the Isabella Plantation in the park, where we intended to go, was down the other side and let me tell youI was glad not to have to walk all the way back at 5pm when my legs were aching and we were contemplating rush hour traffic.
I think it was Sarah that suggested the Isabella Plantation as somewhere to spend the afternoon, she'd been before but we were keen to see the Spring blossoms before all the flowers went over and we weren't disappointed. The plantation is woodland garden set in Richmond park (it's 40 acres on it's own, I feel like you can get a scale of the park from that) and it's glorrrrrious.
I don't think we made it round a quarter of the place all afternoon, we were stopping every 2 minutes to get some snaps of ALL THE PINK FLOWERS and the odd candid outfit shot. Some of the trees were already dropping their petals so whilst lovely to photograph (and handy to throw in the air) we definitely went at the right time of year.
We actually could not have been luckier with the weather. I was religiously checking the BBC weather app all week and even up until the morning we left it was saying 13 or 14 degrees and cloud and sun. FYI it ended up being 18 degrees and blazing sunshine all day. We had to don the suncream, I wish I'd worn a cold shoulder top and sandals and Sarah and I almost melted in the car.
Trust me when I say the leather jackets and jeans were not needed.
If you're in London needing to kill some time, find somewhere new to go, want to get out of the city centre - Richmond is the place to be. It's like another world driving along in the park and looking out over to central London, seeing the Shard like you see it on TV. Watching deer, watching people cycling - So. Much. Green. Everywhere. You'd be forgiven for thinking you were out in the countryside not in the capital and I for one can't wait to go back and see more.
We could've done with more time. We could've had an ice cream and sat in the park people watching. We could have got bikes and gone for a cycle and stopped off to look at things along the way. Sadly night shifts and the dreaded M25 were calling but I loved every second of the 6 hours we marched around Richmond - and my Insta feed isn't looking too shabby for it either.