July 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm 34 comments


Once in awhile, if we’re lucky, we stumble upon heaven right here on this dusty dodgy earth.   I found just such a place while I was trotting around southern England last week.   Petersham Nurseries is located in a peaceful vale next to the river Thames just outside the London suburb of Richmond.  It’s so much more than a nursery though, and thus I felt I should share it with you all.  It houses a delightful tea house and a very fine restaurant, both of which serve outstanding local fare, much of which is grown within a stones throw from the table at which I dined.   My portion of sweet potato soup and homemade bread with local butter was sumptuous.    Scattered throughout the nursery and glasshouses are tables and chairs, many antique and charmingly mismatched, where diners can visit and eat or just have a meditative cup of tea.   The details of this treasure trove engaged me for hours.  Everything was seemingly perfect and poetic.  It’s just my kind of place and I hope you enjoy having a glimpse of it too. 

blue and silver

Pertersham Nurseries


Lemon Poppy Seed





 Paddle Plants




Entry filed under: Taste of Travels. Tags: , , , .

Cherry Yogurt Pound Cake Spanish Flan

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bo Mackison  |  July 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    This is such a lovely collage of photos, I had to stop and leave a comment. Together they add up to such a wholesome, comforting series.

    • 2. Jennie  |  July 21, 2009 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks, Bo, for taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂 It was indeed a very comforting place to spend an afternoon. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

  • 3. Rachel  |  July 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Welcome back! Great pictures. So much to see in each picture and then in each collage. Lovely!

    • 4. Jennie  |  July 21, 2009 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! Will share more photos with you in a few days! 🙂

  • 5. Tammy  |  July 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    What a charming place! Lovely photos.

    • 6. Jennie  |  July 21, 2009 at 6:24 pm

      Merci, Tammy! By the way, love your latest post on lemon verbena ice cream! I adore lemon verbena too and just happen to have a plant on my deck… 🙂

  • 7. heather  |  July 21, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I can’t imagine seeing such lush foliage and beautiful colors in SE Texas. Recently moved from WI and I’m having issues dealing with the drought and heat. This is a nice foray back to my old life. Thanks!



    • 8. Jennie  |  July 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm

      Wow, Heather, you went from WI to TX?? Now that’s a drastic change! 🙂

  • 9. Dana  |  July 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Your collages are so beautifully constructed, I felt like I had escaped the heat for a moment. All the photos are exquisite, but the way you put them together is just breathtaking.

    • 10. Jennie  |  July 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm

      Aw, thanks, Dana!

  • 11. Becky and the Beanstock  |  July 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Thank you for the journey — it was much needed today. Thank you also for the destination, and we’ll be coming to England in the fall and I’m in the process now (that oh so wonderful part) of gathering ideas and places I’d like to see.

    • 12. Jennie  |  July 22, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      Becky – Do you like gardens? I have lots of suggestions for gardens to see in England (all relatively close to London) if you are interested. 🙂

  • 13. Tipsy  |  July 23, 2009 at 6:50 am

    So beautiful! There’s something weirdly familiar about this place. It feels like home for some reason.

  • 14. Jessica  |  July 23, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I was in England last summer and I wish I had known about this place back then. It looks absolutely delightful!

  • 15. Noclegi Gory Stolowe  |  July 28, 2009 at 7:44 am

    It’s awesome. Looks like you’d feel like sitting in a huge greenhouse with plants around you. Must be lovely!

  • 16. k  |  August 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I have to keep coming back to this post and taking it all in. You have such a great eye. I love the enamel ware pales in the pastel colors and all the different plants – the make me think of hen and chicks but I have never seen them scarlet before. The tray of food is also great. One of my favorite thing about how you present the food you cook – is the flatware and the dishes you choose. I am a huge fan of vintage and mix and match sets – from bakelite handled flatware to depression glass, to ironware and sterling silver. There used to a coffee house/restaurant here called Chat Noir – it was in the bottom of one our Victorian houses and it was shabby mix-matched tables, chairs and the tableware looked like it came from charity shops – which was awesome! Real china cups and sauces with tiny sugar spoons, plates and bowls of all colors and patterns. I love the way they feel – warm – welcoming and that is what your recipes and finished products make me feel – Home.

    • 17. Jennie  |  August 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks, K! You’re always so complimentary (not that I’m complaining, I’m most certainly not!!). The hens and chicks are actually just that! There are an amazing assortment of these plants (Sempervivens is their botanical name) and they are definitely one of my favorites out in the big plant world.

      That coffee shop sounds amazing! It reminds me of a place I visited in London years ago on one of my earliest trips out of the country. It too was in the basement of an old house on Notting Hill and used everything mix ‘n match. I actually went looking for it this past visit and couldn’t find it again. 😦 BUT, I did find some amazing antique sugar spoons at a street market while I was looking and will be sure to feature them in a photo soon. 🙂

      Welcome Home!!

  • 18. Kathryn  |  August 7, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Thanks you so much for the beautiful photos! I got goosebumps just looking at them. It was like a mini-vacation from my desk at work! 🙂

    • 19. Jennie  |  August 18, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      Excellent!! Now if I can only figure out how to give people a tan through the computer monitor, I’d be a very rich lady. 🙂

  • 20. Sue in Philadelphia  |  August 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    This was so delightful that I sent it to a gardening friend of mine who lives in a London suburb, suggesting if she didn’t know this place she might want to check it out. Indeed, she and her husband went on Saturday and fell in love, as did you. So you’ve spread the treasure well!

    • 21. Jennie  |  August 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm

      Oh good! I’m so glad this post helped introduce someone new to Petersham’s as it really is an outstanding place that deserves supporting. Thanks for spreading the treasure yourself! Now go visit your friend and see petersham’s for yourself! 🙂

  • 22. Melly  |  August 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I have a friend who lives in London and am sending her this post! I feel as if I just had a refreshing cup of tea and a nice little nap…at the same time!

    Thank you very much!

    • 23. Jennie  |  August 18, 2009 at 4:25 pm

      Oh, wow, Melly, you’ve just put two of my favorite things into one sentence…tea and naps! I do hope your friend will have a chance to visit the nursery!! 🙂

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