Last month my friend Jenny and I decided to take a day off and spend it together. Initially we were going to do something crafty (like a pottery class) but couldn’t find anything that was during the day. Finally we settled on meeting in Richmond and I booked lunch at the gorgeous Petersham Nurseries as I’d been before and I knew Jenny would love it – also, they allow dogs so Jenny could bring Dot, her sausage dog, with her.
We parked the car near Ham House and walked along the Thames to Petersham Nurseries. We picked the perfect day for a day out of the office as it was about 26 degrees Celsius! And no-one wants to be stuck indoors when the weather is like that…
If you’ve never been to Petersham Nurseries, you are missing out! It’s a Nursery so is filled with greenhouses with gorgeous plants and flowers and garden bits and bobs – it’s a paradise for gardeners (and those who just love gardens). They also have a shop that sells beautiful furniture, decor, glassware, antiques and gifts such as soap and hand-cream.
When dining at Petersham Nurseries, you have two options – The Teahouse or Petersham Nurseries Cafè. The Teahouse offers casual dining where you can have seasonal food and tea and cake. When we visited, it was such a beautiful day that many people were enjoying their lunch outside.
We had booked into the restaurant, which is usually inside but as the weather was so fabulous they moved it outside to one of the greenhouses. One of the best things about eating here is how all the tables have gorgeous flowers.
What we didn’t know at the time was that there would be a wedding party arriving in the middle of our meal – how stunning did their table look?
The menu at Petersham Nurseries is seasonal and inspired by Italy. Both Jenny and I opted for the Portland crab with chilli, fennel, apple and Amalfi lemon salad as a starter. It was beautifully presented, fresh, light and tangy. The perfect dish for a hot day.
For mains, I opted for the fillet of Brill with clams, broad beans, Creme Fraiche and pea shoots. Again, a beautifully presented dish that tasted as good as it looked. The fish was perfectly cooked and I adore clams. The sauce was light and worked well with the Brill, which is not a fish I’ve had often but it was lovely – nice and meaty.
Jenny chose the Haye Farm lamb with Jerusalem artichokes, kale and Salsa Verde. I must say, it looked scrummy! Jenny thoroughly enjoyed her main and Dot got to enjoy a little bit of the lamb too.
Usually I don’t have dessert at lunch but they looked too good not to! I chose the chocolate and pistachio option whilst Jenny went with rhubarb. I’m not going to lie, the look of my dessert made us giggle. I think the heat had perhaps affected the shape… nevertheless it was yummy, as a dessert should be.
The star of the show was Jenny’s rhubarb dessert! I had a little taste and regret not ordering it (sorry, chocolate dessert). The cake was light and the rhubarb was just right – not too tart. If this is on the menu when you visit, order it!
We had the best time at Petersham Nurseries, looking at all the lovely flowers and plants, walking round the garden and greenhouses and then enjoying a delicious three-course lunch. It was perfect.
After lunch we wandered along the river. Richmond is just gorgeous, I absolutely love going there and it’s so close from central London too. It has a real village feel about it and where Petersham Nurseries is located, it feels like you’re in the countryside.
Did you know that Petersham Nurseries has opened a branch in Covent Garden? It’s on my ‘must-visit’ list!