Sunday morning was just perfect, as we started with freshly made crepes Laszlo made for breakfast. The plan for the day was to visit Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. While the entry fee of 15 seemed too much, we soon realized that the garden was worth every penny.
While certain attractions were closed due to private events, temporary attractions were present. These included the ‘Write on Kew Literary Festival’ and the ‘Taste Adventure’. The pop-up book shop featured local novels, recipe books and children’s paperbacks.
Kew Gardens is home to over 100 world-class attractions which can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Historic buildings like the Royal Kew Palace which was home to King George III and his family in the 1700’s. The glass houses that feature the most unique plants all in one place. The Palm House, which is one of the largest surviving Victorian glass houses in the world. The Waterlily House featuring large and small waterlilies alike. The Princess of Wales Conservatory comprising of 10 different climate zones, including an orchid section, an area of carniverous plants, and a cactus section…where I couldn’t resist hugging a cactus…Laci’s favourite was the Apline House which holds small, delicate flowers that typically grow in high mountain areas. The award-winning building was specially designed to provide the right conditions for these plants. The Japanese Gate and Landscape to showcase eastern views. The iconic Chineese Pagoda built in 1762 which stands almost 50 meters tall! The treetop walkway, where guests will get a bird’s eye view across the arboretum. The park is also the proud owner of a Bonsai collection that consists of 150 trees. What was the most shocking for me is that these ornamental trees are miniature versions due to the way they are grown in small pots and pruned. If they were planted outside, they would grow into full size, mature trees! Among the diverse plants, the most interesting has to be the Monkey’s Puzzle. This species is normally found in Chile and Argentina. The tree has green, glossy leaves that overlap and completely cover each branch. Each individual leaf can last for 10-15 years!!!
As the day was coming to end, we stumbled upon the Marianne North Gallery, which was something breathtaking. She was an artist in the 19th century, who travelled the world and produced more than 800 paintings. It is not only art, but a display of botanical history. The walls of the gallery are lined with hundreds of her paintings. Simply beautiful.
After our long day, we tried Zizzi Ristorante, an Italian restaurant for where we had a two for one special discount card. Our drinks and food was both appealing and tasty. And they even offer gluten free pizza! Yummy