I spent a marvellous day over the weekend, getting up early to catch a boat from Turk’s Pier in Kingston to Hampton Court, ready to see the Hampton Court Flower Show. It was an incredibly hot day, even first thing in the morning, and standing in the shade by the river felt wonderful. The boat was a little late arriving, so Mum and I had time to chat, revel in the cool breeze and watch the rowers go by.
Isn’t Kingston riverside pretty? I’m ashamed to say I don’t go for a walk along the river nearly as often as I should! The leafy Canbury Gardens which stretches alongside the river is very close to where I live, so I should definitely make more effort to get out for walks in the evenings.
Our boat arrived, and we clambered on deck and headed straight for the seats at the top, so we could look out and admire the views. I’d never taken a boat trip along this part of the Thames before, and now I want to do it all the time! It’s a fabulous way to get to Hampton Court – the views are so pretty, and for the first time I really got to appreciate this stretch of the river.
I know it’s nosy of me, but I always find other people’s houses fascinating, and there were certainly plenty of rather grand ones to gawk at as we chugged slowly along. After about 1/2 an hour, we arrived at the stop for Hampton Court Flower Show. I was amazed to see how busy it was already, considering it had only just opened (although nothing compared to how busy it got later!). We made our way through the crowds, grabbed our tickets and set about admiring lots of beautiful flowers and mini garden displays.
I have to admit that, much as I do love my plants, I found the crowds at the flower show quite hard to tolerate. It was difficult to see all of the floral displays properly (let along take photos), and, combined with the extremely hot weather, both Mum and I started to feel rather overwhelmed.
Fortunately, we found a shady and pleasingly quiet champagne bar and decided that a little light lunch was in order.
It’s amazing how some champagne and sushi can improve the spirits! Feeling properly fortified, we went off to explore a little more, before realising we had to dash to get the return boat and pick up my lovely friend Kristina, who was joining us for Kate Doran’s afternoon tea event in Barnes.
Kate Doran is the blogger behind The Little Loaf, and I’d recently got her new cookbook, Homemade Memories, so I was more than eager to attend her afternoon tea at Sonny’s Kitchen. The tea featured several of the recipes included in the book, such as oat and raisin buttermilk scones, chocolate honeycomb biscuit cake, pink grapefruit, ginger and poppyseed cupcakes, peppermint marshmallows and jammy dodgers. Everything was delicious, but the scones were among the best I’d ever had, and I’m definitely trying out the recipe myself soon. I’m actually not much of a scone eater, but these were good enough to convert even me!
We had such a fun afternoon chatting for hours and making our way through the impressive spread. I am so looking forward to trying more from the cookbook!
Have any of ever been to the Hampton Court Flower Show before? What did you think of it? Next time, I think I’ll definitely try to go during the week, rather than the weekend, if possible!