CHRISTMAS AT KEW

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Christmas may be over now (sobs) but there's always those last few days of Advent - and lingering post-Christmas posts to write up - before we finally say goodbye to another festive season, so being the Christmas addict I am (I've already mentioned Christmas  too many times in this paragraph) here's the last bit of sparkle before we welcome in the spring...



...The sparkle being a weekend in Richmond, staying at the Bingham Hotel - a lovely boutique on the edge of the river just a short walk from the main town. A converted Edwardian house, with ceilings so high and rooms full of big windows and mirrors to infuse light, it's a Pinterest dream. Each room is named after a key figure or work produced, ours being named Iris after the works of Michael Field, and filled with lovely delights of cookies in a jar and bathroom treats from L'Occitane.




The whole reason for staying in Richmond was for Christmas at Kew, and the event itself was an evening light show, stretching a mile around the gardens and setting the mood for the festive season. The path was cleverly lit with snowflake projections, taking you round the fairground where you could enjoy Fresh Doughnuts with Hot Fudge or £2 for two slides on the Helter Skelter (I'd rather have the fudge to be honest).









The lights are shaped and designed to resemble flowers and plants, some of which would look lovely in your own back garden and others wouldn't be too misplaced in a Florence and the Machine music video. From light and fire shows against the main greenhouse, to candle adorned 'Wish Trees', Kew was decorated in lights and super-sized treats galore.





Towards the end and in a much more woodland themed area, a pop-up Marshmallow roast section appeared where you could try three fancy flavours to roast over a hot open BBQ whilst a lady on stilts gave you a winter woodland name - we skipped on the names and headed for just the marshmallows, which were indeed huge and very sweet. I do like that marshmallows and meringues are following suit of cupcakes and becoming a bit more 'grown up' as it makes them even tastier and interesting to eat, and you can tell it's not as unnatural as the regular ones you buy.

After a lengthy roast, we passed few more decorated areas until we found ourselves back at the fair again. The whole tour takes around an hour and a half if you don't do all the rides, and it's lovely to see all the lights. That being said though, it's not the most awe-inspiring Christmas lights show; not every tree is decorated and in some places more could be done - you do end up walking some times with minimal 'decoration' around you and you kinda just think 'oh' and move on. Understandably, the price you pay does go towards the care of the plants, but if you aren't a massive garden lover then this might not be your bag if it comes round again this December because it's not so cheap.
Between this and Winter Wonderland, it's a lot calmer here post-Christmas or early in the evening, but even then your not swarmed with people, however there's not much to do it's more looking at lights in the trees. I imagine Winter Wonderland has more going on but can be crammed due to its popularity, but there's more to try out and eat than at Kew.

For something calm to do with the kids or parents who like their gardens, then consider the Kew lights next Christmas. I wouldn't personally go again, but the effort gone into the care and protection of plants is great to see, and with the easy access from Richmond I wouldn't mind having natural beauty on my doorstep. If there were more lights and more things to interact with, I may change my mind, but for now I'll be saying adieu to Christmas, and be looking forward to my own lights show this Christmas in my own personal grotto.





Have you been to Kew Gardens? Are you a fan of Christmas light shows? Are you sad Christmas is over or is Spring more your bag?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x


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