I’m delighted to have a guest review from the fabulous Mummy In a Hurry:
If you fancy an afternoon in the country, but feel like getting there might be a bit too much effort, then look no further than a trip to Petersham Nurseries, nestled in the heart of the tiny village of Petersham, just outside Richmond, between the Thames and Richmond Park.
To access the nurseries you need to either walk along a small footpath from River Road, or turn off the Petersham Road onto a muddy track (look closely or you’ll miss it). If the weather is pleasant enough, you can wander along the river from Richmond.
Stepping into the nurseries is like taking a step back it time, and just how I imagine a Victorian secret garden might be. The main seating area is in a huge, old fashioned glass conservatory, decorated with rugs hanging from the ceiling, old fashioned screens, and as you would expect in a nursery, a vibrant mix of greenery, The furniture is an eclectic mix of shabby chic tables and chairs, some wooden, some with distressed paintwork and rusting wrought iron garden furniture. Perfect for those with children, as they cant really damage it.
The floors are made from compacted mud, so there’s no need to worry about the occasional spilt drink or dropped cake. There are high chairs available for the teenies and toddlers.
On the day of my visit, I took my 6 year old niece, my mother, and my two children David (nearly 4) and Annabel (2). The food is prepared under the watchful eye of acclaimed chef Skye Gyngell. We didn’t eat at the main restaurant, instead, favouring tea and cake. The drawback if you have a pram, is that the food is served from a charming but raised wooden hut, so you will need a hand to lift the buggy up the steps which are a little steep.
We opted for coffee cake, carrot and walnut cake (popular with the kids), a Claudia Roden style orange and almond cake, and a lemon poppy seed cake with a crunchy drizzle icing.
There is only one toilet that is suitable for changing, next to the tea hut in what looks like an old stable block. As toilets go, it is as nice as you could find. Flagstone floors and framed pictures on the walls. It is clean, and well equipped with a changing table, the only disappointment being the slightly grubby looking changing mat. Its a unisex toilet, so Dads can do the changing too.
On the day we went, almost everyone there had children in tow. Although on this occasion I had another adult to lend a hand, when I have been there on my own, the staff have been only too happy to carry the food to the table for me.
Stylishness: 5/5 The epitome of country garden chic
Feeding Facilities: 4/5
Changing Facilities: 4/5
Overall rating 21/25 £-££