Having previously visited and loved Petersham Nurseries I decided that a quiet Monday during half-term provided the perfect excuse for a return visit. We had a couple of errands to do in the area and were very much looked forward to returning to this emporium of home and garden design.
There were some benefits to it being a wet and miserable Monday morning, the crowds from our previous visit were nowhere to be seen. Parking nearby also proved fairly trouble-free. The wonderful displays of home and garden objects were there as expected. A few bursts of spring colour also brightened what was a truly dismal day…
The customer experience, however, left much to be desired. Uneven, muddy and slippery ‘paths’ made walking around outside spaces difficult. We were very much looking forward to a hot lunchtime snack and drink – this was not to be! The Cafe was closed and the Teahouse sold drinks but nothing to eat.
Petersham Nurseries is perhaps most well-known to foodies for the Petersham Nurseries Cafe and Teahouse and we were somewhat dismayed to find both empty and pretty much closed other than to serve drinks. On the website this is bizarrely due to ‘planning restrictions’… The wooden tables, reclaimed chairs and bamboo covered roof looked sad and uninspiring. These are at the heart of the Nursery and their closure made the whole site feel rather uninviting. There are not many (any?) traditional garden centres which don’t now serve food every day they are open. Although Petersham is by no means traditional, it could maybe rethink/renegotiate its Monday policy.
Will we return? Probably at some point in the future, but not ‘out of season’ and definitely not on a Monday!