I know a lot of people prefer visiting gardens in the Spring, when nature is in full bloom, but for me the best time of the year to go is the Autumn, when the gold and russet leaves are everywhere, and this week a visit to Kew's wintry landscapes may yet change my mind!
Last Thursday evening, Little Monsieur, Hubby Dearest and I wrapped up snuggly and took to Kew's Illuminated Trail, a special exhibit that has been created for the Christmas season, with special lights and sound effects adorning the path from the Christmas village to the glasshouses.
To be honest walking outdoors in the early evening in the middle of December didn't feature too high on my top 100 things to do, but I was so wrong. The gardens looked absolutely magical, with the lights and tree silhouettes reflecting in the ponds, fabulous installations and kids activities scattered all around. Little Monsieur is not yet three, but he had a lot of fun! (He did insist in his little imperious way on being carried on his daddy's shoulders... to better enjoy the views I'm sure).
My favourite section, and probably that of many visitors, was the giant light waterlily in the glasshouse: it hangs upside down from the ceiling and the reflection from the water is so perfect it almost look as if another lily is floating underneath. Absolute magic.
Of course if Little Monsieur could write he would tell you that his favourite part was visiting Santa in his woodland grotto (evidently there was a Santa grotto, which is nice since I couldn't face going to Harrods or another shopping mall in the middle of shopping frenzy). We did do the whole elf thing in the almost pouring rain, something I'll remind my little monster of when he is 15 and arguing I'm a bad mother for not letting him spend his nights out: I've been accumulating a little pile of evidence of all the things I've done for him over the years, we're on item 1,236 by now... he he!
Anyways my dear friends do visit Kew if you are in London around Christmas, it's truly special. And to all of you, have a wonderful Christmas and all the best to you and your families. xoxo. S