Fun in the sun at RHS Hampton Court
First off, apologies for the long silence. It has been a crazy couple of weeks and one side effect of writing for a living is that blogging can seem like a busman's holiday when things get hectic at this end.
I'm not sure why. I'm probably not doing it right, but there you go.
Either way, yesterday S and I decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day (and there has been a fair amount of hustle and bustle recently) and get out into the sun.
In proper summer holiday temperatures we donned hats and glasses and headed for Hampton Court and the RHS Flower Show.
We emerged from a sweaty train – glamorous as ever – and rolled down to the fresh air of the riverside to board a boat taxi across to the Palace gardens. The cool breeze drifting off the water was like the best air conditioning in the world.
We probably could have walked it (we definitely could have) but why walk when you can arrive in style?
We turned up half way through the last day of the event, which meant the great ‘4pm sell-off’ was on the horizon and people were starting to get their eye on what they wanted to take home with them.
Not us. Our first thought was a sugar hit for the exploring ahead.
From there we headed across to the huge white orb which dominates the first part of the show. Where we found this chap.
Inside was an exploration of the plants which have survived and evolved since the beginning of the Earth’s evolution.
Some of these plants have been around since the Jurassic period. And they’re just beautiful.
Imagine being a T-Rex and strolling through this flora and fauna.
The show rolls out through the grounds around the palace and spills across the lake down the middle of the gardens.
But before we got to crossing over, S had one place she needed to stop.
She is an avid Country Living fan and reader and we took a look at the stalls inside. Frankly we could have spent hours – and hundreds – on the art, clothes and products on offer inside. I will give a quick shout out to the Norse team, whose beard oil has become a staple of mine since I picked it up at an event earlier this year.
After emerging from the increasingly warm tent, we took a trip through the flower tent to see the bright blooms whose scents were drifting through the warm afternoon.
Then it was across the lake for lunch.
Not a bad setting, it has to be said. We found a shady spot under a tree and stretched out on the grass with meals of falafel in pitta and Mexican bean burgers.
When we finally dragged ourselves back to our feet the sell-off was looming, which meant we had to take this last chance to grab a look at the show gardens.
These are a couple of the highlights.
As we rounded the last one we heard the klaxon which signified the start of the sell-off. People crowded round stalls to grab their chosen bloom – and we made a sharp exit before it all came apart.
Back down to the river for an afternoon stroll in the sun.
Hampton Court, you beauty.