It's only 4 weeks until we leave London for at least 4 years. As the departure day draws nearer, we think of more and more things we will miss, and are doing all we can to make the most of every last minute of the time we have left in this city. This sudden time limit has given us a huge drive to cross things off our London to-do list which have been sitting there for far too long. One of these things was a visit to Chelsea Physic Garden.
We ran off to the other side of town one Sunday morning, and were in need of a strong coffee and a slice of cake by the time we made it there. We'd been told by many that hidden away in these gardens was the most wonderful café. In fact, it was far more wonderful that we could ever have expected.
Entering the garden through a little side gate hidden in a wall off the busy main road, you pass by a blackboard telling you what time's today's tours are, you wind past the ticket hut, and past beds and beds of plants, flowers and herbs, until you reach a stone cottage at the back corner of the garden. Tables are scattered around outside, and inside is a simple long bench with a few cakes, a coffee machine, and a selection of teas. Being the early birds that we are, the cakes had barley been cut into yet. The wonderfully smiling staff told us what they had made that morning, and we ordered a slice of orange polenta cake, and a slice of courgette and walnut loaf, both with a generous dollop of the richest crème fraîche on the side.
Sitting outside with a mug of coffee and a slice of fresh, summery cake, surrounded by all the colours of the rainbow, it was one of the happiest London moments. There were many smiles and lots of laughter as we relished the hours we spent in this bountiful west-London garden, which won our hearts by serving one of the best pieces of cake London has to offer.