If we have visitors from the Netherlands, we would like to show our new living environment by taking a nice walk. Earlier we followed the Thames Path in Chiswick with my parents. This time we decided to follow the same path in Richmond Upon Thames with Ralf’s parents who visited us last weekend.
Richmond is a suburb in South-West London and lies on a meander of the River Thames. In addition to a large number of parks, such as Richmond Park, you will find many open spaces and protected nature reserves like Richmond Hill. The little town was founded after the construction of Henry’s VII’s palace was completed in the 16th century. The palace is named after Henry’s county ‘Richmond, North Yorkshire’.
The Richmond Bridge was completed during the 18th century and many Georgian terraces were built, particularly around Richmond Green and Richmond Hill. These remain well preserved and many have listed monumental architectural or heritage status. The opening of the station in 1846 was an important event in the recording of the city in a rapidly growing London. Many features of the past are still clearly visible in Richmond.
We decided to start our walk from the station at The Quardant, direction George Street and Hill Street. A long, busy shopping street with small boutiques and larger stores like H&M, COS and House of Fraser. Just before Hill Street we walk into a sign of a Foodmarket. Around Christmas they are often extra cozy with warm snacks, mulled wine, fire puffs and Christmas music. We decide to wait with the lunch until after noon and continue our walk towards the Thames.
In the middle of the Richmond Bridge we stop for a moment to enjoy the beautiful view over the river. On either side of the Thames you see beautiful houses along the water, restaurants with terraces and rowing- and kayaking clubs. On the water bobbing boats, intended for pleasure, sports, passenger transport or as a residential destination. We walk back off the bridge because we have to continue our walking route on the same side of the water to arrive at our lunch destination.
We descend down with the stairs next to the bridge which end up at a large round terrace. It looked cozy under the tall trees. Such a place that hundred years ago also served as a recreation, meeting place. You know them from the old-fashioned postcards. Couples and families sitting next to each other with a blanket on their legs and a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate in the hand. At a table away, two elderly men who play concentrated chess. The pigeons pick the last crumbs from the ground. This place reminded me of that image.
It is a long path along the water that we walk down, occasionally we pass a coffee bar, rowing club, street musician, runners, walkers, couples in love, families and some ducks and squirrels. A peaceful walk along the water and the green open fields.
We turn off at River Lane and continue our way through a narrow alley which leads to the parking area of our lunch destination: Petersham Nurseries. It looks promising.
Petersham Nurseries, a family business of The Boglione family, is a true lifestyle destination in Richmond. In addition to a plant nursery you will find an elegant conservatory restaurant with an à la carte menu, a shop with antiques, household items and gifts and a glass tea house where you can taste healthy seasonal dishes and homemade cakes.
If you have plans to visit Peterham Nurseries and you want to have lunch or diner with a group? Keep in mind, it is crowded (especially during the weekend). We actually wanted to have lunch in the restaurant, but it was already fully booked. Reservations for the restaurant are therefore recommended. Lunching in the teahouse is mostly possible and is also great. In the summer you can also sit outside on the outdoor terrace.
After enjoying a delicious lunch, it is time to continue our walk. We decide not to take the same road back but to follow Petersham Road. This street ends at the foot of Hill Street, the street where we had walked earlier that day. And so we made a nice round of Richmond Upon Thames.
Time to catch the subway and go back home. Saint Nicholas would come specially from the Netherlands to Chiswick that evening to visit us. The twilight started fallen over London, the evening had come.
For more information about Petersham Nurseries, opening times and reservations see their website.