Those staying in London hotels this bank holiday weekend and anticipating agreeable weather should head down to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, where the summer-long IncrEdibles Festival kicks off this Saturday (May 25th).
Celebrating the extraordinary world of edible plants, from fruits and vegetables to exotic spices and flavoursome funghi, the IncrEdibles Festival incorporates a range of eclectic and entertaining attractions springing up around Kew Gardens’ famous Palm House.
The highlight is sure to be the enormous Tutti Frutti installation, which takes over the Palm House Pond courtesy of eccentric architectural foodsmiths Bombas and Parr. The pair have concocted an incredible bromeliad-themed boating experience, inviting guests to hire melon, papaya and durian vessels and cruise around in the shadow of a giant floating pineapple island. Boaters can even row into a secret grotto, festooned with bananas and ripe with their heady fragrance.
Visitors can also attend the Rose Garden Tea Party this weekend, where they’ll find a range of edible plants growing out of an exquisite tea service. Each place at the table follows a different gastronomic theme, telling the stories of how our favourite tea time treats are prepared and teasing guests with interactive riddles.
Kew Palace’s great lawn will become the Global Vegetable Garden, home to over 90 different varieties of edible plants from around the world including olives, grapes and pomegranates. Visitors are promised they’ll be introduced to some unfamiliar specimens as well as learning the little-known stories behind established favourites.
Those who work up a thirst in the hot weather can relax in the Picnic Garden, enjoying a cold beverage under a hop umbrella and learning about the surprising ingredients found in their favourite cocktails.
A range of other activities are available, including a ‘bouncy carrot patch’ for younger children and a coffee-themed exhibit at the Prince of Wales Conservatory.
Kew Gardens is a short trip from central London and IncrEdibles Festival entrance is covered by general admission tickets, which cost £16 for adults and £14 for children.