I was in Kew Gardens yesterday, almost enjoying the heat of the Indian Summer that has suddenly arrived. I partook of refreshment (tea, egg and cress sandwiches and a bottle of Fentiman's Ginger Beer) under the rustling leaves of the carefully considered pergolas outside the Pavilion Restaurant. I could have been in a Paris park. Round the corner is Decimus Burton's Temperate House that was once the largest plant house in the world. It's still the biggest surviving Victorian glass structure anywhere. Started in 1859, the government allocated £10,000 but four years later the Treasury got cold feet and brought construction to a halt. It took another 35 years for it to be finally completed. I love glasshouses, and this one needs a helping hand because it's been another 35 years since the last restoration. Find out more here.
Fernando Gutiérrez: Understated elegance
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