Lucie Loves... Lifestyle // Kew Orchids 2017: A taste of India at Kew Gardens Kew Late instameet
I was invited to join Kew Gardens – home of the planet’s largest collection of living plants – at their intimate, after dark evening event, celebrating the beautiful displays of orchids and tropical flowers.
The Orchid Festival 2017 takes place in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, which recreates ten climatic zones, and is just one of RBG Kew’s many fabulous glasshouses and attractions, and runs from 4 February - 5 March 2017.
Adult visitors can also check out the special Kew Lates events – for over 18s only, due to the array of delicious cocktails, botanical gin and Indian beer on offer – running each Tuesday and Thursday evenings, until 2 March, from 6pm to 9:30pm (last entry at 9pm).
This year’s Orchid Festival 2017 is by far one of the best yet – it’s certainly my favourite, and I saw quite a few of them, during my time at a Kew employee, working for Grow Wild.
Kew Orchid Festival is “a colourful celebration of India’s vibrant plants and culture.” It’s the very best of exotic horticulture, with an Indian theme. From impressive, animal and bird sculptures made out of plants and flowers, to gigantic hanging Vanda orchids and a beautiful Instagramable floral pond display – it’s truly a sight for sore eyes!
I found myself walking around the festival once, and then enjoying two more circuits – just to take in all of the tinier details. Visitors to the festival can find out all about the use of plants in Indian culture, food, worship, medicine and everyday life from the Kew Volunteers dotted around the POW conservatory.
And not forgetting this little treat, you also get the chance to have a taste of India; enjoy sipping on a Tiger beer whilst looking at the giant Indian flag, created from cut flowers, or purchase some of the tasty Indian-inspired dishes.
The sweet sound of Indian music drifts through the foliage and transports you from little old Richmond to somewhere far more exotic. It really made me want to visit India.
From Henna art to Indian-inspired colouring in stations, to wardrobe drop-in sessions, digging through Rupinder Kaur’s dress-up boxes, full of fancy saris – made from the most beautiful printed fabrics you’ve ever laid eyes on – there’s really something to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
There’s definitely something even more magical about visiting Kew Gardens after dark, but then again… I love the gardens whatever the weather, season or time of day – it’s really a must-see for any Londoner or visitor to the city.
Kew Orchids Festival 2017 runs daily from 4 February - 5 March 2017.
Thank you to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for inviting me along, and to Isaac and Suvreet for letting me take a photo of them.
Photography © Lucie Kerley