My Favourite Way to Spend a Summer Afternoon

Petersham Nurseries Richmond

Do you remember that iconic moment in Miss Congeniality when the pageant host asks Miss Rhode Island to describe her idea of a perfect date and she responds, “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.”

Well, for some reason, that moment was at the top of my mind when putting this post together. Because my idea of a perfect date is an August afternoon spent pottering around at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond.

Although, I’d make it a friendship date – rather than a date date – because I’d hate for a place as beautiful as Petersham Nurseries to be tainted with “bad date vibes”. It takes a while to get rid of the stink from a bad date. There are certain restaurants and bars in London that I still can’t bring myself to return to because they’ve been tarnished by moronic men. But I digress…

Free People Summer Dress YOOX

YOOX Summer Sale Free People
YOOX Summer Espadrilles


Style Credits: Free People dress at YOOX | Leo Studio Design espadrilles at YOOX  


For anyone who isn’t familiar, Petersham Nurseries is a very fancy garden centre that’s tucked away between the River Thames and Richmond Park.

You might think that sounds like a very strange place to hang out, but it truly is the most beautiful little London hideaway.

The nursery and garden shop feature beautiful blooms, year-round. And there’s also a homewares boutique on site, which is my happy place!

Petersham Nurseries Shop

Regular readers will know that I’m dangerously obsessed with Nancy Meyers movies, because they always feature the most stunning homes and interiors (think It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, Home Again etc). And the homewares buyer at Petersham Nurseries definitely has similar taste to the set decorators that Nancy Meyers collaborates with. Their product selection is a stylish mix of rustic, antique, vintage, and boho-inspired decor. It’s literally the dream!

Petersham Nurseries Teahouse

Once I’ve browsed the store until my heart’s content (and created a completely unattainable wish list that amounts to roughly £12,567), I then like to head to the teahouse, which serves seasonal salads, sandwiches and cakes. The menu changes daily, but they always have vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options. Their lemon polenta cake is my favourite!

There’s also a Michelin star restaurant at Petersham Nurseries. But I prefer the more casual teahouse experience.

Cocos Tea Party YOOX Summer
Lemon Polenta Cake

Summer is my favourite season to dress for. And I would happily live in breezy, cotton dresses 365 days a year, if the weather allowed. One of the latest additions to my summer wardrobe is Free People’s lace-detail, black maxi dress, which I ordered in the YOOX summer sale.

The dress acts as the perfect blank canvas. It can be dressed up for evenings with colourful jewellery and stiletto heels. It looks great with Converse sneakers and a denim jacket. And it’s easily elevated with vintage basket bags and colourful espadrilles. Speaking of which, these Leo Studio Design satin stripe espadrilles were another YOOX find, and have also gone on to become a staple in my summer wardrobe.

Cocos Tea Party Free People

What’s your idea of the perfect summer afternoon? Where would you go, what would you do, and how would you dress? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts…

~ This post was sponsored by YOOX. Thank you for continuing to support the sponsors that make Coco’s Tea Party possible. ~

Photos by Lydia Collins