Last night Dan and I finally ventured out to West London’s Kew Gardens for their third annual Christmas at the Kew event, a magically lit after-hours wonderland with a one-mile sparkling path winding its way through the world-famous botanic gardens once the sun goes down. Originally the plan was to visit the gardens before Christmas but a combination of waiting too long to buy tickets and an awful bout of tonsillitis waylaid those intentions, so instead we got to extend our holiday cheer by visiting after Christmas day (though Santa had retired for the year and was explainably a no-show at his workshop set up in the park).
I was surprised to find out that Kew Gardens was home to one of the very first decorated Christmas trees in England. According to the Kew Gardens website, it was Queen Charlotte in the 1790s who dressed up tree branches in one of the largest rooms at Kew Palace.
After grabbing some pulled pork sandwiches and hot tipples from one of the food stalls set up near the entrance we set out toward the start of the illuminated trail. For the next hour we meandered through the Christmas hued park admiring the dancing projections across the iconic Palm House, listening to the Choir of the Holly Bushes as they lit up in playful ribbons of light in time to festive music, and watching the flames dance at the Fire Garden.
Next year, Dan and I will be sure to include Christmas at the Kew in our holiday plans again and to remember to buy tickets earlier!