• Petersham Nurseries Cafe, photographed by Marimo Images

  • Photographed by Stephanie Wolff

  • Courtesy of Petersham Nurseries

  • Courtesy of Petersham Nurseries
The English are famous for their gardens — wild and literally enchanting. The stuff that poets write about and Jane Austen heroines read their books and make witty banter in. One such is Petersham Nurseries, just outside London. And it has all the charm you’d expect… and then some.

Nearly 20 years ago, Gael and Francesco Boglione bought Petersham House and moved their young family in. When the nearby nursery was being threatened, they bought it, too, and began restoring it, every few years adding in another layer of interest, be it a family of elephant topiaries, a working nursery and antique shop or a tea shop renowned for its scones and cakes.

The tea shop eventually spawned a restaurant, the Café, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2011. Dinners are intimate affairs, served in a glasshouse nursery-like setting with tables spread around an earth floor. The menu is made up of seasonal fare, like quail with grilled Treviso, lentils and pumpkin or burrata with pickled delica pumpkin, radicchio, oregano and taggiasca olives.

The shop is a mix of antiques from around the world — including paintings and statues from Francesco Boglione’s trips to India — to Astier de Villatte ceramics to the right weeding fork and Italian heirloom tomato seeds. The nursery also carries beautiful seasonal plants and flowers, which are sold in biodegradable pots made from coconut husks (so just plant as is).

Petersham is a favorite location for private events and is even starting to host special yoga retreats. Which are held, of course, under the grand crystal chandeliers in the main house’s ballroom.

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