First Look…Petersham Nurseries
22nd September 2017
Petersham Nurseries is a swish horticultural lifestyle shop which opened its second site in Covent Garden this autumn. Launching in two phases, the shop, deli, wine cellar and florist are already open for business, with a bar and two restaurants hot on their heels.
The shop itself mixes plants and plant-based household products alongside horticultural knick-knacks you never knew you needed. The space is impressive, with high ceilings and a country greenhouse vibe. The layout encourages shoppers to take a turn about the store as if they were enjoying a hedged garden in some stately home.
Domestic shelves and dressers line the walls, with the kind of un-precious attention to detail that makes you curious to touch everything, opening drawers and pinching leaves as you go.
The plants are lush and green, and tailored to their space-poor city audience. We’re told that there is a potting service for bespoke window boxes, and there’s a programme of events around the central workspace inviting us to learn the basics (Houseplants 101, £45) or get our hands dirty (Create your own terrarium, £135).
Next door is the deli, which feels abundant and autumnal. The team behind the bar greeted us warmly and it didn’t matter if you were just there to press your nose against the glass of delicious looking cakes, meats and pastas. Not natural pairings, sure, but presented with the kind of Tudor opulence that makes everything look delicious.
A grab-and-go fridge nods to foodie trends for mix n’ match health food with minimal packaging. The store cupboard is stocked with local delicacies (London honey, anyone?) and Italian specialties, opening onto a small area for the florist and wine cellar.
Petersham Nurseries is a family business with an Italian heritage, and it radiates a specific kind of unpretentious luxury that’s catnip to browsers on any budget.
With big plans for seasonal courtyard dining with open air seating, this place feels like a burgeoning business powerhouse and a breath of fresh air.