Friday, 28 May 2010

Kew Gardens: Butterflies, Bugs and Beasties

Today has just been a busy day hasn't it? Three updates in one day?! We're lucky if I can find at least ONE thing to write about...

Anyway, the hottest news off the press right now that happened to leap out and smack me in the face is that Kew Gardens is holding an event, known as Butterflies, Bugs and Beasties. Delightful name, isn't it? In a nutshell, it covers the details of pollination and how the plants, animals and insects all work together to sustain life.

While exploring the grounds, you can pick-up a Butterfly and Moth spotter guide so that you can identify the species you come across - how many will you find? I think I might check it out - I do have a fondness for butterflies and I once raised a moth...

The event runs from 29th May to 5th September.

Feature: The Hampton Court Palace Music Festival 2010

Now in its 18th year, the Hampton Court Palace Music Festival is a spectacular two-week event featuring top-name artists from a range of genres. Past names include Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and many more.

With concerts taking place at the Base Court, the event continues a tradition of entertainment first introduced by the Monarchy and Nobility of the 16th and 17th Centuries. When booking their ticket, guests to the event can include an option of  a picnic - the menu arranged by leading gourmet chefs.

I can only imagine how amazing it has to be - enjoying a gourmet picnic in the beautiful warmth of the evening Sun and once you're done, to be treated to a memorable performance in the spectacular setting of Hampton Court Palace. I can think of no better way to wind down after a busy day...

...Yes, it's true...I have never been to this event, but I certainly do hope I will at one point. If you happen to go, please remember this post and drop a comment...we would love to hear about your experience!

This year's artists include:
  • Jackson Browne - 8th June
  • The Gipsy Kings - 9th June
  • Van Morrison - 10th June
  • Jools Holland - 11th June
  • Nicola Benedetti - 12th June
  • Simply Red - 15th and 16th June
  • Michael Bolton - 17th June
  • Katherine Jenkins - 18th June
  • Michael Ball - 19th June

Event Update: Isabella Plantation

The first update of the day is an update to the Calendar! We've updated it to include three upcoming tours of the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park. The tours are held by the gardeners who tend the plantation and coincide with the the season the 'residents' are in bloom.

I popped down almost a month ago now to see the Kurume Azaleas - they were extremely beautiful, and I'll put the images up soon. Bruce, the MD, went to the plantation a few Sundays ago with his wife, as they took their dogs for their morning walk and arrived just in time for the tour - we didn't know about it until then! They had a lovely time and highly recommend the tour - I know I'm going!

The last dates of the season are:

Friday 4th and 25th June and Sunday 13th June...perhaps I'll see you there!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Summer Activities

With the full force of Summer on it's way (I like to think that the recent spate of wondrous weather we're having is an omen of good times ahead), there are a number of events and activities to look forward to and experience. These include the following:
  • Hampton Court Palace Music Festival: 8th-19th June
  • Twickenham Festival: 11th-20th June
  • Heritage Now! Exhibition, Orleans House Gallery: 12th June-26th September
  • Royal Ascot Races: 15th-19th June
  • Kew Music Festival: 19th-27th June
  • Waterworks at War, Kew Bridge Steam Museum: 19th-20th June
  • Wimbledon Tennis: 21st June-4th July
  • Henley Regatta: 30th June-4th July
  • Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: 6th-11th July
  • Kew Gardens Summer Swing: 6th July-10th July
  • Henry VIII's Honeymoon Pageant: 24th July
  • Sunbury Regatta: 14th August
  • Sunbury Junior Regatta: 15th August
  • Internal Combustion Galore, Kew Bridge Steam Museum: 11th-12th September
  • The Great River Race: 25th September
  • Ham Polo: Every Sunday until 26th September
Quite a hefty list, wouldn't you say? In the coming days/weeks, I'll be writing about each one and perhaps I'll increase the list with shows at the Theatres.

Watch this blog!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Chamber Transport Event at the Bingham

aka Arcadian Thames Destination Travel Plan Network & the Great River Race 2010

We attended the event at the Bingham last night having been invited by Jason Debney, the Strategy Co-ordinator of the Thames Landscape Strategy (TLS), who hosted the event with The Great River Race (GRR) and the Richmond Borough Chamber of Commerce (RBCC). The event provided the opportunity to learn more about the project, and rub shoulders and network with a lot of strong players and sponsors of the GRR, such as eBay and Fosters, as well as council members. There was also the opportunity to take a short trip on HM the Queen's Royal Thames Shallop (an 8-oared barge), 'The Jubilant' - which was built by Richmond's own Mark Edwards, to celebrate Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee in 2002.

We rowed to the venue on the boss' new Double Scull with me coxing - it was an amazing experience. I hadn't been on the River since my kayaking lesson during my Sixth Form years! It's so tranquil and the view is quite extraordinary, rounding the corner and coming into view of the Star and Garter and The Petersham, nestled upon the proud brow of Richmond Hill, framed on either side with the trees of the river banks. I'm not sure what it is, but I particularly find the willow tree to be one of the most beautiful trees in existence. There's just something about its leafy tendrils, draping elegantly towards the water's surface and swaying gently in the light breeze that's quite mesmerising...

We managed to arrive at the venue in good time, mooring at Mark Edwards', and walked along the bank to the Bingham, which has a great view of the River from the terrace. The event went really well, having met a lot of interesting people and complimented with an excellent selection of light finger-food consisting of a variety of home-made crackers with fruit chutney (perhaps apricot?), a selection of cheeses, sliced fruit, savoury snacks and chocolate. I could have eaten the crackers and chocolate all night, but I have to watch the figure...put on a few at my cousin's wedding...I'm not one for cheese, unless it's melted on pasta or pizza, but everyone else seemed impressed so I assume that coupled with my opinion on some of the snacks and the near empty tables, the selection was as expected of a Michelin starred restaurant. So hats off to the Bingham for providing a lovely menu! Oh and I loved the non-alcoholic drink, I think it had Lychees but I should check just in case.

I would also say that what also added to the success of the evening is the number of our Destination Richmond packs that were left - 6 out of a possible 20, which were put out. Hopefully, that will generate some further interest in our actvities.

P.S. I love the auto-save draft feature! Had a guest come in who used my PC and closed the browser while the post was a work-in-progress!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Expanding into new waters

And so, at long last, the Eye on Richmond blog has been set up to supplement the Destination Richmond website with a more personal touch.

Expect pictures, stories and personal accounts as well as detailed recommendations for things to do and what's on offer!