Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Great River Race 2011 Spectator Boats

I know, it's been *checks last post* Wow, exactly two months since my last post and I was hyping up the Taste of Twickenham, which didn't do too bad but not too good either...in short the future of a similar event has a big 'Question Mark' hanging over it, but I hope another does happen and the potential of such an event can be realised. Oh, also the weather this time around wasn't too favourable...

Well, going back to point, I'm writing again to hype another event - The 2011 Great River Race - particularly, the Spectator Boats that we have on offer. So, whether it’s for the fierce competition; the rigorous challenge after months of preparation or to support one of the many all-deserving charities – participants from across the world travel to take part in one of the most gruelling races conceived along 21 miles of the mighty River Thames, from the Docklands to Ham. Each year, the number of participants continues to grow (over 300 boats last year!) and continues to draw an impressive crowd along bridges and riverbanks – all gathering to cheer on their family; friends; supported causes or just out of sheer enthusiasm.

Great River Race (2010)

One can imagine how difficult it is to get a prime spot to watch the Race, and it is with this in mind that we are excited to offer the best seats possible – Spectator Boats! We have two wonderful boats – The Viscount and MV Connaught – offering comfort and over 100 seats each. Adult Prices are £27.00 (Viscount) and £28.00 (Connaught); Child Prices (for Under 16 years) are £12.00.

The Viscount

MV Connaught

The Viscount will follow the Race from start (Isle of Dogs) to finish (Ham), with a stop at Hammersmith to let most of the Race go by so that you can continue with the main body. The Connaught will leave from Richmond, steam to Hammersmith and return with the main body of the Race back to Richmond, where it will moor and be used as a grand stand and bar. If local to Richmond and choosing the Viscount, there are shuttlebuses from Thames Young Mariners to the start available at £11.50 per person – contact us for further details.

Lunch is not served on the boats, but you are welcome to bring your own lunches - make a day of it! A picnic on the river! The bar takes cash only, but supplies beverages (alcohol and soft drinks) and light snacks.

For more information and to book, please visit our website.

Also on the riverside is a weekend of assorted events, full details of which can be viewed here. Get in touch with us for Rhythm Force 2011 Tickets and possible packages (accommodation; transport etc.) we can put together!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Hype: Taste of Twickenham

Gosh, there's been so much going on! I've been kept very busy in the office - making bookings for the Great River Race (17th September) and helping as best I can; keeping the websites up-to-date and trying to tick things off my 'To Do List' for when things are quiet on my end. Unfortunately, that means I've been letting the blog suffer and we all know how I feel about that!

Anyway, we're coming up to the end of the Twickenham Festival and we're all hoping that the forecast is a lie - we want good GREAT weather for the Taste of Twickenham. Having attended the Laverstoke Farm Fun Day last Sunday, I was lucky to get in there and out between rain showers - I  did take pictures, so I'll be putting those up soon...probably on the FaceBook page, which reminds me...part of my 'To Do List' is to create a Gallery for the Destination Richmond website so I can link to there for the appropriate albums. It would be quite 'swish/schway' don't you think?

But yes, we're all looking forward to the Taste of Twickenham this weekend (18th - 19th June 2011 on Church Street) - it's the first time it's being run, after years of putting it forward (not by me, mind...only been here 2 years, but I'd still support it!) and it's bound to be interesting, so please do come down and show your support so that next year can be bigger and better!

Also, do pick up a Raffle Ticket (or 5!) There are a bunch of amazing prizes being given away, with the top one being a holiday for 4 to Sicily - Villa; Flights; Transfers and Car Hire included! Tickets are £1.00 each and all proceeds will go towards Commando Spirit.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chiswick House and Gardens Camellia Festival 2011

Finally! After many months since the event, I have the images of the first ever Chiswick House and Gardens Camellia Festival up! They're on our Facebook Page: click here

I dragged my mum off to the event with me - it was her first time there (my second) and she had a lovely time. We managed to cover the area in about two hours and stuck around for some soup, before shooting off to Rochester to visit my brother.

While I was busy playing paparazzi and snapping photos to share with the community, my mum got into pretty detailed conversations about the Camellias and their varieties. I knew she liked flowers, but I didn't know she liked them that much. She even got into a discussion of why the famous Middlemist's Red was named thus, since it doesn't look 'Red' at all, but 'Pink'.

The true answer is that no-one knows, but the volunteer she spoke with likes to speculate that Mr. Middlemist was colour blind. My theory? The colour 'Pink' probably didn't exist as a word back then, much like how 'Orange' didn't when the Robin was described as 'Red-breasted'. Perhaps, as a way to differentiate this shade that wasn't purely 'Red' but close enough, it was named 'Middlemist's Red'...because it was his 'Red'...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Easter Activities at Kew Gardens

Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Easter and are looking forward to the upcoming Bank Holiday?

I planned on putting this up earlier, but I was kept quite busy. So, before we all head off to enjoy the second long weekend and revel in the festivities of the Royal Wedding, allow me to cover the Easter Activities at Kew Gardens!

As luck would have it, I completely forgot my DSLR in my excitement and had to settle for using my camera-phone. You can view the rest of the images on the Destination Richmond Facebook Photo Album (click here)

It was an insanely beautiful day and Kew Gardens was teeming with parents and children, and lovers alike. I took my brother since he needed some fresh air, and we had fun...though, not in so many words. As mentioned in the previous post, I was looking forward to taking part in Chocolate Making, but unfortunately it was only open to parents and children, of which I am neither...I've always wanted to give it a go...guess I'll have to keep my eyes open for another opportunity.

The next was Chocolate Tasting, which was open to all, but the table was crowded with children and I didn't want to rob them of the sweet goodness. It seems like I didn't get to do anything Chocolate-related apart from taking pictures of the Chocolate-coloured Easter Sculptures dotted about between the Orangery and White Peaks Cafe's. Those were very nice to look at .

Kew Palace looked wonderful in the Sun:


It was just nice to see the Gardens so full of people enjoying the grounds and activities. Since my brother had only been a few times and hadn't explored properly, I took him to the aquarium in the lower levels of Palm House. He really enjoyed it, though my main reason for taking him down was to show him the seahorses and, yet again, as luck would have it...the seahorse tank was under maintenance - it certainly wasn't our luck that day, haha!

Ah well, we had a lovely day anyway rounded off by some nice ice cream and my favourite Lemonade Lollies.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Kew Gardens 2011 Tropical Extravaganza and Easter Events!

First up, I can't believe how long it's been since my last post - February?! I can't believe I let it get so bad...but then, there were a few things that came up between then and now...things that called upon my primary skillset involving Website Design.

Anyway, that's besides the point. What is important and most newsworthy is that I have finally put up the pictures I took at the 2011 Kew Gardens Tropical Extravaganza! Click Here to view them! (NB: It seems like you have to be logged into Facebook to view them, even though it's a public share link...I'll see what I can do about providing another place) It was my first time using my new DSLR camera, and it took ages to sift through all of the images and bring them down to a decent size - what's in the gallery is about half of what I took in total that day.

Also of note, are the Easter Activities that started over the weekend and will continue on until May 9th 2011. Activities include:

  • Easter Egg Hunt - 24th April 2011; 9.30am-1.00pm...or until the eggs run out!
  • Chocolate Sculptures on display
  • Chocolate Workshops - 9th-25th April and 29th April-2nd May 2011; 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm
  • Chocolate Trail: From Bean to Bar
  • Chocolate Tasting Sessions - 9th and 24th April; 12.00pm, 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm
I'm very much looking forward to attending the Chocolate Workshops and Tasting Sessions, so I guess I'll probably see you around! (I'll be the one trying to inconspicuously nom on the chocolate, of course!)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Hothouse Fun with Orchids and Camellias!

With the thawing of Winter, and Spring in the air, it is the time of year whenKew Gardens brightens up our days with their beautiful Orchid displays on show for the Tropical Extravaganza 2011. This is a 4-week celebration of the exotic beauty characteristic to these diverse flowers and the event commences from 5th February to 6th March.
Orchids at Kew Gardens - Credit: Shahnaz Hameed (Me)

Also of important note is that this is the first year of the Camellia Festival – launched in celebration of the re-opening of Chiswick House and Gardensafter extensive refurbishment. Chiswick House is home to a number of species of Camellias - many of which have yet to be identified. Among this collection is one of two known samples of the elusive Middlemist’s Red - the other residing in New Zealand.

To tie the two events together, Destination Richmond has teamed up with local accommodation providers; restaurateurs; Kew Gardens; Chiswick House and other service providers to devise a new and unique package.

Bruce Lyons, MD of Destination Richmond, said: "We are known as London’s Greenest Borough, but with the skies still resolutely grey that can be difficult to comprehend. With the Tropical Extravaganza just around the corner and the skies still grey, we feel that this is the perfect chance to offer a dash of colour and warmth to winter-weary folk, which is why we have teamed up with a selection of interesting, quality accommodation providers and Kew Gardens. Together, we have devised a unique package for two-night stays with entry to Kew Gardens and a range of botanical-themed extras. With each booking made with us, we also include a discount voucher that is valid at five of Richmond’s finest restaurants, which we believe can hold their own against anywhere else in the country,"

Other original extras that the package offers include entry to Chiswick House and free excursions to Columbia Road’s Flower Market, which will be on selected dates. Also included are discount vouchers for tea at Skye Gyngell’s Petersham Nurseries Teahouse - reached by a short stroll through Petersham Meadows and passing London’s friendliest herd of roaming cattle - or the Hollyhock Café at the award-winning Terrace Gardens on Richmond Hill.

Prices for the package start from just £240 for two adults, including Bed and Breakfast for two nights. Also included are the following:
  • Entry to Kew Gardens and Chiswick House
  • £5.00 voucher for tea at Petersham Nurseries Teahouse OR Hollyhock Café
  • Voucher for 10% discount on Lunch and 20% discount on Dinner at 5 of Richmond's restaurants
  • Transfer to and from Columbia Road
For more information, please visit our website or contact Destination Richmondon 0203-141 9922.