10 Places To Go That Will Make You Feel Like It's Spring

Yes, the sun may be shining but winter hasn’t quite released its full grip yet – there’s still a chill in the air and frosty mornings forecast. Forget all about that though, and welcome spring early at these top spots, known for their beautiful foliage and colourful ambience…

Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings

Sink into one of the sumptuous armchairs at this stylish venue and soak up the tropical vibe. The bright and airy ambiance coupled with beautiful décor (think whitewashed walls, botanical print upholstery and trailing plants) make Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings a popular haunt in Clerkenwell. Combining seven difference spaces, it houses dining, drinking and dancing opportunities all under one roof and has a well-renowned brunch selection and divine evening menu. Be prepared to spend some time pondering over the cocktail list – there’s a huge array of choice from Heaven-Born Wind (with coconut rum, chocolate liqueur, cherry syrup and orange bitters) to Spring Break Punch (with vodka, hibiscus, pomegranate, cactus, fig, fresh lemon and bubbles). 

42 Northampton Rd, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 0HU

Visit BourneAndHollingsworth.com

Clifton Nurseries

Get inspired at London’s oldest garden centre and bring a splash of colour home with you. While the outside area is bursting at the seams with all manner of plants come spring, it’s the Palm House we’re really interested in. Filled with a rich profusion of lush leaves, impressive exotics and beautiful blooms, this magical glasshouse is the ideal place to visit if you’re on the hunt for a new houseplant – or ten! While you’re here, factor in a quick stop at The Quince Tree Café – pull up a seat and enjoy a delicious breakfast, tapas-style lunch or heavenly afternoon tea.

5A Clifton Villas, London, W9 2PH

Visit Clifton.co.uk

Mare St Market

A tropical jungle of plants, this Hackney venue is brimming with greenery and foliage – and plenty more too. For those that don’t know, Mare St Market is a melting pot of fantastic stores and foodie destinations in one open-plan boutique shopping mall-style hall. Think communal benches, an exposed ceiling, bold lighting and concrete pillars – and all those ferns and trailing leaves we mentioned earlier. There’s a bar, kitchen, deli, coffee shop and antique arena to keep you busy, plus a record store selling all sorts of vinyl. Visit the neon-lit florist Rebel Rebel for a real taste of spring whatever the weather, and don’t forget to bring your card – the whole place is cashless.

117 Mare Street, London, E8 4RU

Visit MareStreetMarket.com

Conservatory Archives

This inspiring store needs to be on your radar if you’d like to inject a little more foliage into your daily life. The specialist shop is packed to the rafters with unique and unusual houseplants – from spiky cacti and tiny succulents to unbelievable air plants and huge ferns – and it’s got plenty of stylish furniture and design details to add to its aesthetics. Among the various pots and hanging baskets, you can expect to see vintage cabinets, chic tiles, mid-century chairs and beautiful lighting just screaming out to be Instagrammed. A second shop opened at the end of last year on Lower Clapton Road and Conservatory Archives can also be found in Liberty London.

493-495 Hackney Road, London, E2 9ED

Visit ConservatoryArchives.co.uk

Petersham Nurseries Café

Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city at this rustic yet sophisticated Richmond landmark. With a beautiful dappled glasshouse providing the setting for its Italian-inspired restaurant, it’s little wonder that the café enjoys such prominence in the area. Fragrant jasmine and bougainvillea provide a backdrop of greenery and on sunny days glistening rays of light make their way through the stunning Italian drapes, meaning that eating here really is a feast for all the senses. Don’t forget to see what else is on offer too - the nursery is full of lovingly tended plants and there are gorgeous antiques and homewares to buy.

Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AB

Visit PetershamNurseries.com

The Prince

A beautiful woodland garden that’s set under clear roofing and fully heated. It may sound too good to be true, but at The Prince in West Brompton that’s exactly what you can find. With all sorts of foliage decorating the central pergola, this place is ideal for an adventurous al fresco evening out – even when it’s chillier than expected. The venue is a foodie’s idea of heaven – it comprises four adjoining townhouses with street food-style offerings from some of London’s top eateries, as well as three bars serving up cocktails and spirits galore. We’ll see you with a drink in hand!

14 Lillie Rd, London, SW6 1TT

Visit ThePrinceLondon.com

Barbican Centre Conservatory

Winter doesn’t seem to touch this tropical oasis in the heart of the city. With more than 2,000 species of exotic plants and trees to take in, a stroll through the Barbican Centre Conservatory is the ideal way to spend a morning or afternoon. As well as tree ferns, date palms and coffee, banana and ginger plants, there’s also a large collection of succulents and spiky cacti to coo over. Don’t miss the koi carp and terrapins too.

Want to make more of your visit? Book an afternoon tea session and enjoy a selection of handmade cakes and savoury bites inspired by the fruit, flowers and herbs in the conservatory or take a tour with the resident gardeners. 

It’s only open on selected Sundays, so check the dates online before you head out.

Barbican Centre, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS

Visit Barbican.org.uk

Max Colson


With its relaxed Californian vibe, Pomona’s brings a taste of sunshine to Notting Hill and will definitely help put a spring in your step. Inside you’ll find plants and greenery filling the corners, brightly coloured seats and botanical-inspired cushions, paneled walls and gorgeous big windows which all combine to create a bright and welcoming space. The menu centres around fresh sustainable produce and includes a variety of delights – from all-day brunch-lunch offerings and mouth-wateringly good evening dishes. There’s an extensive cocktail list for drinks too. When it’s warmer, dine alfresco on the charming summer terrace and sit beneath the pergola.

47 Hereford Rd, London, W2 5AH

Visit Pomonas.co.uk

The Sky Garden

As London’s highest public garden, The Sky Garden allows you to soak up all the sights of the capital safe undercover and enveloped in foliage. This lush urban jungle has been beautifully landscaped and includes richly planted terraces with different themes – tree ferns and fig trees give a sense of a prehistoric forest, while blooms from the Med and South Africa recreate a sinuous mountain ravine. There are little hideaway spots where you can sit and admire both the flora and the spectacular viewor visit one of the bars and treat yourself to a cocktail.

1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF

Visit SkyGarden.london

Kew Gardens

Don’t miss the chance to visit this botanical institution. When spring really has sprung, the outside areas at Kew are simply spectacular but during the cooler months, your first stop has to be the glasshouses. Inside the Palm House and the Temperate House, you’ll find a unique collection of tropical blooms and leafy trees unlike that found anywhere else in the world.

The garden’s annual festival of orchids is also currently taking place in The Princess of Wales Conservatory until the 10th of March. This year it celebrates Columbia – the world’s most biodiverse country – and the gardens are bringing to life its incredible forests and beautiful rainbow river. A colourful riot of flowers, it includes orchid-laden displays depicting a toucan, a hanging sloth and a swimming turtle.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE

Visit Kew.org

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