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Celebrate Spring with the UK’s Best Flower-filled Garden Experiences

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Garden Day is a nationwide community movement with the aim of inspiring and bonding Britons through inside and outside garden spaces. Taking place on Sunday 9th May 2021, the campaign calls upon the nation to celebrate the healing powers of plants and gardens and the joy these green spaces have brought over the last year.

A host of well-known names including the likes of Lisa SnowdonRachel de Thame, Hazel Gardiner, Arthur Parkinson and Nikki Tibbles are leading the campaign to down tools, pop on a flower crown and reconnect with loved ones (whilst observing national guidelines).  For inspiration follow @GardenDayUK on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Candide and TikTok.  For hints and tips on how to celebrate Garden Day at home, a full list of events and how-to videos visit www.gardenday.co.uk.

Here’s our pick of the best spots to visit in the UK this Garden Day:

CELEBRATE THE START OF APPLE BLOSSOM SEASON AT THE NEWT IN SOMERSET

Encompassing cultivated gardens, ancient woodland and kitchen gardens providing the West Country estate with exceptional seasonal produce, guests can enjoy Spring nature walks and learn about the history of the gardens at the interactive Story of Gardening experience centre

With cultivated gardens to inspire, ancient woodland to explore, cherished wildlife to behold, and an abundance of fresh produce to enjoy, The Newt in Somerset is a haven of tranquillity – the perfect place to meet with loved ones as lockdown restrictions begin to ease this Spring.

The wide range of cultivated areas includes a Kitchen Garden, Fragrance Garden, Greenhouse, Colour Gardens, cascades, ponds and lakes; and at the very core, a walled Parabola concealing an apple tree maze. With apples being to Somerset as what oranges are to Seville, guests are invited to celebrate the humble apple in all of its forms – from the Parabola containing every apple variety grown in England, to 65 acres of legacy orchards containing 3,000 trees of 70 varieties of cyder apple that are pressed fresh at the on-site Cyder Press into 100% juice cyders.

Garden Tours, Cyder Tastings and Bee Safaris will resume this Summer, as Estate personalities introduce guests to the varieties of fruit and vegetables across the gardens and lead them through the wildflower meadows and ancient woodland to discover native bee colonies. Families and garden enthusiasts will love The Newt’s innovative attraction, The Story of Gardening, hidden within the woodland and approached by weaving along The Viper – a treetop canopy walkway suspended 12 metres above the forest floor. Guests will be able to dig into the history of gardening using fun games and technology such as Virtual Reality headsets, unearthing the impact of gardens around the world on people and culture, as part of a multi-sensory immersive experience.

Visitors can also pre-order a picnic to be collected at the Cyder Bar – filled with treats from The Newt’s Kitchens and Bakery, or choose to tuck into a vegetable-led menu at the Garden Café as it opens to outdoor dining on the terrace from 12th April 2021. Guests can eat what they see, whilst drinking in views over the Parabola and gardens. Various alfresco treats will be available throughout the Spring, from creamy buffalo milk gelato and sorbet at the Gelataria, to a weekend series of Kitchen Garden BBQs. Also this Spring, guests can hop aboard the Great Garden Escape for a Somerset day trip, travelling in First Class from London Paddington, arriving at The Newt to explore the gardens, taste freshly picked fare in our Garden Café, and sip quality cyder. From June, alfresco eating will continue with the return of ‘Garden Lates’ – a sunset picnic accompanied by live music.

HOW: Garden visitors must obtain a Garden Membership ahead of visiting, to reduce queues at the Gatehouse and maintain social distancing. Garden Memberships are priced at £30 for adults, £10 for children (aged 5-15) and free for under 5s, entitling guests to unlimited repeat entry for 12 months. The gardens are open every day from 9.30am to 4.30pm, with last entry at 4pm. Picnics can be pre-ordered from 8th March 2021, for collection from the Cyder Bar. Find out more online.

LEARN THE ART OF FORAGING IN THE GARDENS OF SUMMER LODGE BEFORE UNDERTAKING A NEW FERMENTATION MASTERCLASS

Located in one of the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Beauty, Summer Lodge’s pristine four-acre gardens offer an abundance of activities and opportunity for green-fingered guests 

Set in the heart of the Hardy Country, the property is located in one of UK’s Areas of Outstanding Beauty nestled amongst beautiful countryside, picturesque bays and breath-taking coastal landscapes on the edge of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The property is home to an impressive and extensive four-acre garden offering a plethora of opportunities for guests to get involved in nature-centric activities just steps away from their rooms.

New for spring 2021, Summer Lodge has launched a fermentation workshop so green-fingered guests can take advantage of the sprawling space. To begin, guests will forage for seasonal produce in Summer Lodge’s kitchen garden led by Head Gardener, Robin Andrews where they can select ingredient from a huge abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Choices include rosemary, parsley, rosehips, blackberries, elderflower, nettles and cucumber to name just a few. Once they have picked their favourites, guests will then join a private, insightful masterclass learning the tricks of the fermenting trade from Head Bartender, Jonathan Cocogne, using the recently picked ingredients.

Straying away from traditional sauerkraut and pickled onions, Jonathan will be teaching the art of making fermented cocktails – known himself for making his own Kvass – a traditional Slavic beverage commonly made from rye bread. During the session, participants will also learn the health benefits of eating and drinking fermenting foods and drinks such as boosting hydration and immunity as well promoting good gut bacteria.

The fermentation masterclass can be enjoyed as a standalone experience or as part of a wider wellness package. Other activities in the itinerary include a private mindfulness and yoga session for two, a 90-minute spa treatment and a private picnic including homemade treats and a guidebook for local walks and hikes.

HOW: The Wellness in the Hardy Country Package at Summer Lodge Country house & Hotel starts from £1,372 based on two people sharing a Courtyard Suite. Rates for the standalone Fermentation Workshop starts from £50 per person. Find out more here.

UNIVERSITY ARMS, CAMBRIDGE LAUNCHES NEW BOTANICAL EXPERIENCE FOR THE SPRING / SUMMER 2021 SEMESTER

University Arms hotel has developed a brand new offering in collaboration with two of the historic city’s much-loved institutions, Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Cambridge Distillery, promising a city escape combining two of the nation’s favourite things – gin and gardens.

The package will include an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s beautiful suites, with an exclusive private tour of the historic Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, led by one of the expert Horticulturists and a private gin masterclass at the Cambridge Distillery Lab where guests will sample the varied botanicals in Cambridge Gin, before creating their very own. Back at the hotel, guests will be treated to a pre-dinner Cambridge Gin & Tonic in their suite, before indulging in dinner at signature restaurant Parker’s Tavern, overseen by Chef Tristan Welch.

HOW: For more information or to book, please visit their website.

DALLOWAY TERRACE INTRODUCES A NEW PRIVATE GARDEN EXPERIENCE – THE CORAL GARDEN –  LONDON’S CHICEST AL FRESCO DINING SPOT FOR SPRING / SUMMER 2021 

Opening 17th April for wedding receptions of up to 15 guests & on 17th May 2021 for gatherings up to 20 guests 

Londoner’s favourite floral restaurant, Dalloway Terrace is to launch an alternative al fresco dining offering –  The Coral Garden – available to hire exclusively and allowing guests to experience the ever-popular Dalloway Terrace menu in their own private garden. Sitting adjacent to Dalloway, the new garden is the perfect outdoor space for intimate gatherings, wedding breakfasts, family reunions, engagement celebrations and milestone birthdays. It will be available from 17th April for wedding receptions of up to 15 guests and from 17th May for small events of up to 20 guests (maximum capacity), as per government guidelines.

The self-contained space will evoke a sense of the British summertime and thanks to the gazebo covering and heaters, it will be available come rain or shine. The expert team can tailor each experience to the needs of its guests; from carefully created Afternoon Tea to an epic 5-course meal and from tableside cocktail making to a bespoke florals by McQueens Flowers. Part of the historic Bloomsbury hotel, The Coral Garden boasts an unrivalled central location just minutes away from Tottenham Court Road station and offers a serene garden oasis in the heart of London.

HOW: For more information or to book, please visit the website.

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