What to do in London this weekend


Still in London when almost everyone you know is away on holiday? No matter. Come and have a lovely day out in Chiswick at the Chiswick Flower Market on Sunday 1 August and find out what else west London has to offer.

Fresh from their triumph at the Hampton Court Garden Festival, Rob and Rosie Hardy will be there from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. Recognised as one of the UK’s leading plantsmen nurseries, Hardy’s supply a wide range of home produced herbaceous perennials which are grown outdoors in peat free compost at their nursery in Hampshire. Each year the RHS selects a Master Grower to feature in the floral marquee at Hampton Court. This year, the honour went to Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants. But if you didn’t catch them there, come and see their award winning Frilly Knickers (white anemones tinged with lilac) and Indian Princes (deep orange-coloured Calendulas) for free on their stall at the Chiswick Flower Market.

Wander among the mix of more than 20 stalls selling fresh cut flowers, bedding plants, shrubs, herbs, houseplants and bulbs. Choose a pot or a window box, or maybe buy a display of everlasting flowers that you won’t have to get someone to water when you do get to go on holiday.

Then leave your purchases in the market’s plant crèche while you have lunch in one of Chiswick’s many restaurants and cafes. If you live locally, one of the market’s team of volunteer cyclists will even take your plants home for you in a cargo bike.

A twenty minute walk away, across the A4, Chiswick House is open to visitors. Lovely just to walk around at any time, it currently boasts art installations inside the house and outside in the gardens, with works by Peter Adjaye, Jaimini Patel and Turner prize winning artist Mark Wallinger. It also has the pop-up Garden Pavilion offering fine dining in the Gardens’ big marquee.

Then it’s just a short walk to the river to catch the last of the rays at one of Chiswick’s riverside pubs. Maybe you don’t need multiple Covid tests, airport queues and quarantining to enjoy yourself after all.

Chiswick Flower Market takes place in Old Market Place, outside George IV pub on Chiswick High Rd, W4 2DR, from 09.00 am – 3.30pm on the first Sunday of the month. Next market Sunday 1 August.