Thursday, 12 July 2018

Last one up's a sissy ... no surprise that was me! I climbed the Pagoda at Kew yesterday to admire the shiny new dragons that replace the originals that haven't been seen since the 1780s. (It has very rarely been open to the public - until now - and last time I was inside, many years ago, it was very dingy and disappointing.) I couldn't make out Windsor Castle - but looking east I saw as far as the Shard and the City. There's still not a lot inside - some lovely benches made from coppiced trees from the Gardens - and the hatches that were used to test smoke bombs for D-day. I loved playing with two delightful mechanical toys that show architect William Chambers on his visit to China and the Royal Family in their 18th century Kew menagerie - with kangaroos, peacocks and secretary birds. (Bit expensive though, as you have to pay on top of admission to the Gardens.)
The Gardens, sadly, were looking very parched and dry. (Last time I was there was in May to see the bluebells.) But the Waterlily House was simply gorgeous yesterday- like walking into a painting by Monet, though I couldn't bear the heat for more than a few minutes. And the kitchen garden - one of my favourite quiet corners - was pure Mr McGregor.


Lucille said...

I'm so looking forward to seeing the pagoda. We visit regularly with a season ticket. There has been a beneficial side effect of all the work going on at this end of Kew; it has been off the main drag and consequently much less crowded.

Mary said...

I've been keeping my eye on the Pagoda as I often catch a glimpse from the bus - and after being under scaffolding for so long, the last stages seem to have happened really fast. You should probably book if you want to go up, Lucille - they are only letting 35 in at a time, so I should think the queue will be horrendous. It did feel nice and fresh and airy inside. Do take a look at the lovely benches: each slat has the name of a different tree.