Petersham Nurseries : a patch of heaven and an encouraging story about my dress-apron

A friend who is a gardener told me a long time ago about Petersham Nurseries,
and the only one word I can find to describe our outing there last week is "exquisite".
Breathing the fresh air of Surrey countryside, watching the cows in the field, discovering
a special type of pelargonium.....we loved this place !
We spent quite some time in the shop which gathers a selection of chic and sophisticate furniture and homewares.
Next to it is the café/restaurant run by culinary goddess Skye Gyngell.
That day, which was a sunday, a wedding party was held in the café and it was fun to see
little children, all very elegantly clad, playing in the green house after lunch.
We had a late lunch at the tea house, bacon pie and salad and a delicious coffee and hazelnut cake.
And guess what...I even managed to meet one of the buyers of the shop to show my dress apron !
I'll tell you all about it, a bit further down .....

Un ami qui est jardinier m'a parlé, il y a longtemps de la jardinerie Petersham Nurseries.
Le seul mot qui me vient à l'esprit pour décrire cet endroit est tout à fait "exquis".
On a adoré respiré l'air frais de la campagne du Surrey, voir les vaches dans le pré,
découvrir des espèces de pélargonium que nous ne connaissons pas.
Nous avons traîné dans la boutique qui présente une sélection très chic de meubles et d'objets pour la maison.
Attenant à la boutique, se trouve le café/restaurant où officie en cuisine,
la géniale chef Skye Gyngell. Ce jour-là, qui était un dimanche, il y avait une fête de mariage,
dans le café et c'était assez amusant de voir les enfants courir et jouer dans
les allées des potagers, dans leur belle tenue endimanchée.
Nous avons déjeuné dans le salon de thé, bacon pie et salade, et un délicieux gâteau au café
et noisettes...
Et aussi....j'ai eu l'occasion de rencontrer un des acheteurs de la boutique et de lui montrer
ma robe-tablier !
Je vous raconte tout dans le détail, un peu plus loin.....

while Monchéri takes a look at the glasses on the shelf,
I'm blown away by these oversize ostrich dusters

Monchéri jette un coup d'oeil aux verres sur l'étagère
et moi je suis médusée par ces plumeaux géants

the table set for the wedding party
la table dressée pour le repas de mariage

the tea house under the green house and amidst tomato plants and geraniums
le salon de thé sous la verrière, parmi les plants de tomate et les géraniums

Once we finished our lunch, I told Monchéri, well I'm going back
to the shop and ask for the name of the buyer to send them a catalog of the aprons.
And the one thing, I didn't foresee was that the woman I addressed, said :
I am one of the buyers.... (I knew there were two but never expected to meet one of them
on a sunday). Luckily, I carried one apron with me, in my bag which I had left at our table.
Please give me 2 mn and I'll be back, I told her.
I hurried back to our table at the tea house and put on my apron under Monchéri's quizzical look.
The women seated next to us looked at me, a bit surprised but with a smile of appreciation.
That's a good sign !, I thought.
I breathed deep and headed back to the shop, crossing the café where the merry wedding party
was now in full photo session.
The buyer was arranging some glasses in a cupboard and I planted myself in front of her,
saying "hello, here am I again !". She had a good look at me and said "Oh, it's very pretty....
it's very pretty...(and me thinking, yes and ??)...
but I'm so sorry, it's !" she finally dropped, and then said "but you definitely have
a market in the kitchen shops and departments".
For a minute, I nearly felt like saying "but could be you !" but I thanked her and
walked away, a bit disappointed of course but feeling encouraged.
Still, I will be sending a catalog because after all, she only saw one model.
You never know !
Monchéri took this pic of me wearing my poodles apron in one of the plants alleys.
By the way, do you like it ?
And the next pic below is me in my English countryside uniform for
chilly, windy and rainy weather......

Une fois le déjeuner terminé, je dis à Monchéri, écoute, je retourne à la boutique
pour demander le nom de l'acheteur à qui envoyer un catalogue des tabliers.
Et, ce que je n'avais pas du tout prévu, est que la dame à qui je m'adresse,
me répond : "Je suis un des acheteurs". (je sais qu'ils sont deux mais je ne m'attendais
pas du tout à voir un acheteur, un dimanche).
Heureusement, j'avais un modèle de tablier dans mon sac, que j'avais laissé à notre table.
Donc je dis à l'acheteuse "Excuse-moi, je reviens dans deux minutes". Je reviens en toute
hâte à notre table, au salon de thé et enfile mon tablier sous le regard interrogateur de
Monchéri. Nos voisines de table me regardent, un peu surprises mais, avec un sourire
d'appréciation. Du coup, je me sens encouragée. Je respire un grand coup et retourne à
la boutique, en traversant le café où les invités du mariage sont en pleine session de photos.
L'acheteuse est en train d'arranger des verres dans une armoire.
Je me plante devant elle, en disant "Me revoilà !". Elle me regarde longuement et me dit
"Oh, c'est très joli....ah oui, c'est très joli (et moi de ??) et elle finit par me dire,
mais je suis désolée...ce n'est pas pour nous ! Mais vous avez définitivement un marché
dans les boutiques et départements de cuisine..."
Un moment, j'ai eu envie de lui dire : "mais ce pourrait être pour vous aussi !" mais
je l'ai remerciée et suis partie, un peu déçue bien sûr mais encouragée tout de même.
J'enverrai tout de même un catalogue, car après tout elle n'a vu qu'un seul modèle.
On ne sait jamais !
Monchéri a pris cette photo de moi portant ma robe-tablier Caniche dans l'une des
allées de plantes.
Vous l'aimez ?
Et ci-dessous, moi dans ma tenue campagne anglaise par temps frais, pluvieux et venteux.....

pics : me and last 2 ones by Monchéri

PS : just a little word to my dear blogging friends
surely, you have noticed I have been scarce
in my commenting lately.
Please forgive my laziness if not my rudeness.
I made up my mind to visit you all, starting tomorrow....
Thank you !


Joyful said…
Oooh that looks like my kind of place to linger, browse and shop and the food looks very scrumptious. I do love the bottom photo of you looking very dapper ;-)
Dear Lala, you are always so chic and beautiful with your sense of style. Keep sending those catalogs out....your aprons are truly special there is a market out there for them I'm very sure. I hope that buyer you met will think again and send you an order.
Linda Sue said…
Yes Love it very much- ADORABLE but then of course it is on you and you can make ANYTHING look splendid! I hope that you sell many! Very sweet!
Dear Lala .. I think they missed out there, and might change their minds :-) // That is another place I have not been to .. read about it alot though.

You have certainly been to some fabulous places in the UK .. and yes if if you ever get back and come to Oxford , we must meet up :-) xx
Gina said…
Dear Lala, Your aprons are fabulous. I LOVE mine. It arrived a few days ago (I was so surprised that it came so quickly, after all, it had to fly over the big ocean). The apron came out of the package in perfect condition. It looked like it had been ironed only moments ago. We had friends visiting and we all decided that your apron is the most beautiful we have seen. The workmanship is superior.
Warm regards, Gina
DolceDreams said…
Dear Lala,
I am such a terrible friend for not visiting often, and when I do for not commenting...I absloutely LOVE your new line, they are fabulous!!!! Are they on Etsy? I must run over to see. I love my toiles too, and find that here in the Us in the Southern states, and Eastern ones,I sell most of my items with the toiles :)
I will be keeping better track of you! That shop looks exquisite!
DolceDreams said…
Lala, I just shared your aprons with a link on Pinterest ( i think you would love it if you have not explored it yet...) And I just wrote a lengthy comment which I see is not here but I hope you got ? Basically I love what you are doing and will be a better visitor/commenter xo
aguja said…
You have created the ambience so well with your photographs that one could almost 'be' there.

Well done for showing your apron. a long time ago I did smimlarly, when I was making medieval cloaks ... and had similar responses, too.

You could try Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland, which is run overall by the Duchess of Northumberland. They have a shop there and could well be interested.

They need to be seen!
Thank you all for your sweet encouraging comments !! Ladies, you're all truly the best.... XO

Anne - as i told you my last visit to Oxford dates back from ages and ages ago, when i was a teenager during a holiday and yes, we must meet up there! :-)

Gina - again, i'm so glad you received your apron safely, quickly and of course that you like it and will wear it in your fabulous home. Thank you so much for supporting my work and your complimentary comment nearly made me cry!

Nathalie - thank you for sharing the link on Pinterest ! i must check it later...this is so sweet of you and please, don't worry about visiting, commenting more often. I know you're busy and after all life must come before blogging, non ? :-)

Ann - I'm very curious to see your medieval cloaks ! Thank you for your encouragement and the lead which i'll definitely follow....Hope to meet you one day in Valencia ! :-)
Kristin H said…
How lovely! What a dream life:)
somepinkflowers said…
swoooooning over your photos

Loving your poodle apron!

it makes me smile.
see---> :-)
Kristin said…
What a lovely place to have a wedding! And you look fabulous, my friend!!! I haven't visited you as much as I wanted either. Often I wish we had 28 hours a day instead of 24 :) Have a wonderful July you also!!!

Kristin xx's
brown eyed girl said…
Great photos as ever!......Love the idea of live music in long as it doesn't become more political than musical like the bar in Saleres!

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