LONDON'S HIDDEN GARDENS
An acclaimed garden historian unlocks the city's horticultural secrets
UNEARTHING LONDON'S BOTANCIAL TREASURES
In the first of a series of seasonal experiences designed in collaboration with Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London that explore garden design and history in London, discover green spaces both hidden and historical this winter, alongside renowned garden historian Deborah Trentham.
Mandarin Oriental is famed for its spas and wellness therapies the world-over, and this journey is attuned to this pillar, taking in a number of hidden gardens with links to wellness, such as the Barber Surgeon’s Garden and the Chelsea Physic Garden.
This seasonal winter experience includes access to fascinating gardens and historical conservatories which are sheltered from the elements.
DAY 1 - THE OLD CITY'S HIDDEN SPACES
The Barbican Estate, one of London’s most famous mid-century modern constructions, conceals a botanical garden at the heart of this ‘brutalist’ complex. The Barbican Conservatory is incongruous, a 23,000 square-foot jungle where you’d least expect it within the heart of London. A magnificent location in which to discover rare specimens alongside the expert.
From here, exploring the old City of London through a new lens, the expert reveals hidden enclaves and histories known to very few. Wend your way from the Barber-Surgeons’ Garden with its historical collection of medicinal botanicals, to a garden grown within the bombed shell of an ancient church, before ascending to a green space that sprawls across the pinnacle of a contemporary skyscraper.
Return by private chauffeur to home for the night: the legendary 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London.
DAY 2 - DARWIN'S DISCOVERIES
The world’s first Seed Exchange Programme was established at the Chelsea Physic Garden in the heart of the Royal Borough in 1683, and it continues to this day, comprising almost 370 botanic gardens and 40 universities around the world. Founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, explore plants connected to the science of healing arranged over 4 acres, alongside the expert garden historian.
Continue the journey by private chauffeur to Kew Gardens for privileged access to its unmatched botanical collection. Over hundreds of years, so-called ‘plant hunters’ toured the world, bringing back specimens to Kew for planting and study. The expert explores the interest and debate around the colonial practice of ‘appropriation’ and westernised naming of plants. Kew's Herbarium even includes plant specimens collected by Darwin whilst on his voyages to further understand Mankind’s origin as a species.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK, LONDON
This journey is available exclusively with a stay at the renowned Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. Sitting between glorious Royal Parkland and fashionable Knightsbridge, the hotel offers a sense of timeless heritage coupled with contemporary flair and impeccable service.
FROM £2,100 PER PERSON
For two days, based on two people sharing.
One night at the 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London with breakfast.
The company and expertise of acclaimed garden historian Deborah Trentham.
Access and admission to gardens.
Private, chauffeured transfers where mentioned.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Designed to showcase London's gardens in winter, but magnificent in all seasons.
Experiences and expert attendance are subject to availability.
Flights to/from London.
Excursions, meals and drinks other than those mentioned.
Deborah Trentham has been teaching garden history for fifteen years, lectures at at Imperial College London and teaches garden design at KLC School of Design.
Deborah was the Historic Gardens judge for the Society of Garden Designers Awards for five years and has published numerous articles in magazines and periodicals.
ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Lunch or dinner reservations can be made at restaurants that place green space at the heart of the experience. In the east, the Fenchurch Restaurant overlooks a sprawling indoor green space that stretches across the 37th floor of the skyscraper known affectionately as the 'walkie-talkie' - the highest public garden in the city. The legendary Coq d'Argent restaurant in the banking district also offers an incongruous green terrace surrounded by high-rise constructions.
To the west, Petersham Nurseries in Richmond serves seasonal cuisine beneath a canopy of bougainvillea, using ingredients from their kitchen garden.
A PIONEERING PARTNERSHIP
The Luminaire designs and operates luxury travel experiences for Mandarin Oriental guests and Fans that are rooted in culture and curiosity, with additional products launching each month in close collaboration with Mandarin Oriental hotels around the world.
From a private masterclass with one of the world’s finest watchmaking ateliers in Switzerland, to an immersive trip to the private site where Van Gogh painted his last canvas just outside Paris, each experience has been designed by experts in their field – art historians, conservationists, sommeliers. Discover exciting new ways to explore each Mandarin Oriental destination and enjoy the signature service for which each hotel is renowned.