43 // Concrete Jungle

Ahhhh plants. They’re so good. I wish I could decorate our place like a jungle (like this lady) but I’m not the most green fingered and plants don’t seem to like the lack of light in our flat… Apart from a spider plant that is just indestructible.

When I first read about the Barbican Conservatory I was very curious but it wasn’t open on the day I wanted to go and I promptly forgot about it until last week when I was looking for free things to do in London. I’m reading a book called The No Spend Year and I’m feeling quite inspired by it. I asked my lovely friend if she wanted to go and we saw that they do an Afternoon Tea using ingredients that they grow in the conservatory which I thought was pretty amazing. We booked and went today – it’s only open on Sundays and the odd bank holiday Monday.

The afternoon tea was lovely, you get four finger sandwiches each, with a scone with jam and cream each plus five little cakes/pastries each, a pot of tea and a glass of bubbles for the affordable price of £27.50 which is about half the price of a fancy one in London. The thing with afternoon tea is you usually end up feeling like you have a food baby and need a nap but after this one we felt perfectly full and happy to wander around.

Having been to Sky Garden which is also free I was expecting something similar but the conservatory was way better in my opinion. At Sky Garden the best bit is the view and the lovely cocktails, the plants are cool but I expected more from it… This was on another level. They have over 2000 varieties of plants and as soon as you walk in the air actually does feel a lot cleaner. I saw big grown up versions of the fiddle fig plant I bought last year at Columbia Road, (now I really want my little fig to grow into a big old tree through our roof) but my favourite room was probably the cactus room which is just full to the brim with cacti and succulents – so much so I kept hitting my head and getting my hair caught on the hanging plants. It was amazing. If you’re looking for something free to do in London, I would deffo recommend it. Next time I’ll be going back with a mini picnic, a sketchbook and some pencils.

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