Secret gardens part 1: The V&A

South Kensington

As London returns to normal after the Olympics, I miss not only the sport but the emptiness of the rest of the city. In the next couple of posts, I’ll feature some ‘secret’ gardens I came across when I managed to tear myself from the TV.  They’re perfect for a quiet alfresco drink or a lounge with a book, and enjoying them won’t cost you more than a sandwich at Pret A Manger.

First up is the garden at the Victoria & Albert Museum, designed by landscape architect Kim Wilkie. Lined with hydrangeas and formal planters, it’s reminiscent of an Italian palazzo. It’s grand – and loads of fun.

Kids (and adults) can paddle in the shallow pool, spin and wobble on a Thomas Heatherwick chair or simply lie on the grass. On a warm Friday evening (when the V&A opens late) it was busy but civilised, and light years from the bustle of the city just outside.

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