Kew Gardens: The Incredibles

The Incredibles, at Kew Gardens

See the Incredibles exhibition before it ends this Sunday, 1st September.

Beautiful flowers at Kew Gardens Photo: Russell Bowes

Beautiful flowers at Kew Gardens Photo: Russell Bowes

We had a great end to the summer this year, by going to this year’s Summer Festival at Kew Gardens, The IncrEdibles. It’s a great celebration of everything to do with growing and producing the wonderful food that we all take for granted. The Incredibles takes you through the worlds edible plants and crops, how they are grown and produced; and how Kew gardens is working to preserve plant species across the world, like a crop close to my heart. Coffee, which could be in danger in the future due to climate change in Africa, where so much of the worlds coffee comes from.

This was my second visit to Kew and I got some really great photos of the different plants. I had wanted to visit the IncrEdibles festival all summer but had never quite found the time to go. We were going to visit the other weekend on our anniversary but the weather looked like it wasn’t going to be too good and we decided against going as its best to see something like this on a good sunny day.

Seeing some great puddings at the Georgian kitchen Photo: Russell Bowes

Amongst all the different gardens where you could see different vegetables growing, like the chilli plants in the Lily house and coffee plants in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and various vegetable patches, my favourite bit of the day had to be the cookery demonstrations in the Georgian kitchens by Kew Palace where we saw several dishes made in the traditional Georgian way using authentic ingredients and cooking implements. The desserts looked gorgeous and indulgent! It was interesting to see how they were made back in Georgian times and seeing how modern some of the dishes were.

Georgian dishes!

Delicious food at Kew. Photo: Russell Bowes

There’s the main course, but wait for dessert! Look below and there is a lovely candied orange. Delish looking!

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Candied Orange pudding Photo: Russell Bowes

 And some more views across the Tutti Fruiti boating lake. We didn’t take a boat as there just wasn’t enough time to do everything we wanted to in just one day but it looked fun to have a little row around and it might have burned off a few of the calories I had at lunch.

Visit the Incredibles at Kew Photo: Russell Bowes

I think it was really interesting to see all the different vegetables growing in patches around the gardens, I’m not sure what gets done with them when they are harvested later in the year, but it has to be good for children to see where food comes from and how it is produced. I think living in London it would be easy for children to grow up with very little idea of how food comes into being.

And it’s not just the kids who learned something. I had never seen fennel growing before. I’d always imagined the big bulb would be underground and that you’d dig it up from the soil. So I was a bit surprised when I saw these huge fennel bulbs growing near the main glasshouse.

If you look at the bottom of the picture you can see the most enormous bulbs of fennel, much bigger than we usually get from the supermarket or greengrocers.

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Can you see the huge Fennel bulbs growing! Photo: Russell Bowes

Remember that lunch I said I should have burned off? Well here it is below. Lunch was at the Pavilion Cafe where you can get a lovely meal and a nice beer, great on a sunny afternoon. Hana and I shared a whole barbecued chilli chicken, inspired by the chilli’s growing at Kew right now. The chicken was cooked really well. I think it had been partially roasted then finished on the BBQ to give it a lovely smoked flavour. The picture makes it look a lot blacker than it was, I think a lot of that was from the glaze which had been put on the chicken.

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Barbecued Chilli Chicken Photo: Russell Bowes

It was served with a lovely salad and tomato salsa, but when there are side dishes on offer who can say no. So I had to (yes had to) order the potato salad and coleslaw. Both of which complemented the chicken wonderfully. My favourite of the two was the coleslaw which was lovely and mustardy, a good strong flavour.

Potato salad from the Pavilion Cafe at Kew Gardens Photo: Russell Bowes

And there’s the coleslaw.

Very yummy mustard coleslaw Photo: Russell Bowes

Finally a nice picture of Hana and Martin using one of the effects on my HTC One. It’s got loads of effects and you can see me using more of them in the rest of the pictures I took on Flickr.

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A nice snap of Martin and Hana Photo: Russell Bowes

See more pictures from Kew Gardens and pictures of some of the great recipes I have cooked up over on Flickr. You can find me on Google plus and Twitter too.

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One response to “Kew Gardens: The Incredibles

  1. Pingback: 2013: A year in food | russellskitchen·

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