Now that we have a toddler, we tend to do a lot more 'days out' and visiting of places than we used to. A leisurely wander round the shops on a Sunday afternoon, is not sufficient entertainment for an excitable toddler! Saying that, at the moment, we can pretty much take Ruby anywhere and she will find it fun (as long as she's able to get out of the buggy!) so we aren't quite at the stage of spending our weekends at places like Legoland! But it means that we are getting out and about and discovering some great places that are actually right on our doorstep!
The other thing that toddlers don't care about is whether it's raining or not! They'd much rather get outside than stay indoors, so last Sunday, we donned our raincoats and headed for the Medicine Garden in Cobham. I actually came across this place on Instagram (the source of all new discoveries!) and realised it's only a short drive away from us.
We headed straight for the cafe when we arrived as the rain was coming down pretty heavily. They actually have 2 cafes on site, but we went for the Hot House, as they enticed my hubby with the hot breakfasts! The decor inside is lovely and the food was pretty delicious too.
Once fed, we ventured outside again, and Ruby had a look at the chickens and we wandered amongst the various plant displays. It's not exactly a garden centre, but it has a small, but decent range of plants and containers in the courtyard.
There are a few little shops dotted around the courtyard: a flower shop, a little gallery and a gift shop which are all worth popping your head in. But for some reason, I was drawn to this old potting shed (?), which I'm not even sure if you were supposed to go in! I think it might have been more of a store room, but the collections of succulents and old pots and things were too good not to grab a few snaps of!
Before leaving, we had a (slightly soggy) wander around the walled garden, which is really lovely. There is a bit of a wild flower theme to the planting, which looks beautiful against the weathered brickwork. There is also a kids play area which Ruby was loving, as it was basically just a huge sandpit!
We really enjoyed our visit despite the rain! I would say it is really only a morning or afternoon visit, not a whole day thing, although I imagine with the sun out you could spend a lot more time enjoying the garden and sitting outside!
Find out more on their website: www.themedicinegarden.com