I was so happy to be invited to visit Milsom Place in Bath yesterday and see the preparations taking place for the Festival of Flowers. I love watching the annual Chelsea Flower Show on the telly, so to be shown around Milsom Place by multi award winning landscape gardener, Jon Wheatley, it was a real treat!….
Milsom Place is further up the main High Street (past Union Street and onto New Bond Street) than people often venture when shopping in Bath, but it’s worth the slight extra walk, and I’d actually forgotten how many really good shops are at the other end to Southgate. The entrance is opposite Jolly’s department store, and it’s worth looking out for the beautiful florist that smells divine as you walk in. Milsom Place is a mini maze of shops along smart alleys and walk-ways with open spaces where cafes spill out into courtyards. And it was specifically this area that Jon Wheatley is successfully in charge of making beautiful.
My morning began with a stupid-o-clock alarm in order to get my make-up to blogger standard in time to drive to the Odd-Down park and ride and walk right up from the drop-off point for breakfast at Cote Brasserie at nine a.m. My French toast with fruit salad and a hot chocolate was delicious and I’ll definitely be going there again. It was just what I needed to wake me up for the day and listen to Jon Wheatley tell us about what he’s been doing in Milsom Place, and his hopes for everyone to make more of an effort to beautify their town or village. This was from something as simple as everyone picking up the litter outside their house, to telling us about the large groups of volunteers who come together for Britain in Bloom to transform their public spaces.
Jon was a delight to listen to with such a passion for his vocation. He spoke of having safe green spaces for everyone; his ambition for horticulture to become popular in younger generations, and encouraging us to grow our own food for healthy eating. Walking around Milsom Place with him, he demonstrated how, with the use of planting, the area is a much more pleasant space to be in. Your eye is drawn from one tree to another to another; or as you walk down a shadowed walk way, your spirits are lifted by the sight of bright white orchids. In fact, orchids were the theme for this year’s Festival of Flowers, and many shops are joining in with real or fake blooms on display.
We finished our tour with photos by the beautifully decorated floral archway, and then a visit to wine lounge, Le Vignoble. There’s a wonderful system inside where you can sample several different wines with the self-serve decanters. However, being not yet lunch time, it was too early for that; so instead we had a refreshing gin and tonic!
I had a lovely morning and it was so nice to meet and chat to other bloggers and people who work in the social media industry. I hope I get to do more interesting trips like this along my (fourteen years so far!) journey as a blogger.
So definitely visit Milsom Place this weekend, and for more information and to book your place on some of the events, visit the website for the Festival of Flowers. Other things are happening such as mosaic workshops, aromatherapy workshops, a plant sale from Jon Wheatley’s Stonebarn Nurseries; along with special offers in the shops. Take a photo under the floral arch and hashtag #MPFlowerFest. If you can’t visit Bath this weekend, although the floral archway will be gone, it’s worth wandering around Milsom Place anyway to see all the planting, which is now staying. If you can’t get to Bath in person, look out for my vlog of the day, coming soon to my YouTube channel! Subscribe so you don’t miss it!