This is a sponsored competition on behalf of Kew Gardens.
If you’ve been saying you should get out and about a bit more in London this summer — stop saying and start doing! Here is just the excuse you need: a spicy summer festival at Kew Gardens and a competition to win yourself some tickets (and a bottle of No.3 London Dry Gin. Hey, gin and summer are a fine pairing).
Full of Spice takes place until 6 September across Kew Gardens' 300 acres of beautiful open space. Installations, performances, tours and workshops transport visitors around the world to discover the origins, uses and stories behind those botanical substances that pack so much flavour.
Seek out The Spice Exchange, a timber pavilion structure interlaced with thousands of spice jars (each of which houses “spice stories” shared by visitors) created especially for the festival. Walk beneath its unique cantilevered roof, taking in the sights and smells of the spice market and chai bar. The attached garden, library and open-air theatre will host live music, expert talks and displays.
If you’re keen to know more about what's growing in the gardens, join a complimentary Full of Spice tour and quiz your experienced guide on whatever you want to know. If you don't want to walk, take one of the specially-designed Rickshaws and be pedalled around the meandering pathways — perhaps you’ll pass the Strictly Spice dance troupe on the Orangery Lawn during your travels.
Sample, and make, your very own spiced breads at the Dough Kitchen. Sweet Finnish Pulla bread baked with cardamom and North African flatbreads made with coriander, cumin and fennel are both on the menu. Hands-on visitors will also enjoy the Spice Mix Super Computer, where you can create your own personal spice mix from thousands of possible combinations. ‘Plug-in’ to the Olfactory Synthesiser to smell, compare and choose your favourites, taking home your chosen blend at the end.
Finish off your weekend visit (or start it off, we’re not ones to judge) with a pit-stop at the Gin Garden, in partnership with No.3 London Dry Gin. Botanical cocktails are the name of the game here, with spice injections that bring you an international flavour punch. A resident spice expert will help you choose the right cocktail blend for you, each option telling a spice-based tale from around the world.