How to leave the London bubble for a day and immerse yourself in nature... and good coffee
Richmond is one of those places where as soon as you leave the station you feel as though you're in another city, out of the London smog and around a more slow paced and friendly crowd.
Getting to Richmond is pretty easy, especially if you're like me and live in SW6. It's a few stops Westbound on the District line, about 20 minutes from Earls Court.
Once you're in town, turn left out of the station and head straight to Coffeeology for your morning caffeine hit. It's a quaint little coffee shop with a rustic vibe inside, filled with timber boards, cool music and friendly staff. For those out there who enjoy their alternative milks, you'll be happy to know they've got it all. Oat, Almond, Coconut and even Hazelnut. There's seating inside and outside so if you want to get a dose of the sunshine they've got you sorted. They have a range of food options, different cakes and pastries. I had the spinach and feta filo pastry and boy that was a treat. The staff were super chill and were more than happy to have a chat with almost every customer that came in, including myself, which always brightens your day and leaves you with a smile.
Next stop, head down to the River Thames where you can stroll along taking in the peaceful scenery. You'll get a lovely view of the bridges that cross the river, the overhanging trees and the row boats docked that run the whole way along.
If you're a keen shopper, there's plenty of clothing stores along the high street ranging from H&M, Topshop, Oliver Bonas and a range of eclectic Op Shops to browse through as well. Otherwise, if you're looking for more of a "keep your wallet away" kind of day, head on to Richmond Park. You'll be lucky enough to see some deer while you're there!
Next coffee break, Kiss the Hippo. If you were walking along the high street you may have already spotted this cafe. It's beautiful glass windows on the outside invite you in. It's more of a modern coffee shop compared to Coffeeology with it's crisp interior and modern flavour. There's two levels to the cafe, the bottom mainly for eating while the top is for the social coffee drinkers, avid readers and people just there to get shit done. I ordered a flat white, of course, along with a slice of their vegan banana cake. It was the sweet kick I needed! I've heard very good things about their menu and will definitely be trying when I'm next in Richmond.
Finally, head back to the station to catch the train back east one stop to Kew Gardens, or you can walk there if you're up for it! Kew Gardens is known for the Royal Botanic Gardens that houses the "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world". It is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site so definitely something to add on to your day. It's roughly 14 pounds to get in so be prepared to pay on entry. You can walk through tropical glass houses and immerse yourself into some history at the Kew Palace.
Richmond is definitely worth visiting for a day of coffee and relaxation. It's a stone throw away from London's city centre making it an ideal getaway for a day.