We are well in the throes of the British summer (*whispers* what summer) and with an active toddler to entertain each day during the holidays I remembered this location that I once drove past and being intrigued by the name. The Medicine Garden sounds like a place that’s going to make you feel better and I can now say it works well for people of all ages tucked away in Cobham. If it’s serenity in Surrey you’re after then this is the place to travel to and best of all it’s free to enter. Before I arrived I’d imagined it being like a secret garden and it did feel a little bit like this other than there is no gate, you just walk in from the car park. The weather was just right when we arrived sunshine and a slight breeze which made the whole place come alive. This walled Victorian garden is a creative space, a place to sit with friends and have drinks and a natter. A place to bring the children for a run around. A place to find a collection of independent shops and of course consume food and drink by way of cafe and a restaurant. Nearly everyone that I saw had a smile on their face and I felt that the three hours passed by quickly. I found out that there are lots of events organised throughout the year things like outdoor cinemas and BBQs.
With the recently renovated glasshouse in the courtyard, they have a lovely and very stylish cafe called the Hothouse Cafe. These days being able to drink a coffee at my own leisurely pace is a rare treat. I was able to drink my coffee but gave up my table to an 80 year old who kept telling me he was 80 years old. I told him I was half his age and he said ” yes but I am 80″. Jay soon got bored of this odd conversation and then urged me to take him to the dome positioned in the corner of the garden so I said my farewells to the octogenarian.
The concept of the garden is to encourage people to think more about the power of nature and inspire them to create a bit of ‘good medicine’ in their own gardens and homes. The design is based on an eight-pointed compass with each direction highlighting an important quality that we can creatively bring into our gardens and therefore our lives.
I have definitely taken more of an interest in gardening in the last year you might have seen my vlog of the herb garden I did recently, a new project at Along Came Jay HQ. Whenever I see a garden shop I like having a mooch around and there were lots of ornaments to look at and purchase of course. I’m glad Jay likes going to garden centres with me and he’s really also taken an interest in this herb garden and insists we plant some marjoram which I’ve yet to find. Within the Courtyard Community, there are also various independent companies. It’s a real eclectic mix of arts and crafts.
I also discovered a treatment room which offers therapies including reflexology, aromatherapy and holistic massage. Other treatments offered include osteopathy, reiki, manual lymphatic drainage (Vodder) which sounds interesting and scary at the same time. Plus they have morning boot camps, yoga and Tai Chi classes in the main garden for those keen on body conditioning.
The Food Studio offers a range of cookery workshops demos and talks from UK’s leading Foodies, Pop-up Events, private and corporate dining, as well outside event catering. I’d love to attend something like the Blid & Hatton Gatherings run by friends Surrey-born chef Maddie Hatton and Swedish native Helga Blid-Martinsson. They have joined forces to offer workshops which draws on the European tradition of cooking and ‘breaking bread’ as part of everyday life.
Something I’ve struggled with since moving to London and then Surrey is how busy everywhere is and the sheer volume of people travelling here and there. It’s taken a while to adjust to the frantic pace of life here in the South. Just like the Mayfield Lavender field I love being in these styles of outdoor spaces away from all the traffic and noise. I also know it’s a hard task keeping young children entertained. I was glad we made a trip here for Jay to burn of some of that energy he holds in abundance.
I would advise checking the weather before you visit as it started to rain as we left the car park and although there is lots of seating and awnings I think you can get more out of the visit not having to duck for cover. I forgot to take my vlogging camera so used my iPhone to snap photos instead. No doubt we will be returning before the summer draws to a close. Some places give you that feel good factor and this garden fits the bill perfectly.
Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am – 4pm
The Medicine Garden
Thanks for reading