Sunday, 15 July 2012

Venue Review: Chelsea Physic Garden

Firstly, a little about me to set the scene! I work for a small charity, which is also a membership organisation. As part of the member benefits, we put on a few small (free) events each year, where members can come along and network with their peers.

Last week our members event was held at Chelsea Physic Garden. We invited members along for a free tour of the gardens, followed by tea and cake at the garden cafe.

For those of you that haven't heard of Chelsea Physic Garden, it is London's oldest botanic garden, and boasts an enormous collection of plants that are all used by mankind in some way e.g. for food, or medicinal purposes. As I work for a health based charity this was of particular interest for our members, however even if this doesn't tickle your fancy, the garden is a beautiful oasis with a relaxing atmosphere.


The Garden (image courtesy of

If you are looking for somewhere to take a small(ish) group of people for a day out with a difference, I would highly recommend this venue. For the type of day that we planned, it works out excellent value for money - £9 for entry (per person) and £7.50 pp for tea / coffee and a delcious selection of cakes. Private tour guides are free, but must be booked in advance.

However, what really did catch my attention is the fact that the Gardens are also available for private hire. Whilst we were there, they were setting up for a function in a large marquee, and I think that Chelsea Physic Gardens would be perfect for organisers who are looking for a venue with a difference. The entrance to the Gardens was a small gate, hidden away from the main hustle and bustle of London, and will provide a unique and enchanted entrance to your event (although remember to provide maps as it could be tricky to find!).

I tried to find the event manager whilst I was there, but he was otherwise engaged. However, I found a few details on their website which I will share with you. One thing that I did like, was that they are transparent about their prices on the website. I hate it when you have to endure a long process to get a quote for your event, just to find out whether it is in your price range. Sticking to your budget is more important now than ever!

For exclusive hire of the Garden, prices start at £5775. Weekdays it can only be hired from 5pm to 10pm, however you can hire for the full day (9am - 10pm) on Saturdays. Maximum capacity for the venue is 500 people. On top of this you will also need to budget for marquee hire (safest option for this glorious English weather!), and also catering. They have a few catering supplier options, but if the food served in the cafe is anything to go by, I would say that your guests would be more than impressed with the in-house supplier, Tangerine Dream.

The marquee (image courtesy of
I obviously have not used this venue myself in terms of private hire, so cannot provide a detailed review, however from what I saw during my visit, and the pleasant and helpful staff that I spoke to, I would definitely say that this venue is worth a look.

If anybody reading this has held an event at Chelsea Physic Garden, please do get in contact!

Thank you for reading, Yellow Owl.

Chelsea Physic Garden website:

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