The Royal Botanic Gardens in London will be Full of Spice from May 23 until September 6 as it enters the world of the spice trade.
The festival in Kew Gardens will discover how plants, once worth their weight in gold, were so valuable they changed the world.
Visitors can travel across the gardens and enjoy an explosion of colour and taste in a world of spices, while learning what makes a spice a spice and understanding the methods used and challenges faced by the people who grow and prepare them.
From the distant lands in which they grow, to the botanists authenticating them at Kew for hundreds of years, their stories will come to life through a programme bursting with flavour, interactive installations and exhibitions:
- Come face-to-face with nutmeg, turmeric and tamarind in the steamy Palm House, or chillies, ginger and vanilla orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory;
- ?Barter? at the Spice Exchange, an architectural and horticultural hub created and conceptualised by Wayward; and at a series of talks, performances and workshops, meet the Kew Scientists who continue to authenticate spices and the chefs and artists inspired by them in their work.
- Try your hand at the Chili Cha-Cha-Cha or Tamarind Tango at the Strictly Spice Dance competition on the lawn in front of the Orangery throughout the summer holidays. Sample a variety of delicious breads at The Dough Kitchen and try your hand at kneading your very own spiced loaf (From 31 July until 6 September).
- Book yourself (and a friend!) onto a Cinnamon, Pepper or Cardamom Rickshaw for an immersive, theatrical and yet educational ride around the Gardens… (ticketed event ? book on kew.org)
- Take part in Rangoli workshops and play your part in contributing to large-scale folk art every weekend (in the Teepees by Climbers and Creepers).
- Enter the Spice Mix Supercomputer by the Princess of Wales Conservatory and dream up your own unique blend to take home.
- You won?t miss the giant nutmeg, garlic, chilli and ginger Inflatables dotted throughout the Gardens: Have a peep inside them and enjoy an unexpected view of their inner workings.
- No spice festival would be complete without fantastic food and indeed visitors will delight in delectable, spiced dishes and drinks from around the globe in the Orangery and Pavilion restaurants.
- Enjoy spiced No.3 gin cocktails at a Pop-up Botanical Bar on weekends by the Palm House Pond and discover the botanical origins of your drink?s ingredients as you sip and swirl (cash bar).