Tomtom Coffee Shop, Elizabeth Street, and Kew Gardens

I was up super early this morning and had a very productive day! I met my friend Leigh for a coffee, catch-up and quick walk around the Duke of York Square Saturday market, then walked over to The Orange to meet my friend Rebecca for brunch. Not only were they not serving breakfast anymore at 11:30, but they had stopped serving any food until noon… so I quickly called Rebecca and we decided to meet on Elizabeth Street instead. Thomas Cubbitt was scarily empty, so we walked down and headed into Tomtom’s. We waited maybe five minutes for a table (the place has 15 seats max) and promptly ordered.

Rebecca got the eggs benedict (which she orders about 90% of the time when we have breakfast together) and I ended up getting the welsh rarebit tartines…. a bit aggressive before noon, but why not. With a side of bacon. It was delicious, as you can see…

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Tomtom’s feels a bit like a greasy spoon diner when you walk in, but there are little details on the tables (butter, a basket of croissants, large sugar bowls and newspapers to browse) that give the place much more warmth and make you want to stay for hours on a lazy weekend morning!toms 2After this, Rebecca and I decided that we were going to do something a bit different. Neither of us was feeling a museum, and she had her car, so we decided to go to Kew Gardens and check out the orchid exhibit there. After hours in traffic driving south of the river (we almost gave up twice, once to instead spend an hour in a massive candle store, and once to stop at Homebase).

The weather has gotten colder and colder, so we had no interest in walking around the grounds of Kew Gardens, but even just walking to the orchid greenhouse, you could see that crocuses were starting to come out of the ground… apparently even with this cold weather, spring is coming!

IMG00397-20130309-1417 (1)The orchids were really pretty, with dots, stripes, and all sorts of different colours. That said, after half an hour, we were very sick of orchids…. there are only so many you can look at. It was really nice to be in a greenhouse where the climate was practically tropical on such a cold day, even if we walked out of there with frizzy hair!

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Gorgeous right? And you can see how they might get old quickly…

Here’s Rebecca with the orchids:

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We also checked out another greenhouse with tropical trees…

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I was in Borneo with my brother three months ago, trekking through the jungle, and was enamored by all of the different uses (medicinal and other) for the various rainforest plants. At that point, I vowed to come home and spend some time reading up on these plants more, just for pure interest. Guess how much time I’ve spent reading up on tropical plants since I’ve been back???

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