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Imagine 27 acres of thick purple foliage – rows upon rows of fragrant lavender glistening in the sunlight. You would be forgiven for thinking you are in Provence, the lavender capital of the world. Except you’re not.
Believe it or not you’re still in London, less than fifteen miles away the humdrum of Central London. We must admit we were very sceptical when we first heard about a lavender farm just off Croydon. On getting to the farm, we tip-toed towards the rickety gate with trepidation but the aromatic purple haze at Mayfield Lavender put all our doubts to rest within seconds.
Here there are rows of blue, mauve, and purple as far as the eye can see. Thousands of stems of powdery lavender, dancing in the sunshine, make for a perfect dreamy getaway, without so much as leaving the city. Bumble bees hover over the incandescent blues and purples, clinging to the occasional stem before moving on to the next.
There is magic in the air. You will want to run your fingertips along the endless rows of lavender, stoop down to smell the plants, and twirl in the fields all at once. Then there are rustic picnic tables surrounded by lavender fields and a li’l kiosk selling fairy-cakes and lavender ice-cream. Next to it, a little shop with lavender-coloured bunting sells bunches of dry lavender, aromatic soaps, and essential oils. What more could one ask for?
We spent hours walking in the fields and picnicking and finally shot these photos on an overcast evening (the mighty weather gods are always there to remind you you’re still in London not Provence 😉 ) when the lavender fields were at their resplendent best.
I wore a shapeless err.. loose and breezy maxi-dress to compliment the rustic nature of the farm. I combined it with a pair of stocky brogues covered in glitter – Vid calls them ‘the disco shoes’. They are ugly and cool at the same time don’t ya think? I love ’em I combined the long, flowy dress with layered necklaces, statement rings in turquoise hues, and a miscellaneous mélange of silver bracelets I’ve collected from local markets all over the world. The ethnic bag is from a souk in Morocco – it’s tan with a brightly-coloured embroidered patch. Its unrefined aesthetic and rough edges are totally up my street
Entry to the lavender farm is FREE
The best season to visit is between June and September when the lavender is in full bloom
There is a car park at Mayfield Lavender Farm and parking is free
It is easy to get to the farm using public transport. Take the train from London Bridge to Tattenham Corner. Get off at Woodmansterne. At Woodmansterne, take the 166 bus and get off at Oaks Park. The bus drops you at the gate of Mayfield Lavender Farm.
Mayfield Lavender is the kind of place that makes one stand up and take notice. After we had guzzled beers, devoured their lavender-flavoured fairy cakes, shot photos by the dozen, all we really wanted to do to was to stand back and let the romance of the place sink in. Mayfield Lavender – the ultimate bohemian getaway without so much as leaving the city. Perfect for urban gypsies
Click on the pictures below to see what we’re talking about