Easter 2024: Leonardslee Introduces Michelin Star Lunch and Spring Events Programme 100,000 Reasons to Visit Leonardslee Gardens – the Daffodils.

Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens has launched a new lunchtime service at Restaurant Interlude, in addition to dining in the evening, and announced its spring 2024 events programme. There is an extensive new play area for children and a 100 sculpture Art Walk amid the outstanding spring displays in the woodlands and a series of guided walks, workshops and other experiences for visitors.

Over 10,000 white daffodils (Narcissus ‘Thalia’) were recently planted on the 240-acre estate as well as 2,000 dwarf bi-colour daffodils. Most of the estate’s daffodils are Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the wild daffodil, with 5,000 added recently, to total some 100,000 specimens, says head gardener Jamie Harris.

Under executive chef Jean Delport since it opened in 2018, Restaurant Interlude has won a Michelin Star and three AA rosettes, with a tasting menu inspired by the estate’s Grade I Listed gardens. There are also ten luxury bedrooms that guests can book for the perfect spring break, says estate manager Adam Streeter.

The new lunchtime menu is a multi-course journey, with fresh produce grown on the estate and sourced locally, starting at 12:30 for drinks and seating at 13:00. This addition complements the existing dinner service, available from Thursday to Sunday, from 18:00.

Easter Visits

Leonardslee is organising a children’s Easter trail from 29 March, and a play park will open in the spring, to entertain families with children of all ages. The play structures include a 5m tall climbable treehouse, 32.5m zipline, a life-size doll’s house and a dragon sculpture for imaginative play. The Hut serves freshly baked hot doughnuts and a range of other treats.

The estate’s woodland gardens and parkland become a kaleidoscope of colour in the spring with rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias, daffodils, and bluebells in full bloom. Visitors can enjoy a range of extensive walks with outstanding views across the estate and its seven lakes.

Head gardener Jamie Harris says: “In addition to the daffodils, the snowdrops offer an outstanding display at Snowdrop Rise, just north of the Engine House café, by the lakes. There are also large collections in Camellia Walk and the Rock Garden.”

A new Art Walk is open now; organised by the Surrey Sculpture Society, it features over 100 sculptures in the gardens. The exhibition will run year-round, with admission included in the entrance price to Leonardslee.

Events Programme

Leonardslee’s Spring 2024 events programme includes the Heritage Trail Series, starting on 24 March, with a 10km trail running experience along the scenic route. The Spring Easter Wreath Making Workshop, from 24 to 27 March, and the Hand-painted Crocus Pottery Painting Workshop on 25 March, blend creativity with the season’s spirit.

The estate hosts the Macramé Wall Hanging Workshop on 30 March, where guests can learn the art of producing textiles using knotting techniques. For the younger audience, the Children’s Cooking Classes with Table Talk Foundation, on 4 and 10 April, offer an interactive culinary adventure.

A highlight of the programme is the Spring Forest Bathing, from 6 April to 15 June, a guided experience that promises tranquillity and rejuvenation, says Adam Streeter. The Tree Walks beginning on 17 April, led by naturalist Elliot Chandler, showcase the estate’s woodland wonders.

Modelling enthusiasts can enjoy the Model Boats on the Lake exhibitions from 20 April to 22 September. The Spring Walks with the Head Gardener, on 24 April and 22 May, offer an insightful tour of the gardens’ spring highlights. Lastly, the Botanical Illustration Workshop on 30 April, led by Leigh Ann Gale, is an opportunity to capture the essence of spring at Leonardslee.

Dining Experiences

In addition to Restaurant Interlude, the estate offers a range of other dining experiences. The Clocktower, near Leonardslee House, opens daily at 9:00 am, and has a new menu that includes hot food, light lunches, and afternoon tea.

The Wine Garden offers fun and informative tastings, with wines from Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate in South Africa, also owned by the Streeter family, while children can enjoy the adjoining ‘Beyond the Doll’s House’ exhibition and experience a magical world in miniature. The Engine House Café provides snacks and light lunches. Visitors can enjoy local produce with pre-bookable picnics which can be collected to enjoy amidst the natural beauty of the gardens.

Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, having reopened in 2019 under new ownership after a decade of decline and closure, has been the subject of England’s largest garden restoration. This spring, the estate continues its legacy of offering unforgettable experiences, blending events and hospitality with the natural beauty of its historic gardens.

For more information, to book tickets, or to make a reservation at Restaurant Interlude, please visit the Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens website www.LeonardsleeGardens.co.uk

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