What it says on the tin – big inflatables shaped like a variety of spices such as chillies, ginger and garlic. But if you unzip the little openings on the outside, you can stick your head in and get a whiff. Although if you don’t like garlic, stay away from the giant inflatable bulb.
The Spice Mix Supercomputer
A small hut in one corner of the gardens is quite easy to miss, so keep your eyes open because it’s the most interactive thing to do at the festival. It’s your job to use the special computer to test a variety of unusual spices and pick a combination of four. After endless whiffing and sniffing, the supercomputer calculates how many others picked the same combination as you. The best part is they give you a sample of your chosen spices to take away and who knows, maybe use in a recipe.
The Botanic Greenhouse
The iconic features of the gardens are the botanical greenhouses, which have also embraced the festival in a unique way. From the moment you walk in and smell the humidity of tropical trees, you’ll be transported to different continents around the world. The spices have influenced the greenhouses with a variety of smelling boxes, illustrating from which trees many of our well-known flavours originate. However, beware of the box that’s filled with snakes.
To save time whilst exploring the festival, rickshaws are available to rent. This is definitely recommended if you don’t mind paying that little bit extra, because as well as seeing more stuff, you get a guide who can deliver facts about the festival. The rickshaws add an exotic element to the festival but also a whole load of fun.
Spices even make it into a variety of dough at Kew’s spice festival. This is an opportunity to show off your kneading skills and produce spice-infused breads. Plus, it’s a great place to stop off for a bit of free food.
The bar at this festival is a must-visit attraction. The botanical cocktails are available each weekend. An explosion of color – in the form of a spiced gin cocktail – is the way to go. Be warned though, a cash-only bar could catch you out.
Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Full of Spice Lates will be taking place, and you’ll be able to explore the gardens long into the beautiful summer evenings. The bar stays open, live music is played in the Spice Exchange, and all other stalls and events stay open to keep the festival alive.