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9 August 2018

london days out | mayfields lavender farm

with the rise of instagram as a legitimate research tool for days out, holiday planning, and, well, photo shoot spots, a number of beautiful locations around both the uk and further afield are finally getting their day in the sun. or rather, on the screen. from roof-top gardens and quirky cafes, to mural-clad buildings in the middle of the city, instagram's location tags offer more to the viewer than just an opportunity to track down and stalk people in real life, but to also virtually stalk the area they're in; to see it from the eyes of those who've come before them. and that, dear readers, is how i came to be introduced to mayfield's lavender farm.

it's about a ten minute drive from sutton station, which is a little outside of london. i mean, okay it's zone five but still, it's technically still london. and, it's literally twenty minutes out on a south western train, which is nothing in the grand scheme of things. you'll want to drive, or get a cab, as it's a bit tricky to get to to on foot (read: far), and to enter the private farm is £2 per adult - kids can go in for free (damn those pesky kids!). the farm is open to the public from the start of june until the end of september - heatwave dependent, of course, and when it it, it's open seven damn days a week. 

you can't bring food in (literally, there's not a scrap of litter in sight), but there's a lovely little cafe and farm shop on site that sells everything you could want - as long as what you want is lavender flavoured or scented. we stopped in for lovely and fresh lavender cream tea (except: coffee. actually, lavender iced coffee, but yaknow), which was increasingly hard to eat without getting stung by a rabid and starving bee - you would have thought the acres and acres of lavender would keep them at bay, but noooo, they just really wanted in on my damn scone. in the cafe you can grab alcoholic drinks too, if you fancy your luck at being day-drunk around bees, and there's a cute little shop selling lavender gifts and bits like that too - i got a bundle of fresh lav last year that's still going strong this year. that's good quality lavender!

mayfield is one of those places that actually allows portfolio photography inside too, and actually they also run a fun competition where visitors can win a cash prize of £200 for the best photo of their farm. it's only for a bit of fun, but two hundred quid is two hundred quid, ha. to have successfully managed to avoid being stung by one of the thousands of raucous buzzing bees in that farm, i reckon we should be in with a chance of winning something... *wink* oh, and i should probably mention too: this is not a pick-your-own adventure. the lavender here is harvested in-house and sold to the public (and big business for lavender-scented type beauty products!) for money. yaknow, trade and whatnot. consumerism. it's great, no?

top and skirt : monki | shoes : clarks | sunglasses : ebay

all in all we were there about and hour and a half, and when we left it was getting significantly busier than when we had arrived. the car park was full and there was a line for the cafe almost as long as the line to get in - proving that the early bird really does catch the worm in these sorts of places. and by that i mean, beautifully instagrammable locations, that clearly don't need to do any marketing of their own, when we're out here doing it all for them. if you fancy seeing how you'd get on in a field full of rabid bees, then i suggest you go soon. and go early - no-one likes a crazy crowd in this heat!

photos of me by katy and jasmin