Thursday Supper Talks

The Garden’s lecture series, Thursday Supper Talks, will feature a range of fascinating and intriguing speakers while also offering the  opportunity to enjoy a supper at the Tangerine Dream Café before or after each talk.

  • These events begin at 6 pm – giving you the time to arrive, claim your drink and wander in the Garden (or eat).
  • The actual talks begin at 7 pm and cost £17 including a glass of wine or soft drink of your choice as well as Garden entry.
  • This event takes place in our lecture room up some stairs with no alternative access. We apologise if this causes any inconvenience.
  • Supper: £16.50 (5.45 pm or 8.30 pm sitting) buffet includes mixed salads, meat or vegetable dishes and a delicious dessert. You can choose which sitting at the time of booking.

You can book on the individual event pages or at the bottom of this page.

Thursday Supper Talks Programme 2017:

June 1st, 6.00-8.15pm
Sam McKnight inspired by gardens: In conversation at Chelsea Physic Garden’

SOLD OUT

Fashionistas and flower fans delight!  On June 1st The Chelsea Physic Garden is proud to offer a chance to hear Sam McKnight in conversation.
Sam loves plants and flowers and he will talk all about his passion. His garden is often his inspiration, and he will also talk about his career highlights in the fashion world.

“My work definitely influences the way I look at my garden. There’s something about colour, shape and form that runs through what I do for a living,” said McKnight. More information on this event.

Please scroll down to book.


July 6th, 6.00-8.15pm
‘The Worldwide Web: nature’s spinners’ with George McGavin
Silk is one of the most ubiquitous and remarkable biomaterials known. The evolution of these versatile structural proteins in arthropods contributed to their unparalleled success in terrestrial environments. Vast amounts of silk, used in home building, reproduction and prey capture, are made by insects and spiders each day.  Humans discovered how to use silk thousands of years ago and today the tensile strength and toughness of some silks are making these ancient fibres very attractive to bioengineers. More information on this event.
Image result for george mcgavin
George McGavin is an entomologist and well known broadcaster. His most recent programme The Oak: nature’s greatest survivor won a Royal Television Society Award.

Please scroll down to book.


July 13th, 6.00-8.15pm
‘More than cotton: textile secrets of Kew’s Economic Botany Collection’ With Dr Mark Nesbitt, Curator, Economic Botany Collection Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

At least 1000 species of plant produce useful fibres, but only a few are in use by the textile industry. Kew’s collections hold many examples of local fibres, often both fascinating and beautiful. In this talk we will explore the indigenous uses of plant fibres worldwide, and look at why some fibres became commercially successful and some not. Are there lessons for sustainable textiles today? More information on this event.

Image result for mark nesbitt kew

Mark Nesbitt  is a botanist and historian with special interests in botany and empire, plant fibres and medicinal plants. He is Research Leader for Economic Botany at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Curator of Kew’s Economic Botany Collection.

Please scroll down to book.


July 20th, 6.00-8.15pm
‘Murder most Florid – a glimpse into the world of forensic botany’ with Dr. Mark Spencer

Plants too are silent witnesses to crimes. Their presence in many crime scenes can help an investigator identify a suspect or locate a victim. Apparently mundane plants such as brambles and nettles can provide valuable insights into when a crime was committed. Fragments of leaves and seeds embedded in soil on the footwear of a suspect can place them at the scene. An understanding of landscape history and land-use helps an investigator discriminate between a clandestine burial and a mediaeval feature in a woodland. Forensic botany is not new science, plants have played a role in solving major cases for decades, including the infamous murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s infant son. More information about this event.Image result for mark spencer nhm

After 12 years as a botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London Mark is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV ‘personality’.

Please scroll down to book.


September 21st, 6.00-8.15pm
‘It’s not all about the Flowers’  with Matthew Wilson
Join Matthew for his fascinating gardening talk on fabulous foliage for your garden. Includes great garden advice hints and tips. More information on this event.
Image result for matthew wilson garden
Matthew Wilson is best known as a regular on Radio Four’s Gardeners Question Time, and wining The People’s Choice award for his Chelsea Flower show garden 2016.

Please scroll down to book.


October 5th, 6.00-8.15pm
‘How to Eat Better’ with James Wong
James will be talking about some of the revelations and discoveries featured in his new book which strips away the fad diets & superfood fixations to give you a straight-talking scientist’s guide to making everyday foods measurably healthier (and tastier) simply by changing the way you select, store and cook them. There will be a chance to purchase the book and have it signed by James too. More information on this event.
51E7QlGdENL._SX385_BO1,204,203,200_
James Wong is a Kew-trained botanist, science writer and broadcaster based in London, England. Graduating with a Master of Science degree in Ethnobotany in 2006, he has pursued his key research interests of under-utilised crop species, ethnopharmacology and traditional food systems through field work in rural Ecuador, Java and China.

Please scroll down to book.


October 19th, 6.00-8.15
‘The Joys and Powers of Herbs’ with Judith Hann

Join Judith Hann to hear about her passion for growing and cooking with herbs. Although she is known as a science broadcaster, and as a respected presenter of Tomorrow’s World for 20 years, Judith has always been interested in food. Her real interest in using herbs started in the late 80s, while presenting the BBC series The Taste of Health, cooking with famous chefs like Raymond Blanc, Antonio Carluccio, Madhur Jaffrey and Claudia Roden.
Judith moved to the Cotswolds, created a herb garden with over 150 different culinary herbs, and soon found that they totally transform food. Judith’s new book Herbs: Delicious Recipes and Growing Tips to Transform Your Food takes you on a seasonal journey to discover the importance of herbs in the garden and kitchen and how they have taken over her life.


Please scroll down to book.


November 2nd, 6.00-8.15pm
‘Myths of herbal medicine’ with Jekka McVicar, Organic gardening expert, author and broadcaster, particularly on the cultivation and use of herbs – more details to follow. Please scroll down to book.
Image result for jekka mc


December 7th, 6.00-8.15pm
‘Fashioned from Nature’ with Edwina Ehrman, Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Drawing on research for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s forthcoming exhibition about the relationship between fashion and nature, curator Edwina Ehrman will discuss the role of several plants in clothing and decorating the body from flax,  cotton and pineapple fibre to rubber and vegetable ivory. The talk will explore the histories of these plants, their role in fashion and the social and environment impact of their use for clothing.Edwina Ehrman Edwina Ehrman is a Senior Exhibition Curator at the V&A and a specialist in 19th century fashion and the history of London fashion. She is the Curator of Fashioned from Nature which will open at the Museum in April 2018. Her previous exhibitions include Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear and Wedding Dresses 1775-2014. From 2009 – 2013 she was the lead curator for The Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion, the V&A’s fashion archive at Blythe House in West Kensington. Her publications include Undressed: a brief history of underwear (V&A Publications, 2016), London Couture 1923-1975: British Luxury (V&A Publications, 2015) of which she is co-editor and a contributor, and Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions (V&A Publications 2011, 2014).


Please scroll down to book