• Sam Bompas
  • Amy Osborne

Bompas & Parr present a series of workshops at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, exploring psychoactive plants, stimulating botanicals and other mind-altering magic.

As part of Kew’s Intoxication Season from 20th September until 12th October, we’re taking over the Secluded Glasshouse on weekends, creating an immersive, theatrical locale for budding plant connoisseurs to expand their minds by learning about other cultures’ perspectives on natural-born plant intoxicants. Against a historical context, and with the guidance of ethnobotanists, toxicologists, drugs historians and medics, we’ll be examining our collective attitude to drugs and contrasting our own socially acceptable substances - tobacco, alcohol and caffeine - with other less familiar stimulants and sedatives.

Best of all, adventurous types can also seek spiritual enlightenment with our Grand Master host, by directly sampling a small amount of one of four plant-products that are widely consumed on a global basis, but which we’re less familiar with in the UK. Betel nut, kola nut, raw guarana and blue lotus tea are all variously attributed certain psychoactive, mind-altering properties and have been consumed for centuries as far afield as Ancient Egypt and the jungles of South America.