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A Traditional London Picnic

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A Traditional London Picnic

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A Traditional London Picnic
Lincoln's Inn Fields
Phoenix Garden
Parliament Hill and Hampstead Heath
Deer in Summer - © Giles Barnard
Richmond Park
Richmond Park
London Fields
Victoria Park
Holland Park
Holland Park


There's no better way to make the most of the season's rare hazy sunny days and the city's lush, green, meandering parks and gardens than with a spot of traditional summer picnicking. So, read on to discover's pick of the best spots for do-it-yourself al fresco dining, along with each areas best delis.


Holland Park

Cosy spots are plentiful at this out of town park.

Holland Park Avenue / Kensington High Street, Holland Park, London, W8 6LU

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station


Pretty Holland Park†is the ideal location for those wanting to escape the clamour of the city but who don't want to travel too far out of the centre. Tucked away in one of London's most elegant districts, it offers small, cosy grassy knolls, cooling woodland glades, wild ponds, an open expanse for games and general frolicking, playgrounds for older and younger children and a cafe - just in case you run out of picnic food. Small, but perfectly formed, this lovely park is perfect for an intimate picnic or romantic stroll. There are beautiful woodland trails, manicured lawns and formal gardens, the Kyoto Japanese Garden with its resident Coi, and a fantastic ice-cream stand in the middle. Holland Park†used to be a private estate, and the former ballroom of Holland House is now the stylish Belvedere†restaurant. In summer open air opera concerts†are held in the grounds. Spending the day here, lazily munching on picnic snacks as the sun sets and the wild foxes start to gather to pick up any leftover crumbs, is the perfect summer pursuit.

Pick up picnic fodder from:

Patisserie Valerie - Kensington Church Street
Jeroboams - Holland Park Avenue


Events at Holland Park

The Great Gatsby

Wednesday 5th August 2015 - 8.45pm | phone for prices

The Great Gatsby Holland Park 2015-07-312015-08-06 Where:
Holland Park, Holland Park Avenue / Kensington High Street London, W8 6LU
Category: Parks and Gardens

Mysterious millionaire war hero Jay Gatsby is famous for throwing the most lavish and decadent parties for the social elite of swinging 1920s New York. Everyone wants to be close to him. Lowly stockbroker Nick ...

Some Like It Hot

Thursday 6th August 2015 - 8.45pm | phone for prices

Some Like It Hot Holland Park 2015-07-312015-08-06 Where:
Holland Park, Holland Park Avenue / Kensington High Street London, W8 6LU
Category: Parks and Gardens

Struggling musicians Joe and Jerry witness the 1929 St Valentine's Day Massacre and flee for their lives, with the mob in hot pursuit. Their only escape is to dress up as saxophonist Josephine and double ...


Friday 7th August 2015 - 8.45pm | phone for prices

Jaws Holland Park 2015-08-072015-08-13 Where:
Holland Park, Holland Park Avenue / Kensington High Street London, W8 6LU
Category: Parks and Gardens

A monster great white shark terrorises the New England resort of Amity Island, striking fear into the hearts of residents and holidaymakers. While the mayor and his team try to downplay the threat, local police ...

Pretty Woman

Saturday 8th August 2015 - 8.45pm | phone for prices

Pretty Woman Holland Park 2015-08-072015-08-13 Where:
Holland Park, Holland Park Avenue / Kensington High Street London, W8 6LU
Category: Parks and Gardens

Down on her luck prostitute, Vivian, is plucked off the streets of Los Angeles by handsome and commitment-shy businessman, Edward Lewis. Offered an obscene amount of money to be his companion for the week, Vivian ...

All events at Holland Park

Lincoln's Inn Fields

The largest public square in London, Lincoln's Inn Fields has a rich and varied history.

Holborn, Holborn, London, WC2A 3EQ

Tube: Holborn Station, Chancery Lane Station


The largest public square in London, Lincoln's Inn Fields has a rich and varied history. In 1683 it was the site of the public beheading of Lord William Russell, son of the First Duke of Bedford, for his part in the Rye House Plot to assassinate King Charles II. Designed, in part, by notable English architect, Inigo Jones, the square is flanked by a collection of superb buildings including Sir John Soane's Museum, Lindsey House - the only building on the square dating back to the mid 17th century - and the Inns of Court. Lincoln's Inn is the oldest of the four Inns which together with Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Gray's Inn make up the backbone of the legal system. The grassy expanse of Lincoln's Inn Fields square is a popular place for barristers to host their chambers summer parties and is also a popular place to lunch in the summer. The attractive square comes complete with tennis courts, netball court, historic monuments - including one to William Frederick Danvers Smith of WH Smith fame - and a bandstand.

Pick up picnic fodder from:

Fleet River Bakery - Lincoln's Inn Fields
Leon - The Strand
Konditor & Cook - Holborn


London Fields

A thriving rich recreation ground that's ideal for summer grazing.

Martello Road, London, E8 3PE

Tube: Bethnal Green Station


Located in a bustling, regenerated area of east London, London Fields park has been transformed from a neglected area of common ground into a thriving rich recreation ground. It now contains a wonderful heated lido(one of the few heated outdoor pools in London), cricket pitch, a small BMX track, two tennis courts and a children's play area. To book a tennis court call Hackney City Tennis Clubs on 020 7254 4235. Cricket has been played on the park since as early as 1802 and the cricket strip on London Fields still hosts competitive games throughout the summer (late April to mid September). If you want to get in touch with London Fields Cricket Club, email, alternatively, the cricket pitch can be booked by calling 020 8985 8206. The park is hugely popular spot on weekends, especially in summer when it gets crammed with young families enjoying barbeques and impromptu frisbee games.

Pick up picnic fodder from:
Broadway Market


Parliament Hill and Hampstead Heath

Parliament Hill is the gateway to huge, sprawling Hampstead Heath and offers stunning views over London.

Highgate Road, London, NW5 1AD

Tube: Tufnell Park Station, Kentish Town Station


With summer, come long, drawn-out summer evenings. A late afternoon, evening or after-work picnic is a delightful way to end the day. If this is what you're after, head for Parliament Hill, on the edge of idyllic†Hampstead Heath. Find a spot on the brow of the hill, set out your blanket, open a bottle of wine and drink in the spectacular view of London as the sun sets gently on the horizon. If you're in need of cooling down you can even indulge in a refreshing dip in one of the heath's many swimming ponds.†Alternatively, make a day of it and intersperse your picnic with a good old ramble, taking in Kenwood House†as you clamber through long grass, over hilly mounds and among woody copses. There are a number of good pubs dotted along the edge of the heath (Spaniards Inn, The Flask, the†Magdala, and The Holly Bush) so wherever you emerge you can end your picnic†with a soothing pint.

Pick up picnic fodder from:

GAIL's - Hampstead Heath High Street
Carluccio's - Rosslyn Hill


Phoenix Garden

Small garden in the heart of the West End, run by volunteers and local residents.

21 Stacey Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 8DG

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station


In the shadow of both Centrepoint and St Giles-in-the-Fields Church, hidden from most tourists and residents alike, lies this beautiful West End garden. Originally a car park, this small city centre idyll is now a tranquil haven for wildlife. Frogs and tadpoles saturate the pond, while birds of all shapes and sizes frequent the trees, nest boxes and feeders. Privately managed by a team of loyal volunteers who have consistently battled against threats of closure, this garden feels unlike another in London. It has a warm, friendly, intimate feel to it part of the local community, you will often come across volunteers working away at developing and nurturing the space. This is very much a living garden a pretty park with real heart and soul. If you're in the area venture behind the concrete and discover Phoenix Gardens as it continues to rise from the ashes.

Pick up picnic fodder from:

Neal's Yard Dairy - Covent Garden
Berwick Street Market - Soho
Fernandez and Wells Food & Wine - Soho
Benugo - Covent Garden and Fitzrovia


Richmond Park

The largest Royal Park in London, complete with herds of majestic fallow deer.

Park Office, Holly Lodge, London, TW10 5HS

Tube: Richmond Station


Only 30 minutes or so from central London, Richmond Park is English countryside as you might imagine it depicted in a glossily illustrated Robin Hood story: mighty oaks, a thousand years old, dense forests, dinky copses, rolling hills, majestic fallow deer and burrowing rabbits. Covering almost 2,500 acres, Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London. With such a large space its hard to know where to start when visiting. A tall brick wall surrounds the entire park so you need to first work out which gate you are going to use to enter and then plan your route from there. The best way to enter is via Richmond Gate, heading first for King Henry's Mound. The park's position on the edge of town affords it some fantastic panoramas of the capital King Henry VIII's Mound is the place to head for uninterrupted views all the way to St Paul's Cathedral. Wherever you chose to roam via the ponds and Deer Park or circumventing the many lodges, make sure you end up at the Isabella Plantation. Heavily wooded and wholly organic, the Isabella Plantation bursts with massive mounds of azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias and really is truly magical. Apart from a couple of roads running around the edge of the park (traffic is highly regulated and, for the most part, unassuming) the park has changed little since the reign of Charles I. Responsible for parks enclosure and the introduction of deer, Charles I sought sanctuary in Richmond during the plague. These days the park performs much the same function, offering a calming sanctuary from the pressures of city life.

Pick up picnic fodder from:

William Curley - Paved Court, Richmond Town Centre
Paul - The Quadrant, Richmond Town Centre


Events at Richmond Park

London Duathlon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

Sunday 20th September 2015 | Half Duathlon £85, Duathlon £95, Duathlon Relay £140, Ultra Duathlon £137

London Duathlon Richmond Park 2015-09-202015-09-20 Where:
Richmond Park, Park Office, Holly Lodge London, TW10 5HS
Category: Parks and Gardens

The London Duathlon returns to Richmond Park this September as athletes prime themselves to run, bike and run a little bit more on closed roads in south west London's area of outstanding natural ...more

All events at Richmond Park

Victoria Park

London's secret park is the perfect place to while away a sunny afternoon.

Approach Road, Hackney, London,

Tube: Hackney Wick Overground Station


One of London's best kept secrets, Victoria Park is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. Inside the park's boundaries countless varieties of trees stripe the skyline: oaks, horse chestnuts, cherries, hawthorns and even Kentucky coffee trees. The park is split in two by Grove Road. The smaller, western section contains the most picturesque of its lakes with a fully functioning fountain and the imposing Dogs of Alcibiades, two snarling sculptures. Retreat to the quiet of the Old English Garden, a floral haven brimming with flowers and shrubs. Have a peek into the deer enclosure and let the kids run off some energy in the children's playground. The city's first public park opened in the East End in 1845 after a local MP presented Queen Victoria with a petition of 30,000 signatures. It was envisaged as a Regent's Park of the east and originally had its own Speaker's Corner. The Victorians saw parks as instruments of moral and physical improvement, especially for the working classes. Sanitary reformer William Farr believed the use of parks would significantly boost life expectancy. Why not boost your constitution and have an enjoyable day out at the same time, as you explore the many attractions of this glorious park.

Pick up picnic fodder from:

E Pellicci - Bethnal Green Road

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