Does life get any better than an evening spent in Kensington Palace Gardens? I adore London. It’s a refrain that I’ve sung endlessly for the years that I’ve lived in in England’s capital, but many people seem to question this as it’s a city. But, it’s a green, green city that has pockets of flora (and the occasional fauna) which makes all the difference. Take for instance a sunny afternoon a while ago that a few friends and I decided to cancel our plans of going to the cinema, and picnicking in the park instead.
It was all very last minute on a Friday. At 12.20pm, one of us messages to confirm our cinema date. By 12.32pm we had binned that thought entirely (we hadn’t gotten around to booking the tickets anyway) at the mention of the picnic blanket that I keep under my desk for emergency sunshine occasions, and arranged to convene at High Street Kensington Station as soon as we could sneak away from our screen-based obligations.
Armed only with said picnic blanket, a glimmer in our eyes at the thought of sunshine and our bank cards, we swanned into one of the local supermarkets and shopped away.
Throwing an assortment of gourmet salads, a good-sized loaf of Tiger bread, a selection of charcuterie, a swathe of cheeses (is there even such a thing as too much cheese on a picnic?), a million cherry tomatoes, something sweet for dessert, a clink of beverages and a rustle of napkins and cutlery, we were set.
It was as simple as location + blanket + tasty things + excellent company.
Tucking our goodies into our bags (save the trees!) we emerged, blinking into the sunshine like (workday) caterpillars transforming into (weekend) butterflies, and giggled our way into the Kensington Palace grounds.
Wandering through, we assessed each and every patch of grass for the longevity of sunshine (nb: a picnic specific unit of measurement), eventually settling on an east facing hillock close to a few puppies chasing sticks.
Unravelling the blanket, laying out our feast and resting our weary bones, we settled in until we literally had no daylight left.
We could have explored the Kensington Palace Orangerie grounds, we could have wandered up to the Elfin Oak with its literary links, we could have fed the swans on the lake, explored the Palace (who knows – we might have run into one of the ‘fab four’, Prince William, K-Middy, Prince Harry or Meghan Markle – also random note, I love that she’s married Hazza but is still known by her own full name) or had a cultural fix at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
But, no. We simply people watched and chatted the only way that comfortable friends can. I’ve escaped prison with these ladies (the full story is much less dramatic than it sounds), explored other cities with them and they’re an essential part of why I love this city.
(Hey, we may not have actually been distracted from our feast, but there’s always time to snap a quick pic…)
We were eventually hinted out at sunset with the arrival of security people and a police car emptying the park of day time visitors…
That’s my tried and tested way to cure a case of city-itis!
What are your city blues cures?
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