Did you know that London is the greenest major city in Europe and the third greenest city of its size in the world (officially)? Well, it is, and it has so many beautiful spaces where the city gives way from cold architectural structures to thriving green lungs that give us city-dwellers respite. Selecting the best London parks and gardens for this post was a job I adored taking on.
Oh, and they are wonderful places to party, to picnic and to just get away from it all.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” —Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The wizarding world of JK Rowling has inspired millions, if not billions of imaginations around the world – and it all came from an idea she had on a train journey. The House of Minalima here in London showcases some of the incredible graphics of the franchise, and it’s well worth taking a wander into.
Whether you want to be a wizard, or not.
I’m slightly obsessed with picnics. The tiny sausage rolls, dappled sunshine, bubbled beverages, a blatant disregard for tables, communal pots of hummus, relaxed laughter and did I mention miniature scotch eggs? As the seasons turn, I’m already planning a little dining en plein air – so thought it was only fair to share 9 of the best secret picnic spots in London that I’ve found so far!
I’m someone who used to keep a picnic blanket under her office desk (for sunshine emergency situations you understand), when I went freelance I bought my phone plan specifically so I can use it as a laptop hot spot in blossoming gardens and I may or may not have a bottle opener on my key ring. Case in point: my autumnal picnic above – I’ll take literally any excuse to unroll one of my many picnic blankets.
“For me, the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It’s not too calculated or technical.” Daniel Boulud. But, what this quote doesn’t mention is the clever skill – and at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental hotel demonstrates just that. Disclaimer: We were invited for lunch at Bar Boulud – not long after enjoying lunch there as paying guests (read that review here.)
We met for lunch on a snow-filled day, one of those winter ones where your cheeks are rosy and you nestle as far into your scarf as you can.
Next to catching up with friends and family, the best thing about having visitors to London is using their visit as a gold plated excuse to delight in doing a few touristy things. Over the years we’ve ticked 99.9% of London’s attractions off the list, but we hadn’t quite managed to make it to one of the Cereal Killer Cafes. Yet.
Well, that was until our lovely friend from Texas came, giving me the perfect excuse to accompany her to this retro kitsch heaven.