Who needs the rolling countryside to enjoy a quintessentially English picnic date? London is blessed with a huge variety of green open spaces to throw your picnic rug and pop your Prosecco cork.
Picnics make great dates because they are relaxed, inexpensive and if you are really into your date – you can pull out all the stops! Here are five hidden gems to consider for a cosy little picnic date.
The bombed ruins of a medieval church and Wren tower planted with interesting plants and wall shrubs makes this a charming garden to retreat to for a lunchtime picnic. Just a stone’s throw from Monument and Tower Hill Tube, it is also near the river and the perfect city oasis; it is popular in summer months on weekdays with city workers, so head there on a weekend for a more relaxed and romantic date.
Head to the gardens of Fulham Palace where you can choose a spot in the 13 acres of lawns, meadows and woodland. There is also a recently-restored 18th century walled garden a secret spot with a knot garden of herbs, a wisteria pergola and orchard. If catering isn’t your thing, grab something from the Palace’s Drawing Room Café and head outside for a spot of peace. The Palace is just yards from the banks of the Thames and archaeologists have recently found evidence of Neolithic and Roman settlements within the grounds, so careful where you place your blanket!
A favourite with local artists, this beautiful garden is a little-known part of Hampstead Heath. It has beautiful flowers and romantic elevated pergola covered with gorgeous roses and vines leading to a sloping law, which is ideal for picnics on warm days. If you head here in the early evening, you might spot roosting long-eared bats! This is also accessible from the Heath itself if you and your date fancy a walk first.
Tucked away behind the miniature model village and rose pergola in Vauxhall Park is this gorgeous garden, which is filled with lavender from May until the end of the summer. It is square and lined with benches, so the ideal place to seek refuge and tuck into some food. The garden is looked after by local residents and as well as smelling amazing, it has a wonderful atmosphere!
This formal Japanese water garden in Holland Park was built in 2001 to celebrate the London Japan Festival, so is like a tiny pocket of the East in an English setting. The garden is carefully designed to reflect key traits of Japanese gardens, including tiered waterfalls, a stone temple and a carp pond. If you or your date feels the need for some blissful quiet and to go somewhere with a restorative effect – this is the picnic destination for you.
The Horniman Gardens in Forest Hill is a site of 16 acres of beautifully maintained natural and formal gardens are a great spot for picnicking. From sunken and beautiful rose gardens, a meadow field, wildlife garden and bandstand area, to a unique collection of sundials and wildflower displays, you could come here many times and never get bored.
This 26-acre park to the south east of Highgate Village was given to the public in 1889 by Sir Sydney Waterlow as “a garden for the gardenless”. Consisting of expanses of lawn, tree-lined walkways three ponds and some lovely shrubs and flowers, this is a great place to get lost for a few hours.
Where to get your picnic hamper? If you’re not a fan of making up your picnic hamper, or are looking for something more interesting than a soggy sandwich, head to Carluccio’s , Melrose and Morgan is Hampstead and Primrose Hill or Bea’s of Bloomsbury for a hassle-free feast.
Have you got any top-secret picnic spots in the capital that you could recommend for a date? Tell us @lovestruckTweet