A picnic is the perfect way to spend a sunny lunchtime or leisurely afternoon and London boasts a whole list of gorgeous spaces in which to enjoy yours. But how to decide which will best suit your needs? From quiet city spots to family-friendly fields, check out our handy guide and match your lunch to your locale….
What’s in your basket? Wotsits, sandwiches and juice – the family feast
Where to park it? The Horniman Gardens
Situated in Forest Hill – nice and far from the Olympic madness – Horniman gardens are gorgeous, with plenty of space for running about, not to mention a picturesque bandstand and picnic area. Once you’ve finished your sandwiches why not pop into the free museum next door? With curious exhibits from stuffed animals to tribal body art, not to mention its own aquarium at the bargainous entry price of £2.50 per adult, it’ll fascinate the kids. You might even learn something….
What’s in your basket? Champagne and caviar – a lovers’ lunch or hot date
Where to park it? Primrose Hill
What could be better (or more romantic) than an al fresco evening with a panoramic view of the London skyline? Sip a drink, watch the sunset and whisper sweet nothings as the city lights switch on. With a view no restaurant could match, not to mention the stars for a ceiling, you’ll make your special someone feel like one in a million (without spending hundreds).
What’s in your basket? A bit of everything – pot luck picnicking with friends
Where to park it? Regents Park
From ravishing rose gardens to space for sports, with fountains, walkways and benches in between, Regents Park is the ideal meet-up spot. Situated in central London, (just a short walk from a myriad of super hostels and hostels like Palmers Lodge) it’s large enough that you won’t feel like you’re in the city centre. Take a walk around the perimeter to hear monkeys shrieking and spot a passing penguin – ZFL London Zoo is right next door!
What’s in your basket? Sushi – delicious and nutritious with an oriental flavour
Where to park it: Kyoto Garden
In the mood for something a little ‘zen’? Try taking some refreshing sushi to the stunning surroundings of the Kyoto Garden. Tranquil and peaceful, you’ll feel a world away from the buzzing Holland Park location.
What’s in your basket? Bubbly and blinis – perfect for ladies who lunch
Where to park it? Kew Gardens
For a refined picnicking experience, visit the fabulous Kew Gardens. Boasting botanical splendour and picturesque pavilions, it’s a lovely destination for ladies who lunch. You won’t find many shirtless footballers here – all the better for a prosecco-quaffing crowd.
What’s in your basket? Cold drinks and sausage rolls – football fuel for a casual game
Where to park it? Battersea Park
With wide grassy spaces and a relaxed vibe, Battersea is the perfect location for a kick about in the sun. If you get bored of ballgames, cool down in a hired rowing boat or stretch out in the sun and top up that tan.
What’s in your basket? A pre-packed sandwich or salad – lunch on the go
Where to park it? The Postmans’ Park
Especially ideal for sufferers of the dreaded hayfever, The Postman’s Park may not be the largest or greenest on our list, but what it lacks in space it makes up for in quirkiness. A curio in its own right, the park was established to immortalise Londoners who died heroically saving the lives of others. Handily situated mid-city it’s a tranquil spot for your sandwiches. Even the most lacklustre ham roll will seem interesting accompanied by a stroll along the memorial wall, where each sad tale is beautifully (and briefly) depicted on its own tile.