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Picnics & Parks: What Summer In London Was Made For

By Christian Rose-Day (25 May 12)
Tags: picnic London, london's best park, picnic in the park, summer picnic, london summer, best beer gardens, best alfresco, restaurants, bars, pubs, London

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The working week during summer; it seems so much more difficult when you're stuck indoors, industriously tapping away on your keyboard whilst the sun waves at you from behind your nearest window. During the week, and indeed at the weekend, you'll need to relax and unwind, buddy, so grab yourself a readymade group of mates and head to one of London's fabulous parks. Be sure to pack up a picnic before you go, though, because you're going to be there a while.

Apparently, there are more than 3,000 parks and public spaces in London, making it one of the greenest capitals in the world. If you're spending this summer in the city, then a picnic in the park is an excellent way to make the most of London's beautiful outdoor spaces. Plus, you're dining on a budget so you're actually saving money! Can it get any better?

Green Park, central London

If you've lost the energy to get glammed up for The Ritz on that eagerly anticipated 'hottest day of the year so far', why not venture a little further along Piccadilly and visit the verdant Green Park, mere moments from Buckingham Palace, no less. There, you can enjoy afternoon tea at a moment's notice, while making the most of the glorious sunshine. You can even hire a deck chair to sit back and relax in true British summer style.

Best local restaurant/bar to end up at: Citrus; make a reservation using the booking calendar below.

Clapham Common, south London

If you fancy picnicking a little further south of the River Thames, then you might want to check out Clapham Common, which is hugely popular with the 20s-30s professional crowds. This area has the advantage of being close to a number of tube stations and local shops, so if you're not keen on putting together your own finger food, you can simply pick some tasty treats from the local Waitrose, or perhaps a bottle of your favourite summer tipple from the nearby M&S. From light and fruity bottles of rose wine, to something with a bit of fizz, you're bound to find the summery selection you're looking for. Another reason why this park is perfect for impromptu picnics is that there's nearly always something going on; whether it be the Ben and Jerry's Summer Sundae event or the South West Four dance music festival.

Best local restaurant/bar to end up at: Metro Garden Restaurant & Bar; make a reservation using the booking calendar below.

Regent's Park, north London

Another outdoor location which is certainly worth a mention is the popular choice, Regent's Park. This busy park is home to the ZSL London Zoo, as well as numerous summer festivals, tennis courts and a boating lake. However, if you want a quieter spot for your summer picnic, then simply head slightly further north to Primrose Hill. If you're organised enough to plan a picnic hamper (or if you've signed up to the M&S Wine Club, and enjoy delicious summer wines delivered straight to your door), then this peaceful park can be the perfect place to spend a hot summer's day, especially as the high vantage point affords you extraordinary views over central London.

Best local restaurant/bar to end up at: Gordon Ramsay York & Albany; make a reservation using the booking calendar below.

Yeh, the British weather is a little unpredictable at times, but with a smidgeon of insider knowledge about where to find the perfect picnic spot, you'll always be prepared to enjoy outdoor food and drink at a moment's notice! Alfresco restaurant seating areas and pub beer gardens in London might fill up quickly once the sun comes out, but with a blanket and a hamper, London's parks can offer the perfect alfresco wining and dining experience.

To discover the best alfresco bars and restaurants in London, click here

Image courtesy of Flickr user Roberto Trm.

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