As part of my series to the 'A walk in the park' posts, its not everyday you can have a picnic with your very own live music entertainment on tap without paying a ridiculous sum of money. Well, two weekends ago I was just that lucky. Myself, my partner in crime aka Mr Awesome and a few friends gathered in Regents Park to chase the sun out of the shadows in the beautifully colourful park. One of the largest green areas in the heart of good old London town. Its home to an Open Air Theatre, London Zoo, cafes and restaurants scattered around the green to quench your thirst should you need to refresh after taking on the 410 acres of lush greenery, gardens, lake with boating area and romance themed fountain sculptures.
With enough food to feed a small country, wine and drinks, I guess it was safe to call it a party in the park. All in aid of a lovely friend who was embarking on a trip back home to Australia. Getting together a large group of friends is never easy but my friend Lis pulled it off quite well. I guess it helps that the Bank Holiday was upon us so there was no excuse not to mingle on the green. The weather was holding its end of the bargain. The park was filled with families letting their little people run around chasing squirrels, lovers picnicking with scenic backgrounds and friends catching up in the cool setting of the park. With our group getting bigger every five minutes, conversations soon fleeted to the large number of ukuleles we had in the group. It was time to get them out and have a jam session. With Lis leading the way, we unashamedly run through a few Glee favourite tunes before doing a bit of Johnny Cash and a few tracks any one sober would never confess to singing. Least of all in public. All in good fun though.
Before parting ways Mr Awesome and I managed to explore more of the park. With most of the Royal Parks in London keeping a secret or two. Regents Park is no exception. When Regents Park was designed/landscaped by John Nash in 1811, he envisioned a collection of villas and a Palace for Prince Regent but only a few villas were completed. One of which, today is owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Nash, a British architect and South Londoner born into the borough I now call home. He left a legacy of popular buildings such as the Royal Pavillion in Brighton, Buckingham Palace and input in much of the homes in Regents Street, Marylebone and theatres such as Haymarket to name a few. A lot of the villas in Regents Park are now privately owned with some occupied by Westminster University. One in particular interest on the day of our party in the park was St John's Lodge, because right next to this villa is a little spot even many Londoners don't even know about. The Secret Garden in Regents Park. It opened to the public in 1928 and still tucked away on the Inner Circle of Regents park, close to the Rose Gardens. Usually secrets dont stay secret for too long. On good days you can have this place all to yourself and on some, you can expect to have a few guests join you on your escape from the crowds in Regents Park. Just be sure to close the gates behind you so this little secret stays secret for a little while longer.