Although this summer has felt like a bit of a wash out weather-wise, forecasters have promised a drier and warmer season from mid-July – so here’s to hoping. We’re positive you’ll know all the best picnic spots around town, so with this in mind we’ve pulled together a round-up of some of the more unlikely London picnic spots to celebrate National Picnic Month this July.
1. Seville Look-A-Like: A Hidden Oasis in Covent Garden
Location: Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden
For something a bit different, and for a change of scene from Mayfair-life, this colourful spot and charming little oasis isn’t too far from 180 Piccadilly. With airs of Seville or even Northern parts of Europe, Neal’s Yard is like a secret garden, one that will transport you to a different city. Take your own lunch or grab a slice of take away pizza from nearby and soak up the vibrant view. There’s also a great cheese shop nearby and of course, Neal’s Yard Remedies where you can pop in for a 30-minute head and shoulder massage before making your way back to the office.
2. Picnic with Great Minds at Highgate Cemetery
Location: Highgate Cemetery
Perhaps an unlikely option for some, but for those looking for a quiet and inspiring spot for a picnic lunch, look no further than a stroll through the grounds at Highgate Cemetery where some of the greatest minds are buried including George Eliot and Karl Marx. Plus it’s a good excuse to grab take-out from Food Room on Archway Road: a cosy café serving freshly prepared food, great coffee and homemade cakes.
3. “A Day in the Life” – Picnic Like The Beatles
Location: St Pancras Old Church
On July 28, 1968, while The Beatles were recording the White Album, the famous four went out for a shoot with photographers Stephen Goldblatt and Don McCullin, visiting several places in London, including Thompson House and Wapping Pier Head. It became known as the “Mad Day Out”.
John, Paul, George & Ringo sat at this bench at St Pancras Old Church during their day. So grab a Beatles-inspired picnic and have a mad day out yourself. In a 1964 magazine interview, John claimed his favourite foods were curry, jelly and tea – if that doesn’t appeal to you, Paul, Ringo Starr and George Harrison were all vegetarian (in the late 1960s) – so grab a falafel wrap and head for this famous bench.
4. Coffee in a Victorian Men’s Bathroom
Location: 27a Foley St, Fitzrovia, W1W 6DY
You may have come across The Attendant before – they have a number of cafes in the city, but the Fitzrovia is the one to visit. In Victorian times, the space was a public toilet, but the old urinals are now a stylish bar. The beautiful wrought-iron entrance is another reason to visit the café, which looks so authentic that baristas say they regularly have to turn away people who think it’s still a functioning public toilet. Grab a coffee and head for one of Fitzrovia’s many nearby park bench.
5. London’s Most Photographed Telephone Box?
Location: Parliament Square
Have you ever noticed how the urban geography aligns perfectly around Parliament Square for arguably one of London’s most iconic backdrops? Not only does it feature Big Ben and often stationary red buses, but there’s a red telephone box too. Take your bowler hat, brief case and a bag of jellied eels and you too could become part of the cliché while marking National Picnic Month.
6. A High Altitude Picnic in London
Location: Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park
A short jaunt north of our offices, and who doesn’t love a picnic in Regent’s Park? On the north side of the park, leafy Primrose Hill offers some of the best views of the London skyline from its summit which is more than 60 meters above sea level. OK so not quite high altitude but arguable the best views you’ll see from a park bench.
7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Location: Tiffany & Co, 25 Old Bond Street, Mayfair, W1S 4QB
And if you don’t have time for a picnic this July, never fear. Just grab a croissant and a coffee, and meet your other half at Tiffany’s for an iconic breakfast. Just remember to take your credit card!