London Life Places

blognic – a picnic in the secret garden

June 3, 2013

Yesterday, on the most glorious day, i went for a picnic. It was not your every day-to-day picnic. No, it was a bloggers picnic named #blocnic and superbly organised by ellie lynne and bethan. I love a picnic but boy do i love a picnic with lively and creative bloggers who come totally prepared. There was a proper tressle table with hand-baked goods and lots of nibble and drinks. Blankets were provided and best of all they chose the most magical spot in london. Genius!

It was such a pleasure to meet old and new faces and the weather played ball. For once, i decided to leave my camera at home and just sit, relax and mingle. Of course, i kicked myself afterwards as the setting was perfect and the sun was beaming.

Thank you guys for rocking that picnic. I had a brilliant time and i hope to see many of you very soon.

In true colourliving fashion, i got up very early, jumped on my scooter and went back to the spot in regent’s park to show you some of its beauty. Let me introduce you to the garden of st john’s lodge, also known as the secret garden. There may be many of you that think they know regent’s park well. Be surprised. It was early and there was just me and the lovely sprinkler man:-)

The gardens are just adjacent to st john’s lodge, a private residence belonging to the sultan of brunei.

Back in 1888, lord bute commissioned robert weir schultz to design a new ‘garden fit for meditation’. Schultz arranged distinctly shaped spaces on the axis of the villa. Formed by hedges, these enclosures remain the framework for the garden. In 1994, the royal parks undertook works to strengthen and enhance the character of the garden. Elements of the original concept have been re-introduced. The garden is designed for peaceful relaxation and as soon as you walk in any tension in your body and mind will disappear.

I could be bold and tell you exactly where to find it and how to get there, but that would spoil the fun, right? It’s secret after all. Psst, don’t tell anyone i let the cat out of the bag!


















Is this beautiful? Have a great week. See you thursday.

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  • Reply Doris June 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    How wonderful to have a picnic in a secret garden right in the middle of London! The garden is beautiful and now on my list of places to visit over summer with Little J so thank you. A bloggers picnic sounds like so much fun especially the table full of baked goodies and I’m glad the weather held up too. xD

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      I think you would adore it:-)
      It really was a magical day x

  • Reply Michelle June 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    It must be so magical when no-one is there! We will try and keep the elderly gentlemen back 😉

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Hahaha! It felt very different going early in the morning with no-one there. As it was always meant to be a meditation garden, it felt very Zen!
      Lovely to meet you.

  • Reply noreen June 4, 2013 at 1:07 am

    how wonderful to have a picnic with lovely bloggers! how did you find each other to begin with? the garden is peaceful. are there places to sit? i’m coming over with a book and a hot drink. joy to you, tina!

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Well, I only knew it as the secret garden but there were instructions:-)

      Yes, there are some benches but most people sit on the grass.
      Come on over, I’ll meet you there…. hope all is well!

  • Reply Catherine June 4, 2013 at 4:09 am

    Your pics reflect that beautiful morning light. I’m in awe of your energy and motivation to jump back on the scooter and get these wonderful photos for us to enjoy. The picnic sounded wonderful with lots of fun people and delicious food. Hope the weather continues like this for the rest of Spring/Summer.

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      From your mouth to Gods ears… I alos hope the weather continues for a bit. We do really need it!

  • Reply Alison Sye June 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

    This post is oozing contentment. Made me feel rested just by reading it! Days like this are good for the spirit.

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Ah, I think this is a spot for you… hope you can visit some day. My spirit was totally alive on Sunday:-)

  • Reply leah of sang the bird June 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

    It sounds divine. A tressel table with edible goodies so perfect. I love all of your gorgeous shots. It feels really English to me, I think I’m in love xxx
    p.s a #blocnic is a great idea!

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Quintessentially British! The sprinkler man told me some lovely stories. Unfortunately he also told me that they get quite a bit of vandalism… can you believe it?
      Why? Answer: because some people want to destroy anything beautiful and peaceful.. probably because their lives are, unfortunately, ugly and chaotic. Shame really.

  • Reply Anya Jensen June 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Omgosh what a lush place. I adore these secret gardens in London:)
    I’d love coming on a blognic with you this Summer when we visit.
    Happy day sweets,

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      You’d love it. Glad to hear weather is good for you too. Petty you didn’t get to see the Blog Tour crew while out there xx

  • Reply Nicola June 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Imagine being the gardener who works there! What a blissful job, they must be so laid back!
    Thank you for introducing us to this wonderful place. I won’t tell anyone, promise;)

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      The sprinkler man LOVED coming there. He visits about once a week and told me lovely tales…. how could you not love your job??

  • Reply Judith June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

    What lush place! Perfect location for the blognic 🙂 Sounds like you had a fabulous time!

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      It was WONDERFUL. When are we having a blognic???

  • Reply Lena June 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I want to be there right now! I love both – the secret garden and the idea of a blogger picnic. We should definitely do something like that in Berlin, too – a blognic on the field of tempelhof airport. I can see it…

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      It was perfect.. yes, Berlin would be great for this.. tempelhof airport, sounds quirky and different and, I’m assuming here, very you! 🙂

  • Reply Heidi Rockecharlie June 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I am happy to say that I spent some time in this glorious garden on Monday. My husband and I are visiting from Houston, Texas and as luck would have it, we met the most fun and interesting woman who directed us there! We are so grateful to her for sharing this secret part of London with us and for an insider’s perspective on what to see and where to eat while we’re here. We are loving every minute!!

    • Reply tina June 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Heidi, a lifeline. Thank you. Adrian wanted to know whether I heard from you guys.

      Told you the garden is gorgeous. Glad you’re enjoying some of Adrian’s and mine recommendations. Always glad to be called fun and interesting:-)
      I very much enjoyed meeting you both, albeit was very late on the work front:-))

      I hope your last couple of days will be blissful. At least London showed itself from its best, unlike Paris, which welcomed you with rain:-))
      Bon voyage and stay in touch x

  • Reply Igor June 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Great photography, my friend! Actually, we planned to organise a blogger picnic this Sunday in a park here in Munich but alas, the weather seems to be unstable this weekend. By the way, have you seen Mr. Grey on my blog?:-)

    • Reply tina June 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks, Mr Igor!
      Loved MR Grey on your blog! How cool is that?? x

  • Reply Louise - 30s Magazine June 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

    what a lovely place. I wish I could stay in London for longer than a few days and discover all these non-touristy places. Everyone is hung up on Paris, but for me, London is the best city in Europe. There is so much to do and see. You are so lucky to live there!

    • Reply tina June 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      Awww, sweetie, you often say this. Come over for a longer period. I agree, London has the edge, whatever people say!!
      I am incredibly greatful for living in this great city! x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey June 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Who would ever believe that place was in the middle of London. Fantastic. The picnic sounds wonderful… but I’m disappointed there are no pictures 😉 xx

    • Reply tina June 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Mr Grey, I did explain that I didn’t have my camera on me the day of the picnic. Glad I didn’t. I enjoyed it more…:-)) xx

  • Reply geraldine June 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Great garden Tina. It would be a fun game for the kids to find the secret garden. Sounds like a wonderful event x

    • Reply tina June 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Ha. You should go there with the kids and have a picnic x

  • Reply James Balston June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

    NOOOOOOOO! Don’t tell the whole world!! I had the most wonderful day there with friends over 10 years ago now, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. What a gem

  • Reply Holly June 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Wow! Seriously?! So enchanting, picture perfect!


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