London Life Events

the london orchard project

October 8, 2012

You all know by now how much i like surprises – in any form they choose to come!

To my surprise, yesterday while back from the farmers market and in between going for tea i had decided to take a de-tour in the car. I often like to trick my sub-conscious and make myself look with more awareness. We all know how habits can form and make us go on auto-pilot. I’m very aware of this so like to find ways in catching myself out and do things differently!

As i turned the corner of a street i haven’t been on for years and years i saw this. Thank god, i had my camera with me:)

Now, camley street natural park i have not been to for over 15 years i think! I know, shocking, especially since i used to live in camden town. This is what their site says: Two unique acres of wild green space right in the heart of london, this innovative and internationally acclaimed reserve on the banks of the regent’s canal is a place for both people and wildlife

Yesterday, they hosted the london orchard project. Have a read on their website, it’s really inspiring. Here below is amber, who joined in april 2012 as project manager for creating new orchards programme.

Just to clarify. I know i have ‘chutzpah‘ and i am known to park anywhere, but even i wouldn’t have just parked my vespa in the middle of these grounds while a festival is going on!:)

As it was apple day to celebrate london’s harvest, one of the main attractions was seeing how apple juice and cider is made and getting to try it all.
So, first off you clean the apples thoroughly….

Then you can put them through this pulp making machine (you don’t have to)

… you could just do this… the kids loved crushing the apples and it was a real joy to observe.

Finally you take really fine pulp and put it through this apple crusher and squeeze out the juice. The result: gorgeous, fresh tasting apple juice. To make cider, you put the squeezed out juice in a barrel and let it ferment for up to 6-12 months, i think! Hey, presto!

Here below there was a ‘longest peel competition’. Really!!

Name the new Apple competition and try the different varieties of apples on offer. The one i tried really tasted like a pear.

On the subject of apples, for those of you who haven’t yet come across the simple things magazine, i hope you will check out their website, get a copy or treat yourself to the iPad version if living outside the uk. In their launch issue thad a fabulous article on ‘a day out picking apples’ with lots of recipes and advise on preserving apples as seen in this spread of that issue.

Lunch was apple pizza and traditional pizza while listening to live music.


This was great for kids. the pond was full of duck weed and i loved all the wildness of plants and flowers.

It’s a beautiful spot and i tried to explore all of it given the short time i had!

There was some storytelling and orchard folklore.

……. and some art dotted about the place.

What struck me most was how many parents let their kids roam around without supervision. So different to city and urban life where you cannot relax for a minute as a parent with child in tow. It was a heaven for children and most of the time you could find them climbing the logs.

Now, it would be quite rude of me to leave you without throwing in some patterns and wonderful grains of these wooden logs.

Now that i’ve re-discovered it, no doubt i will go back to camley street natural park. It’s local, beautiful and the perfect spot for a mindfulness break, a lunch break or just a stroll in nature. Best bit, it’s just next to st.pancreas station.

How are you all? Many of you have children. Do you get a change to visit natural parks? Do tell. Happy monday. See you thursday!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Catherine Bedson October 9, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Hi Tina, what a fantastic discovery! I love this place, we don’t get a chance to visit natural parks as often as I’d like. We went through a phase of doing a bit of bushwalking on weekends but our children are older now so are off doing other things. xx

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      I’m embarrassed to say I don’t visit natural parks enough myself. I always cherish to go to the countryside, but a lunchtime spent in one of them would just do the trick, while in the city. Making a mental note. Thanks, Catherine xx

  • Reply Theresa October 10, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Oh, Tina, what a really beautiful, special place. I bet if I look hard enough I could possibly find something similar in my own area. You know how I love to explore and expose the kids to new things and fun outings.
    Strangely enough, we haven’t taken the kids to a national park yet. Though, Yosemite is on our list, and I think the kids are old enough now.
    Thank you for sharing your adventures. I’m going to try and remember that little trick of changing up the daily routine to spark inspiration and make me more aware.

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      I was thinking of you and the kids. I wondered whether you’d like it but am sure you would!

      Let us know when you’ve taken your kids to Yosemite…
      I often change up my daily routine, just to trick my mind into awareness and mindfulness…one just has to try everything, right??

  • Reply Micki October 10, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Amazing example for things we don´t appreciate even if we know about ´em. The combination of art and nature is incredible but what is more important: We have to introduce nature to our children, improve the understanding.
    Thanks for this post.
    The way you write a post and set it in scene with pictures is fashion style itself, ´cause you created a design. You know?

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks darling, glad you liked it. In fact, I could have taken you there but once again, we ran out of time x

  • Reply Igor October 10, 2012 at 10:52 am

    A beautiful park, Tina! I love parks in the city as it is such a great way to have a little treat of nature for us urbanites. Munich is quite spoiling me with parks and I try to get there on the weekends for a good dose of greens:-)

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Munich has great parks and great ‘Bier gärten’… I know how much you like your green spaces.. yes, indeed, very important for us urbanites:)

  • Reply Sam Lennie October 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    What a fabulous park to have right in the middle of the city – so much for city kids to do and discover. It’s funny how us country people take rural places and things to do there for granted. See, Hubby is a city boy and I it’s amusing how I find myself educating him about flora and fauna all the time.

    It’s been a few years since I took the boys to a natural park. We have Hatfield Forest on our doorstep which is an ancient woodland, I guess that’s most like this Camley Street park.

    Thanks for sharing x

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Ha. I’m with hubby here and also need educating! I’m always aware how little I know, being such an urbanite! I grew up in the city and have always lived in one.

      It’s really important for me to stop and take in nature, so will make a point of visiting.

      You country bumpkins are lucky, but then the grass is always greener on the other side, right?? xx

  • Reply geraldine October 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Tina, you are so good at finding places in london. I have heard about Camley before but have never had a chance to visit. My kids would have definitely loved it. We usually visit Hampstead Heath – Golders hill park – there are deers, birds and even a butterfly farm there. There’s a little Italian cafe there that does spicy spaghetti and home made Italian ice cream 🙂 x

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Well, Hampstead Heath and Golders Hill are wonderful. I know the italian cafe well and everyone i know loves it. Give Camley a go, it’s very wild and different x

  • Reply leah of sang the bird October 11, 2012 at 4:15 am

    how wonderful!! i love the poster “…urban fruit for urban communities”.
    you do have a knack for discovering the loveliest places.
    p.s i love the mag that you sent me. many thanks honey xx

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      Yes, the London Orchard Project is doing great things for communities.

      Really glad you like the magazine sweetie xx

  • Reply Anya Jensen October 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    This place looks fantastic Tina – great for kids to roam free. Perhaps a place to visit next time we are over (tomorrow:))) Here in Denmark we are actually spoilt for choice, many parks and places for kids. take care -love Axx

    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Ha. Denmark comes up trumps again. That’s why ‘Monocle’ always votes you guys as having the best lifestyle…:)) xx

  • Reply Holly October 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Somehow this post makes me miss Canada! I know we can apple-pick in Germany too, but I’ve never done it. Guess it’s time to make some new apple memories here. Thanks for the inspiration Tina 🙂

    Off to check out The Simple Things now…


    • Reply tina October 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Aww, love! So excited you’re now commenting from Berlin… soooooo cool. Hope you’ve settled in!! xx

  • Reply Judith September 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Hahaha a longest peel competition! What a cool garden festival, very engaging in an active way. Super cool! Did you ever go back after the festival?

  • Leave a Reply