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Sunday, July 13, 2008

A quintessentially English experience

Last night we went to a Picnic in the Park at Kenwood House in leafy Hampstead.

It was an experience as English as you can possibly get: hundreds of people shaking out their picnic rugs and unloading luscious picnics, mainly from M&S and Waitrose (I was picnic spotting). No youths bearing knives, except possibly plastic ones. Recession what recession - I saw numerous bottles of champagne and other fine wines. No bottles of Mateus Rose in Hampstead, that's for sure.

We collected our picnic having ordered it in advance from Carluccio's. Last time we went to Kenwood for a Picnic in the Park (two years ago) the hamper supplier was Marks & Spencer. I have to say that the Carluccio's hamper, at £45, was not good value. It was not very carefully packed and one of the bottles of water had leaked so the two paper plates were sodden. The contents were a bit hit and miss too. Too much rocket for my liking and everything seemed to be swimming in a patina of olive oil.

I've resolved to take my own picnic next year so we can have our favourite yummies. For me, quiche, kettle chips, Scotch egg and an egg custard tart. J is a man of simple tastes and would probably be satisfied with a ham and coleslaw roll and maybe a chicken breast to gnaw on (he is not a leg man).

Anyway the concert was superb - Summer Proms with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Lots of favourites: Sousa's Semperfidelis (the theme tune for Plymouth Argyle FC), Elgar's Nimrod (which always chokes me up, as it reminds me of my dad) and finally the 1812 Overture, regrettably without fireworks. A very enjoyable evening. I am trying to persuade J that we should go to Last Night of the Proms at Kenwood on August 23, but I fear that the deckchair and the cold has put him off until next year.


lucylastic said...

Hi Gail,

Sounds a lovely evening - sorry your hamper was disappointing - carluccio's have a good reputation usually. Your own home-made picnic sounds delish - if a tad heavy on the eggs - quiche, egg custard and scotch egg? I hope you have a stong constitution!!!!! Yiou mentioned champagne - was it OK to take glass bottles in then? Lucy

Sue said...

Hi Gail - just love your description !!! Me - I live very near to a Summer Nights Concerts venue - so I cheat and plonk myself in the garden with a late tea and a very nice bottle of red - lol....

Sue said...

Back again - I have just sat and read through the rest of the first page of your blog - very, very witty - shall visit again ....