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Monday, July 18, 2011

The picnic concert season

I'm a sucker for picnic concerts, which is unfortunate given the vagaries of the English summer. The last time we went to one of the English Heritage picnic concerts, at Kenwood House, we needed umbrellas and the picnic rug doubled as, well, a rug round the legs, as it got a bit nippy.
The picnicking hoardes
Undeterred, I booked a while ago for a more local picnic concert, this time at historic Copped Hall and featuring the New Redbridge Wind Orchestra.

And, hallejuha, the weather held off. There were sunny intervals which more than compensated for the fact it was blowing a gale. And a beer tent selling Pimm's. What more could you want?

Admiring the walled garden (Pimm's in hand)
Copped Hall is a fascinating place, dating from the 12th century. Queen Mary, Henry VIII's daughter with Katherine of Aragon, lived there (or more accurately, was imprisoned there for a time). Unfortunately it was badly damaged by fire in 1917. Since then its future has been in doubt many times with developers trying to get their hands on the parkland. However in 1996 the Corporation of London bought the parkland and the Copped Hall Trust now own the mansion and gardens.

There are regular events to raise money as the renovation continues, including tours of the gardens. We were surprised at how fine the gardens are, particularly the walled garden. And the views are spectacular. You would never guess you're so close to the M25.

So thrilled was I with the picnic concert that I nearly booked one for Saturday, care of a last minute Groupon deal: Elton John at Hatfield House. J was reluctant however so I didn't, and seeing as it rained most of the day on Saturday, we had a lucky escape!

3 comments:

Anne @ The Frump Factor said...

Music, the outdoors, flowers, and a beverage in hand..... Yes, that does sound just about perfect! Great picture of you with the flowers (and the Pimm's). Shame your weather has been so uncooperative, though.

lucylastic said...

I'm with you 100% Gail! I love the idea of a picnic in the park - some good music, warm sunshine, Pimms or maybe Champers........and tasty nibbles, (preferably prepared by someone else) ;-) Sadly, it hardly ever happens. Glad you got away with it at Copped Hall - looks lovely. Lucy

Caroline said...

I do love an outdoor summer concert - flag waving, Pimm's and generally a marvellous British institution - we went to a brilliant one at William's school recently. And it didn't even rain!!

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