Want a great idea to spend a relaxing afternoon in London? Go have a picnic in Holland Park! If you are lucky enough, you may catch a free concert echoing from the Opera Holland Park venue. If not, head on over to the Kyoto Garden and get your Japanese Zen on! Running water, manicured lawns, and bamboo implements await. Its the next best thing from hopping on a plane to Tokyo to get my Japan fix.
We sat on the grass near the center of the park. Besides the flower garden, there weren’t many other picnic location choices.
How to Get There
We took the tube to Holland Park station. Exit the station to the right and you can head down Holland Park Ave towards the Tesco Express to pickup food. The Tesco is on the same side of the street as the tube station.
From there, walk back towards the tube station and take your first right. It is fairly easy to find the main north side entrance to Holland Park. It is only a short 10 minute walk from tube station to the marked indicator on the map below. There is a larger lawn area here, which is where we had our picnic, to the rear of the Opera venue.
Things to Do
Flower Garden – Running a wedding blog with the name Lavender means we get excited to see amazing rows of lavender in our travels. Stroll through the flower gardens at Holland Park: bees buzzing, fragrant flowers wafting in the air, and well placed benches to sit and take it all in.
The Belvedere Restaurant – serves up French/English fare in a stunning 17th-century summer ballroom, surrounded by lawns, fragrant flower gardens, and a picturesque fountain. The restaurant is conveniently located in the middle of Holland Park.
We didn’t look at the menu because it is likely one of those establishments ‘if you have to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it!’ Cool building and exterior nonetheless.
Kyoto Garden – Take a stroll through the Japanese garden with its mini waterfall, koi fish in the pond, and wholly relaxing feel.
Meditate and contemplate the meaning of life. Just make sure you do so after your picnic. Always best to do the really important stuff on a full stomach.
To be honest, don’t expect too much from a date at Holland Park. It certainly has the potential to be a romantic spot as an oasis in the heart of a trendy London area, but there were too many people sitting in close proximity taking up grassy real estate. The people watching was very good, which is to be expected given the location near Kensington.
What We Ate
We didn’t have our trusty backpack, and opted to buy our food at a local Tesco Express near the park. Prices were reasonable, especially considering the posh area of Kensington and Chelsea.
Our picnic included:
- Spinach & Pine nut pasta salad
- Edamame salad
- Chicken sandwich
- Cranberry cheese with Nairn crackers
- Frijj chocolate milk
The spinach and pine nut salad were particularly flavorful!
Pick vs Pack
Give the central location in London I would say you should be able to Pack a nice picnic. While we opted to Pick our food from a local supermarket, I would have preferred to plan this picnic and bring specific food with us.
Rain or Shine
We spent a total of 3 hours picnicking in Holland Park on a warm afternoon in July. It started out cloudy, but the sun did make an appearance later in the afternoon. Surprisingly, the weather wasn’t a huge factor for enjoying this park. Obviously sun is always best, but I think the amount of foliage and pathways at Holland Park would provide an enjoyable experience in the rain.
Holland Park Picnic Ratings:
Note: Ratings are purely subjective and for entertainment purposes only. Don’t blame the Nomad Newlyweds if your romance factor isn’t as high 😉
Food / Drink: 6.5 / 10
Romance: 5 / 10
Acessibility: 7.5 / 10
Overall: 6.5 / 10
Picnic Like a Pro
Having the right tools & equipment makes any job easier. Consider buying a picnic backpack for your next outing. These four backpacks from Amazon contain similar items as the one we use on many of our outings, and are all highly rated.