I'm torn whether to actually write about yesterday's venture or not. A huge part of the beauty and charm of the place lay in our sharing it only with a dog walker, the occasional jogger, photographers and an elderly couple having a romantic picnic complete with wine (they had the right idea).
In a small space, this may still seem a fair few people but in a vast expanse of architectural and horticultural magnificence, it really meant we were quite alone to the point where I wondered whether, had it only been me, I might have felt a little spooked. On a gloomy day such as it was, greyer corners of the structure were definitely reminiscent of a scene or detail from an opulent murder mystery.
I fear that were too many people aware of this 'secret garden's' existence than the magic would be gone. So I may be selfish and refer to it as just that; The Secret Garden. Although in all fairness, said garden is so far off the beaten track that even if more people did know of it, I hardly feel that it's somewhere they would frequent. Fine, yesterday we finally found ourselves at the Hill Garden & Pergola in Hampstead.
There's not really much to say. It really is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed. It was just so beyond surreal, incredibly magical and really genuinely peaceful (no peacock cries or sirens this time), almost to the point of being eerie at points. Nevertheless, we both agreed, very romantic!
Another slightly chilly 'summer's' day, we were eventually torn away by want of tea and cake. Having completely lost my bearings, I was totally convinced that we were right by Kenwood House (we were not. It was at least two roads and the majority of a heath away) so we wandered in what I thought was the right direction for the teashop.
As fate would have it, the 'right direction' did lead us to a perfectly pleasant park with an even more pleasant 'Refreshment House' where we sat inside (still bothered by wasps in want of chocolate and sweet apple) to enjoy our tea and cake.
Legs well rested and the sun finally shining, we couldn't just head back home could we? So on we blindly plodded again in the direction (we hoped) of the Heath. I am ashamed to say that in the end, Google Maps came out, but thus we did eventually find the longest way round to Parliament Hill. Once there, I (in true holiday mode style) had a light nap, only interrupted for a short moment by my own fit of laughter at a yuppie pair of teens, one of whom genuinely responded 'yeah, totes' to her friend, at which point I completely lost it. I don't think they knew I was laughing at them...
The rest of the day continued much in the same sleepy vein. My excuse is that I was getting my energy up for the next four days of wedding mania. 'Til Sunday!