Work up an Appetite on One of These Winter Walks
Come wintertime, there's nothing Londoners like more than spending an afternoon strolling around one of the city's prettiest parks followed by a hearty roast dinner in a cozy pub. We've put together some classic park and pub pairings below. Wrap up warm and walk this way…
Primrose Hill & The Princess of Wales
A Walk in the Park: On the north side of Regent's Park, leafy Primrose Hill offers fantastic views of the London skyline from its summit. Head up to the protected viewpoint and take in London landmarks including the London Eye, the Shard and the BT Tower. The park is a popular spot for picnics, kite-flying and celeb spotting (local celebrity residents include Jamie Oliver, Cara Delevinge and Daniel Craig).
Where to Lunch: Occupying three floors of a 19th-century building, the Princess of Wales is a good-looking gastropub on a posh residential street near Primrose Hill. It's a sociable spot with several different areas to eat in including an elegant first-floor dining room and a 'Banksy beer garden', named after a lion stencil thought to be etched by the artist in 2011. The popular Sunday lunch offerings (beef, chick, pork, veggie sausages) are served with all the trimmings and the tempting dessert menu includes brownies and banoffee pie.
Regent's Park & The Prince Regent
A Walk in the Park: Designed by British architect John Nash, Regent's Park is a gorgeous patch of greenery in central London. Spend time strolling around the fragrant Queen Mary's Gardens, which feature more than 400 types of roses, or take to the water in a row boat on the lake. A wander around the 3-mile outer circle of the park should take around an hour.
Where to Lunch: On Marylebone High Street, the Prince Regent is a grand gastropub with flamboyant interiors including chandeliers, red velvet booths and gold-framed mirrors. Sundays are all about long, leisurely lunches and the pub provides newspapers, board games and a soothing soundtrack. The roast dinners feature British meat from Wiltshire and shropshire and are served with seasonal veg and lashings of gravy.
Hyde Park & Hawksmoor Knightsbridge
A Walk in the Park: Covering 350 acres, Hyde Park is one of London's largest and most popular. Dating to 1536, it was originally used as hunting ground for Henry VIII and opened to the public in the 1600s. It's home to landmarks including the Serpentine Lake (for boating and open-air swimming), Speakers' Corner (for lively debate) and the Diana Memorial Fountain (a tribute to the Princess of Wales, popular with kids to splash around in). Work up an appetite with a 4-mile walk around the edge of the park, which should take around 90 minutes.
Where to Lunch: Hawksmoor is a mecca for meat eaters and is one of the best places to eat steak in London. Its celebrated Sunday roast consists of longhorn rump beef served with duck fat roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and lashings of bone marrow and onion gravy. The Knightsbridge branch is located just off Brompton Road and features stylish Art Deco interiors.
Victoria Park & The Royal Inn on the Park
A Walk in the Park: Designed as a 'Regent's Park for the East End', Victoria Park (or Vicky Park to locals) first opened in 1845. Bordered on two sides by the Regent's Canal, the park features decorative gardens, elaborate Victorian drinking fountains, a deer enclosure, a Chinese pagoda and no fewer than three lakes. Family-friendly amenities include a skate park, a splash pool and playgrounds.
Where to Lunch: On Lauriston Road, a village-like enclave at the edge of the park, the Royal Inn on the Park is a popular Victorian pub with a large outdoor terrace. A range of guest ales and continental beers accompany the hearty roast dinners and the menu features classic post-roast desserts including sticky toffee pudding and eton mess.
Brockwell Park & The Florence
A Walk in the Park: This unsung park in south east London forms a triangle between Brixton, Dulwich and Herne Hill. At its heart is the 19th-century Brockwell Hall (now a cafe) and the park features a miniature railway, a BMX bike track, an Old English flower garden and a 19th-century clock tower. The Art Deco outdoor lido attracts swimmers come rain or shine.
Where to Lunch: Just opposite the park, The Florence is a family-friendly pub with a handsome Victorian-tiled exterior. The cozy-chic interiors feature a marble fireplace, mismatched chairs and tables and a huge copper vat that produces micro brews. The roast dinners are served from an open kitchen and come with giant Yorkshire puddings and veggies including honey-glazed carrots. For the summer months there's a colorful beer garden with a beach hut-style bar.