Discovering Serpentine Bar&Kitchen…
I’ve always insisted I’m a city girl -I still do, really.
That’s not to say I’m trying to adopt this Hollywood-esque girl-about-town lifestyle involving an expensive shoe habit, a cocktail diet and a man who walks all over me and gets away with it because ‘he doesn’t know what he wants’. All my shoes have holes in them. I love cocktails but can only handle two or three, in fear of the mixed-drink hangover. I don’t really get trouble from men because I avoid the troublesome ones.
What I’m getting at is, as someone who grew up in the countryside -the desolate, sparse, back-end of nowhere -I was itching to get out to those cliched ‘bright lights’ as soon as I turned eighteen. I adore going home for visits, but there are only so many dog walks I can take before I’m walking the walls, dreaming of exciting events and mid-week nights out and an overloaded diary.
Having said that, every so often, I find a place in London -a little pocket of the city -which reminds me of home and evokes rushing feelings of comfort and sentiment. Suddenly, being exposed to lush stretches of grass and fresh spring air transforms me from a city chaser into a full-on farmer. Cannizaro House recently had this effect; the country house hotel in Wimbledon which served me fantastic food, an incredibly warm atmosphere and views to die for. Well, add to that list Serpentine Bar and Kitchen in Hyde Park -a tiny eaterie which could convince you it was an educational nature reserve.
Hyde Park has always been an absolute favourite hotspot of mine and conjures up romantic memories of a past relationship, wine and summer afternoons spent basking in the hot grass. Despite being a regular, I’ve always inadvertently by-passed this beautiful hideaway, but today, after attending an event in Knightsbridge, I emerged from a hotel into a portion of blazing sunshine and heard the park beckoning. It was meant to be a casual stroll -in heels, a pencil skirt and a starchy navy blue double-breasted trench -but Serpentine bar and kitchen enticed me into one of its slouchy deck chairs and sold me a glass of zesty-tasting Pinot Grigio. Here I sit, sipping my wine, enjoying the heat whilst writing -I’m in heaven. I would feel outraged and duped, were it not for the utterly beautiful views I’m faced with. I’m close enough to the lake to stretch out my leg and dip my toe into the water if I wanted to. Wild fowl bathe nearby, a soft breeze waves the low-hanging willow branches around which envelope me and I don’t exaggerate when I say I’m no longer in London, but some other part of the world where only peace and paradise exist.
I’ve escaped my frantic city lifestyle for a snippet of time and I’m sitting here, thinking about home and my family and the dogs, questioning which side I belong to. Maybe I am a little bit fickle when it comes to being a City girl -but as I recline here in paradise, I can conclude …there are worse things to be guilty of.
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