Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Picnic @ Greenwich Park


I am not trying to show off or anything for putting up pictures of my picnic at one of the Royal Parks of UK, the Greenwich Park on one sunny afternoon with cheese and wine; all I wanted is to show the importance of work life balance and how one can achieve it if really wanted to. I have to admit that it is quite difficult to do that in Hong Kong, to have a nice relaxing picnic for the following major reasons: (1) many (or most) parks in Hong Kong restrict visitors from stepping onto the grass, not to mention about sitting on them, (2) most parks in Hong Kong do not allow dogs and (3) Where are the parks anyhow? parks that are big enough to have picnic under the Sunday with fresh air and cushion like grass fields?? I continue to question the logic behind the points I mentioned regarding Hong Kong's Parks but no luck so far unfortunately.


Anyhow, my picnic took place on a Monday afternoon at the Greenwich Park where we picked a spot underneath the historical Royal Observatory. Yes, even in such a park with so much history and national pride so to speak, we can pick any spot we like and start our picnic by sitting on those cushion like grass field. Dogs were running around, other visitors were napping under the sun while some were simply enjoying a lovely walk around the park.


We bought a lot of stuff, Cheeses were a must, Comte, Montgomery's Cheddar and some more Parmiganio Reggiano. Many of the cheeses were from Neal's Yard Dairy (Borough Market shop).


How can cheeses go without wine right? Thanks to my friend H, she bought us the Douce Surprise, late harvest, 100% of Melon de Bourgogne. It belongs to the Haute Culture line of Sauvion's Muscadet Sèvre. More details  because I am not an expert on this but it was quite fruity and went extremely well with strong cheese. Anyhow, the picnic was a wonderful idea indeed and I enjoyed it as you can see from the picture below how I tastefully enjoyed the grapes under the warm Sunshine on top of the cushion like grass.


Oh right, we shared some food with the little doggy called Giddy I think.


Since we were here at the Royal Observatory, we must visit the place right? I have been here before but it was under a different weather condition unlike the perfect afternoon on this day.


I really need to exercise more because the walk up to the Royal Observatory made me sweat! It was a short walk as well! argh!


Up there one can have a great panoramic view of the whole park.


I truly wonder when can I do this sort of thing again in Hong Kong. Is it possible? Just to sit along side the hill overlooking a beautiful skyline under the blue sky? I wonder ...



Unknown said...

Hmmmpft! Jealousy doesn't even begin to cover it ;) I wish this was a reality in HK too, especially once the weather cools down some more, so we don't have to bake under the sun. Fab photos as usual, Jason!

Rachelle said...

omg jealous X 100000
Looks like photos out of a lifestyle/food magazine!

Joyce Lau said...

Aw. You make me miss England so much. I'm going to show this post to my husband. He'll love it.

Jason said...

@Cheeky Angel: Thanks for the kind words! :) ... I really hope there is such a place in Hong Kong we can do this. I heard there is a Victoria Park on top of the Peak, let me confirm that for sure!

@Rachelle: haha ... I am blushing! Thanks for the kind words! :)

@Joyce: I really want to spend more time there if possible, the weather was great during my stay, rather lucky I have to say.

Andrew said...


A lovely post and great observations regarding Hong Kong's park.

I spend quite a bit of time running in HK's country parks and while these parks are great for hiking and running, they aren't really places for lazy picnic with friends. Is HK's lack of parks a result of too many people (yet London has a higher population) or perhaps due to a lack of space (yet our country parks mean we have nearly the highest percentage of park land of any country)? Perhaps it's due to a lack of political desire? Or just cultural differences; there’s no time for picnics when there's so much shopping to do?

Enjoy the rest of the UK trip


Jason said...

@Andrew: I am a strong believer in ... possibilities perhaps? All of us have choices, we choose to do certain things, many choose to go for shopping instead of resting under the sun or having a nice picnic. True that cultural differences may be a reason but the key factor is once again what we choose to do with our spare time I guess. Many choose to ignore other than to pursue any political desires or even pretend to care. I think it is a more complicated issue which is not for discussion on this yummy blog HAHA ... requires much more thinking perhaps? HAHA ...

Is there any country parks where such picnic can be possible? I mean far away from any roads and etc? I have been told that there is a park called Victoria Peak Garden or something near the peak. Let me check it out soon! :)

Queenie Chan said...

Hey JJ! How come you didn't email me when you are literally in London! How's everything going? See if we can catch up sometime before you leave! Email me! Queenie

Gastronommy said...

Good god, Jason! I miss having picnics on soft green grass on a field with a nice breeze. Thankfully Singapore does preserve its greenery, but getting the right cold cuts, jams and breads (and non humid weather) is tougher.

The closest to a picnic I could get in HK would usually mean beach picnics. No grass.

Your photos really captured the mood. Love it.

Anonymous said...

Although, HK has great country parks, the urban ones suck as they all seem to be made of mostly concrete and those which do have grass are mostly cordoned off.If you have the temerity to actually step on the grass you can guarantee that some mini-Hitler in a badly fitting uniform will order you off it. Also most of the parks ban the consumption of food....along with everything else.

You also forgot to mention that picnicing in HK is a no-no for 8-9 months of the year due to the mosquitoes eating you alive.

But for the nearest thing that HK has to offer in the way of picnicing, why not go and have a BBQ at one of those massive BBQ sites dotted all over the place? My idea of hell on earth is to spend an evening in one of these vast concrete sprawls surrounded by hundreds of other like minded people. I don't know what is worse, the noise, the smell, the sheer numbers of people or the rubbish that is invariably left behind...for the rats to enjoy.

couscous said...

there is just simply no pinic culture in hk, nor the appreciation of grassland from the public.
even if it does, it'd be just a tiny tiny group of people.

i think the Peak Garden you mentioned is further up from the Peak. just drive up from Lugard Rd.

Jason said...

@Victoria: You in SG now right? You can definitely do that there I am sure! I am sure it would be a better scene than in Hong Kong where I am yet to find a place to do so.

@Anonymous: I am not a fan of BBQ or at least the HK style BBQ for the reasons you mentioned. The noise and crowds are indeed something that annoy me. Well, the HEAT is definitely something that pushes me over the edge! It is quite sad indeed that everything is BANNED in HK parks, it is not much of a park in my opinion.

@Couscous: indeed! grassland is overall rare in HK for obvious reasons (hello property market!) but the bigger problem is how people choose other activities instead. A good example would be Karaoke or shopping as better activities unfortunately in my humble opinion.

Unknown said...

I remember the look on my daughter's face when she puts on her girls hats and readies herself for a picnic. Suddenly, I want to go on a picnic.

Jilly Bingham said...

I'm envious! It's been a while since our last picnic trip. I know how great it feels to sit on the grass on a bright sunny day with people dear to you. Oh I miss those days. That includes our camping trip, road trips in our caravan and beach bumming.

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