So, Regents’ Park. Or at least, one end of Regents’ Park. I wouldn’t attempt the entire thing in one post – it’s ma-hoo-sive. This, if nothing else, we have learnt from the first episode of the new series of The Apprentice. It’s big. So let’s just talk about the South-East corner (Great Portland St side) and the Marylebone Green playground.
Several things led to us sitting in the sandpit at the Marylebone Green playground for an entire Sunday afternoon. First was that episode of The Apprentice – is there anything those people can’t sell to us gullible public?! – , next (and more importantly) was the unseasonal glorious sunshine we’ve been enjoying this week, next again was the lack of ANY green space remotely near the University of Westminster, which is where our church meet….and lastly was Roo’s proclamation on Sunday morning that he wanted “chips for lunch”. A plan was formed (in my head at least) – go to church, walk up Great Portland St to Regents’ Park, find one of those little cafes that sell chips, have chips for lunch. In the sun. Unlike wannabe-entrepeneuers, wear sensible shoes. All elements of my thought process neatly dovetailed together.
Of course, there were flaws to my planning. The first being that I couldn’t find any chips. I remembered there being a small cafe-van inside the playground – and there was! I remembered it as selling chips – and it didn’t! So I left Nathan and Roo in the playground and walked off on a mission. First stop, The Cow and Coffee bean just inside the Inner Circle. They didn’t sell chips. Weirdly focussed on dairy and caffeine-based products. Who knew?! Next, The Honest Sausage halfway up Broad Walk. They didn’t sell chips either. But by now, I was too hungry to care, so I queued for a few hours, got queue jumped by several tourists and eventually procured three organic hotdogs. Luckily, Roo had forgotten he ever wanted chips for lunch and was happy to eat his sausage, as long as he didn’t have to leave the sandpit to do so. Unluckily, in carrying three open-trayed hotdogs all the way back to the playground, I got ketchup on my dress. Humbug.
So, the playground itself? Jolly nice (as were the hotdogs). As other blogs have pointed out, it could probably do with a lick of paint but we are unfussy about such things, as we’ve spent enough time hanging out in decrepit council estate playgrounds that we appreciate anything even slightly better. And this was much better. A massive sandpit, with little houses in it, three frames to climb on, two roundabout type affairs and two types of swings. Lovely! The frames seemed a little steep for Roo to get up unaided (basically a scramble net or a sheer wooden ramp to climb) but he was fine once he’d had a shove-up.The sandpit was one of the best ones we’ve been to this week (and we’ve been to four this week), and it’s handy to have toilets on site, even if you do have to take a child with you in order to use them. Sneaky, I know but when you’re 35 weeks pregnant you need to know there’s one nearby….
VERDICT: A fine place to spend a sunny afternoon. Could have done with more chips.