JJ's guide to  tubeLondon: Green Park

From: JJ
Category: Other stuff
Date: 07 November 2003


Green Park

Green Park. What a boring name for a park. Someone told me that it is called Green Park because there are no flowers in it because Queen Victoria banned them because her husband was having an affair. Even if itís not true, itís a good story.

I once went into the Ritz, which is right next to Green Park, to see how much a room for the night would be. They said they were full, and sent me to another hotel, which was pretty good because it had a metal swimming pool. Busy, busy, station which is good to go to in rush hour if you want to rub against people in smart suits. Up the escalator you go to be spat out into Green Park, which you can walk through to see the vulgar and rather dowdy home of the Queen, known as Buckingham Palace. Green Park is nice though and you can sit in a sun lounger, in the rain, for a fee.

Doing: Go to Buckingham Palace if you must, go to the Royal Academy for some dull masterpieces or the laughable summer show. Youíre better off on Cork Street and Saville Row to see commercial galleries and smart tailors, or the art of suits.

Seeing: The office workers having their lunch in Green Park (an interesting contrast to rush hour). Walk down the Burlington Arcade towards Cork street and gaze into the pretty windows of expensive shops selling pashminas, silver, and handmade chocolates.

Knowing: Green Park used to be called Upper Park. The Royal Academy was Britainís first art school. St Jamesí Church, 197 Piccadilly is Christopher Wren Church consecrated in 1684. Piccalilli sauce is a traditional English piquant mustardy sauce, which has nothing to do with Piccadilly. The sauce is said to originate in the East Indies.

Eating: Graze the free samples at the Fortnum and Mason food counters (see below). Otherwise stock up on sandwiches and cooked chicken at the Marks and Spencers next to the tube, and have a picnic in the park. I have found no exceptional restaurants, by which I mean cheap and good, in this area.

Buying: Fortnum and Mason is an amusing musty mausoleum of expensive bad taste and tourist trinkets. The fountain cafe has quite nice ice cream sundaes. The top floor is for geriatric cream teas. The other restaurants are stuffed, and the store will probably go out of business, you can only make so much out of tea in fancy tins.