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Park Life

Whatever you say, life generally is fair. Mark Oaten got exposed as a poo-eating queen after winning his seat through smearing vile homophobic slurs; Nicolas Sarkozy got dumped by the indomitable Cecilia and fell into the marital bed with Carla Bruni and, after being sort-of-homeless for eight months, my parents have finally given me a flat.

Summer 2007 was just disgusting, an anticlimax like no other, and its effects spilt long into AW2008: suicides, breakdowns, overdoses - and that's just me. So it's nice that we seem to be having (without tempting fate) such an upliftingly bright winter.

There's something about chill winter days. Brisk walks in the park, with the dog... Something so fantastically innocent to inner city urbanites about toddlers and play beams and frosted lawns. Traditionally, park eating tends to oscillate from the sublime - The Belvedere, Inn the Park, Kenwood House - to 'would you like toejam with your hot dog mister?'

But there's a secret in north north London parks... Take the twin veggie gems of Oshobasho in Highgate Woods and the cafe in Queen's Wood. Then there's fresh, nutritious Middle Eastern food - think healthy, flavoursome shakshuka and malawah at Sunny Hill Cafe (so quaint that the owner has his mobile number on the website; so good that people travel far and wide).

Park life: the perfect antidote to a lost summer.

by VG
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