We gatecrashed a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party the other day.
It was held at Culpeper Community Garden in Angel, N1 and to be honest, we hadn’t realised it was a private do.
When our brood rolled up, the host (from Cubitt Gallery & Studios) greeted us reservedly and I saw a glint of White Rabbit panic in his eyes.
The tea party had been organised as part of the Enchanted Gardens series, a Cubitt project to promote lifelong learning and the actual guests of honour were senior citizens from a local community centre, as well as garden volunteers.
However after making sure there was enough tea and cakes to go round, the organisers encouraged us to join in the eating, drinking and hat-making.
The partygoers made some fab headgear. But our boys were content just wandering around the beautiful surroundings.
With its serene pond and lush greenery, Culpeper Garden is like a hidden oasis just a stone’s throw away from our local Sainsbury’s.
It’s run by friendly staff and volunteers with a strong community spirit. They host frequent events from gardening to crafts to swap shops and they’ve recently started a playgroup for under 5s on Wednesday mornings.
Membership is reasonable and gives you not only the chance of earning a plot (if you don’t have a garden of your own) but also a key to the garden so you can visit after hours.
And we hear they hold annual summer and winter solstice parties where members stay up all night with BBQs, guitar playing and a chilled out vibe.
Far out, Alice.
On the Spot
Margo, mum to Johnny (2 ½) and James (10 weeks)
‘I’ve been a member since summer 2009. I’ve lived in the area for 20 years but I only rediscovered this garden after I became a mum. It’s magical here. There’s a real feeling of belonging and it’s great for kids to have the freedom to run around.
We’re excited because we’ve just got our own plot. This tea party is great, I’m loving the hats and the music is calming after a hectic shop.’
Culpeper Community Garden is at 1 Cloudesley Road, N1 0EG. Visit the web site for more info.