Urban Picnic @ Hackney Wick

August 28, 2010

Arts and Culture, London Sights

As I’d mentioned on Friday, I managed to get down to Gareth Neal’s ‘Urban Picnic’ earlier today. It was in a very odd spot, on a derelict site between two abandoned old factory units right on the canal in Hackney Wick, but we settled down on the newly-laid turf to tuck into our picnic lunch and admire the intricacy of Gareth’s work and something else rather impressive too. You see this little spot was chosen for a reason – even though it is hemmed in by the A12, pick almost anywhere in Hackney Wick and you’ll have a commanding view of the Olympic Park to the east – in fact we were yards away from the Media Centre and beyond that, the Olympic pool. I took some photographs today which I hope do justice to Gareth’s artistry and to the Olympic development itself. Perhaps by 2012 this area will have seen a renaissance just like the one taking place on the other side of the site in Stratford.

Just as an aside, after we left the ‘Urban Picnic’ behind we grabbed a coffee just around the corner at the Hackney Pearl cafe and restaurant, a completely unexpected thing to find in an area where factory units and workshops predominate. With its modern menu, extensive wine list and funky furniture it feels like it should be in the middle of Hoxton, so if you ever find yourself in Hackney Wick for some inexplicable reason make sure that you check it out – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

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