The title describes it exactly. Its an update on the park. Maybe this has the makings of an occasional series seeing the name of this blog is Hyde park – Now! In fact this is the fourteenth or fifteenth post on Hyde Park considering I’ve written quite a over the last six years or so. This is a proper update compared to the others which dealt with a specific topic. Today’s post discusses the restoration of the large area of park that was Winter Wonderland plus a report on the Serpentine cafe. One tie in with this post is a new header has been created for the blog itself – this is a view looking eastward across the Serpentine.

Although Winter Wonderland had gone completely by the third week of January, the works to re-establish the grassland is still under way. This happens at least twice a year anyway, once after the British Summer Concerts and again after Winter Wonderland.

The header picture shows the site of the southern market and food area whilst the ice skating rink was sited in the area behind the lamp-posts.

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View looking north where the Dodgems would have been in the immediate foreground, the Euro Coaster straight ahead, the Waltzers would have been on the right and the Wild Maus/München Looping over to the left. The big tree is discussed below…

Does anyone ever notice any trees inside of Winter Wonderland when they visit? I must admit at the time I haven’t really noticed these or properly thought about them either! So where do all these trees go? They’re fairly well hidden in fact and wont be found in the public areas. The big one that can be seen on the right of this picture is the one that can be seen behind some Bavarian kiosks near the Wild Mouse and the Euro roller coasters, its sited at the rear of the toilet blocks in that area.

Its quite clever how they make all the trees rather inconspicuous and obviously there is quite a bit of planning to ensure as many trees as possible are placed behind the scenes. The following pair of pictures show the same tree in question whilst Winter Wonderland is established in the park.

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View looking north with the tree almost centre of picture & clearly prominent.

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The Dodgems and Euro Coaster area with our tree on the left and quite well hidden behind the Bavarian kiosks.

Not directly related to Hyde park, however in terms of how the views from the park northwards will be affected, the new and exclusive development at the corner of Edgware Road and Bayswater – The Bryanston – is certainly making its mark. It will of course be another large landmark once it is finished, and wont be the first here, having been built to replace the Odeon cinema complex and tower which were demolished in 2016-17.

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The new Bryanston Place development is clearly visible as it rises upwards.

From early January to late February the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen is undergoing a programme of refitting. Whilst this is happening refreshments are available from a temporary kiosk to the south, as well as the one at the Boat House a bit further along the Serpentine.

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The Serpentine Bar & Kitchen encased in scaffolding.

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Foundations for the new kiosk.

As part of the works a new kiosk is being built and the foundations for this can be seen. It’ll be built on the east side of the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen and it will afford an excellent position because this is where eleven walking routes meet. Its certain to provide relief at times when the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen is closed or perhaps is extremely busy during the summer months.

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The terrace area is also being resurfaced and new ramps are being put in.

No doubt the other kiosks about the park will remain, including that near Hyde Park Corner, the Boat House, and the substantial Lido bar and restaurant on the south side of the Serpentine. If one thinks about it, Hyde Park actually has quite a few eating places – several of which are not on the Royal Parks map. I think there’s about nine in all, that’s six kiosks and three large cafes/restaurants.

Below is a little bit of history about the venue itself. As the following tweet tells us the place was originally known as the Dell Restaurant. The area to the rear of the premises is in fact known as The Dell and is so named because its the former course of the Westbourne River. The water sited in the deep depression that is The Dell shows us how much the level of the Serpentine is above the area’s original land elevations. Certainly to create the Serpentine the valley had to be blocked off and the earth dam that was formed is about twenty feet in height.

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Construction of the Dell restaurant in the autumn of 1964.

In terms of the building now undergroing substantial work, I have attatched a picture of the Dell restaurant being built in the mid sixties for prosperity’s sake. The design was one of several submitted and the building is now over fifty years old – which is probably why it is under going substantial refurbishment! My picture taken this year is of a similar view.

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The Serpentine Bar & Kitchen in February 2019