Though we love London for being so damn urban and gritty, sometimes when the sun shines and the air is warm, we find ourselves longing for the quieter, greener setting of a village. Debate continues over London's composition; is it one sprawling megalopolis or a series of interconnected villages, each with its own identity and dialect?
We're siding with the village idea for today and tomorrow, as Trafalgar Square will be covered with turf and turned into a village green until 6pm tomorrow. It's not clear what will happen to the pigeons and whether or not the really slow tourists were turfed over for being too slow to get out of the way of the gardeners, but we are expecting the first appearance of Pimms and sandals.
While the rain is still absent, what could beat bringing along a few thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches, jam tarts and a frisbee to enjoy with friends in front of the National Gallery, before a brief snooze in a deckchair under one of the lions. If you're the kid who always left behind your packed lunch, then The Trafalgar Hotel will be selling a special luxury hamper stuffed full of smoked salmon, salads and strawberries. Takeaway sandwiches, fruit and cake are available at the Cafe on the Square for those with less luxurious demands for a picnic lunch.
Tennis on the lawn, romantic misunderstandings among the rhododendrons and lots more tea for the vicar in the very heart of metropolis London: this city really has it all.
* For more grass in unexpected places, head to the National Theatre for the full-on vertical lawn that has been planted on the walls of the flytower. After a few days of rain, then sun, then warm weather, a distinctly lush patch of grass can be seen poking up over the South Bank skyline. It looks so green and inviting among all that grey concrete, we think we're beginning to understand the yearning of the Gormley figures turned to face it.
Village Green on Trafalgar Square, today until 6pm Friday 25 May, for more information go to the Visit London site here.