Having Odessa of course means I spend lots of time in parks and I decided this summer to review those I like the most.
I will start with my favourite (unfortunately not in South West London where I live) - Hampstead Heath. I took my two favourite experts in everything "cool" - Odessa and Lelia.
Hampstead heath is beautiful and wild with lots of open green spaces. Visually it's absolutely stunning, it really makes you forget you are in still in town. It also has very friendly, laid back atmosphere - what my partner Tim would call 'hippy'. There is a real mixture of people, different nationalists, different cultures, families with children, young people on dates or the occasional naked tree-hugger practising Thai-chi... the thing is Hampstead Heath is massive, so there is space for everyone.
As it's too big to see it all in one day I would advise anyone to research and chose the parts you find the most appealing (for example the lakes where you can swim during summer). For people with children I recommend Golders Hill Park. It's where we usually go mainly because there is so much to do for Odessa: two lovely playgrounds, a small zoo, a butterfly farm, a café which sells home made ice-cream, and of course lots of open space to run, jump or dance.
What I love most about Hampstead heath is that there are plenty of "little gems" to discover just by wandering around. I am going to share our little discovery which all my family love Iverforth House Gardens. It's actually hard to describe what it is... Odessa refers to it as "Odessa's and Lelia's Princess castle", but I guess it used to be the grounds of a beautiful mansion house - a breath taking, truly magical mansion house - and it's open to the public.
You can get lost in beautiful galleries which are covered with all sort of plants and flowers, or run through beautiful little corridors, or explore amazing gardens and orchards... the architecture of this place is stunning, a perfect place for a photo session. Now I am not going tell you exacly where it is... go and find it yourself (it's better that way).