Take the beautiful Fulham Palace (which I have been wanting to visit since I first came across it in 2012!) add an outdoor film screening of Notting Hill by the Luna Cinema and you have the beginnings of what, to me, is classic London catnip. I have been wanting to do an outdoor cinema event in London for ages, and when I saw this, I was clicking book before you could say floppy-haired-Hugh-Grant.
My flatmate D- and I met up after work last night and, even though the Palace wasn't open, I couldn't resist poking my head into the courtyard before going around the side to where the cinema was set up. There were people handing out promotional items as we walked by (we scored a drink and a choc-chip cookie) and we happily took them before plonking down in a spot and settling in.
There we were, picnic blanket laid out in front of the inflatable screen, nibbles open and already nibbled at and Fulham Palace providing the setting behind us. While D- and I chatted, we watched other people stream in finding a spot to claim for the evening, catch up with friends, celebrate a birthday, or snap a selfie with neon-green cardboard glasses. My flatmate envied anyone who had brought a pillow or extra blanket...no D- you cannot steal that mans pillow, don't even think about it...
We were interrupted from enjoying the buzz of the night when the organisers came over the loud speakers to direct us to where the loos & food were, start a pass the (inflatable) cookie contest to win prizes, warn of squirrels who might get to the promo cookies and remind everyone of another contest by Double Tree to watch the movie in bed, to be announced later - this sent everyone in to a selfie taking frenzy. I shot daggers at all the selfie takers...dammit, if they all entered there was no way we'd win.
Finally dark enough, before starting the movie, one of the organisers stood up to announce the winner of the evening in bed - and before we knew what was happening, a photo of D- and I in neon-green cardboard glasses was staring back at us from the huge screen...Oh. My. God.
But I don't win anything!
We get to watch the move tucked up in bed but still outdoors? Free drinks and nibbles too?
D- couldn't stop laughing. I couldn't stop saying 'I cant believe it!' How we would have gotten from our picnic blanket, with all our stuff, to the bed, without the help of the two organisers, I don't know.
Needless to say, we would have had a great time even if we didn't win. D- and I both like the movie, we were all set for a picnic and the atmosphere was great, but winning was a super sweet cherry-on-top bonus. There is something so decadent about being curled up under a fluffy duvet with your head on soft pillows...while you are outside under the stars...
The only problem with winning was getting out of the bed at the end to go home!
So A) No, this is in no way a sponsored post by Luna Cinema or Double Tree and B) If you haven't been to an outdoor screening, grab some friends or your family and go. Its a fun way to spend a night (even if you don't win a bed!) and there are still several showings for another week or so. The Luna Cinema tickets cost me £15 which is almost the same as most normal cinema prices so it's a great alternative evening and, hey, at least in London, while the weather is still mild for September, why not make the most of it?