August 21 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Visitors to Wanstead Park may have wondered if they had fallen into a time warp on Saturday.
Parasols and bonnets were the order of the day at a Jane Austen-themed tea party.
The Friends donned their finest cravats for the event, which featured period music and dancing at the Temple.
The picturesque folly is one of the last remaining structures from the grand estate that once stood on the site.
Wanstead House, famous for its associations with visiting royalty, would have seen its fair share of genteel tea parties before it was demolished to pay the owner’s debts in 1825.
Music was provided by The Almerio Trio, who often perform with the Pemberley Players, and are known for Austen screen adaptations.
Organiser Gill James said two gentlemen even “duelled” at the event but no one was seriously injured.
She added: “It was a little fundraiser for the Friends of Wanstead Parklands but mainly it was to have a lovely afternoon.
“The Temple is exactly the right period for Austen in the 1820s.
“You can imagine the lady of the house having tea in the summerhouse and reading her novels.”
See our photo gallery of the event by clicking here on the icon to the right of the story.
The Friends of Wanstead Parklands raise awareness of the history and ecology of Wanstead Park and campaign to protect and improve it.
Events planned later this year include guided walks and pub nights.
n Visit wansteadpark.org.uk for information.