People Are Kicking Off About Having To Reserve Space To Picnic In A Public Park

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 7 months ago
People Are Kicking Off About Having To Reserve Space To Picnic In A Public Park
People who (presumably) didn't have to reserve space for their picnic. Photo: Michael Goldrei

There's been an almighty kerfuffle on Twitter over an upcoming event from OpenTable — namely, a picnic in Soho Square, on 25 May.

In OpenTable's own words:

Reserve your picnic patch and kick off the Bank Holiday weekend in style, with your own VIP area complete with rustic picnic rugs and cushions. Enjoy this usually unbookable experience in one of London’s most popular public squares

People on Twitter weren't best pleased with the idea of going through a business to reserve an experience that many do for free — sans-reservation — daily. There was some confusion initially over the event costing £25, but OpenTable has clarified that the event is free.

Fee/non-fee aside, public reaction has been almost unanimously negative, to what's being viewed as an infringement on a public space, something that's of growing concern to Londoners.

Take a look at some of the responses to OpenTable's tweet beneath.

We contacted Westminster Council who said:

This is a public event in a public space and the park will remain open to everyone throughout the afternoon. The OpenTable event is completely free of charge and involves providing blankets and cushions to enhance the experience of visitors in a small section of Soho Square.

Westminster Council confirmed that OpenTable has paid a "nominal fee" to cover admin costs, but that no one is making money from the event.

OpenTable also clarified that this event will only use some of the park, and that the rest of Soho Square is open to the public as usual.

Last Updated 16 May 2018