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Elephants, hares and high jumpers at The Grove

Hotel sculpture park offers novel Olympic celebration

by Bernadette Fallon

There's an elephant crossing the grass. He's white and covered in bright stripes of paint. I could bring him home with me. If I had £19,800.


I am spending a very happy hour crossing the lawns of the formal gardens in the beautiful grounds of The Grove Hotel. Tiny Sumo wrestlers by the pool crouch beneath white slabs that are divers poised and bent backwards to make their mighty leaps; out of the corner of my eye I can see huge iron men chasing each other across the grass. There's a high jumper flipping over in front of the red-brick Mansion House of The Grove (pictured), a sprinter quivering in the wind behind precisely clipped hedges and fencers lunging by the trees. It's a whole new way to enjoy the Olympics!


And it's great fun too. A mouse on a ball (not to mention a skating mouse in the pond), hares boxing in the wood, Bolt's mighty stance picked out in latticed metal, Alice in Wonderland mirrored chairs. I'm not sure what they have to do with the Olympics but I like the fact I can take a photo of myself taking a photo of myself in their reflection.


There are ladies dressed for afternoon tea making their way around the sculptures with cameras and laughter behind me. So if you're looking for a fun afternoon close to London, take the train to Watford Junction, jump in a taxi for 10 minutes, see the sculptures and take tea (£30 per person for tea in rooms where the Earls of Clarendon hosted the likes of Queen Victoria and Captain Cook; looking at the sculptures is free). If you're further away, spend the night (room and breakfast from £310 per night, based on two sharing). I met a couple and their lovely 4-month-old daughter who had come all the way from Australia.


Expressions of Movement: Sculpture at The Grove runs until September 30. All of the sculptures are for sale and prices start from £1200, which is an amazing price for an original work of art. My favourite mouse however is £23,040. And, oh, that elephant .... I might just have to pay him another visit.


For more information on The Grove Hotel and the sculpture park, phone 01923 807807 or visit the website here

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Alice  Jones

Alice Jones

Alice Jones is intern on All About You; she has an obsession for all things fashion and beauty related.

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Freelance contributor to All About You. Mission - to have the perfect eyebrows

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Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Editor of House Beautiful since 2006, Julia has been a journalist for over 30 years.

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