Petersham Nurseries Cafe, Richmond, Surrey
Petersham Nurseries Cafe was Britain’s first real gourmet garden restaurant. Eat lunch in the Cafe or The Tea House and you’ll feel like you’re in Italy on your summer holiday.
Diners having lunch at Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond
For over 14 years green-fingered Londoners, in search of a refuge from the city, have been drawn to Petersham Nurseries in leafy Richmond. With its blooming flowers and vintage glasshouses, this elegant garden centre is an oasis of calm and a shrine to shabby chic.
It’s also a must-visit destination for London’s slow food lovers who come to eat at Petersham Nurseries Cafe. The cafe is, in fact, an award-winning restaurant. It first gained its reputation under the talented chef Skye Gyngell, earning her a Michelin star.
The food is fresh, seasonal and delicious.
I find it an inspirational place to visit. You will leave not only feeling well fed but your head will be full of creative ideas for your own home and garden.
The Story of Petersham Nurseries
It was following a trip to India in 2004 that Gael and Francesco Boglione felt inspired to transform the space next to their family home into London’s most stylish garden centre. Petersham Nurseries has since gained a loyal fan base of local customers and firmly established itself as a lifestyle, gardening and food destination.
Walk along the Thames path from Richmond and you’ll soon find it. Hidden away in a beautiful spot across a meadow, it’s a special place to visit.
The Boglione family wanted to stay true to their personal values and only sell things they really love. They have more than succeeded. Organic gardening, culinary excellence, and ethical and sustainable sourcing, are at the heart of everything they do. The only downside is that it’s so popular, it can get very busy at weekends so booking is advisable if you want to eat in the restaurant. I like to visit during the week, when it’s much quieter.
Read more about their story in the Petersham Nurseries Book.
Lunch Like An Italian in Petersham Nurseries Cafe (It’s a Restaurant)
How many restaurants do you know that have an earthen floor? It’s all part of the rustic charm at Petersham Nurseries Cafe. The tables are worn and wobbly, there are no tablecloths and the glasses are all mismatched. Staying true to its owners’ roots, the cafe serves lunches with a distinct Italian accent.
Damian Clisby is now Chef Director. Having previously worked at HIX Soho and Cotswold House in Gloucestershire, he oversees both Petersham Nurseries Cafe and its sister restaurant that opened in Covent Garden in 2018.
Dishes are seasonally-inspired with the menu changing daily. Some of the freshest ingredients including the herby salads leaves, edible flowers and vegetables, come from the kitchen garden at their neighbouring home, Petersham House. Prices are on the high side though with main dishes generally priced from £25, so it’s one to book when you feel like splashing out a bit.
Take Afternoon Tea in Petersham Nurseries Teahouse
Petersham Nurseries Shop – a Shrine to Shabby Chic
Special Events and Tastings at Petersham Nurseries
- Parking at Petersham Nurseries is very limited (and a little tricky), so take the train or tube to Richmond and enjoy a 15-minute riverside walk along the scenic Thames path
- There is no dress code in the restaurant but given there is an earthen floor, you’re advised to wear suitable footwear during the wetter months
- Do the 10-mile circular walk of Richmond Park and stop halfway round at Petersham Nurseries for lunch
- Walk along the river towards Kew and stop for afternoon tea at Kew Gardens
- Visit nearby Eel Pie Island, home to an artists’ colony. The studios have regular open days
Where to Stay in Richmond-Upon-Thames
Dogs are welcome. However, if you’re booking a table at Petersham Nurseries restaurant, you must notify them in advance if you wish to bring me along. Let’s go for a walk afterwards along the Thames path or in Richmond Park.
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The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.