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 Petersham Nurseries Cafe Richmond

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 Foodie Travel Guide

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.


Interior Petersham restaurant Richmond


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.

table at Petersham Nurseries


Take Afternoon Tea in Petersham Nurseries Teahouse

The good news is that you can just turn up and eat at The Tea House which serves light lunches and delicious homemade cakes. Colourful mixed salads accompany a selection of freshly baked frittata and quiche. There’s wine by the glass or carafe.
Sit at a table in one of the glasshouses with their rickety painted metal tables, fairy lights and pretty potted plants. If it’s a scorching hot day, you’ll find a cooler spot in the shade, at one of the outdoor tables that are dotted around the garden.
Plant display at The Tea House Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries Shop – a Shrine to Shabby Chic

After a cheeky glass of wine at lunch, you may have to exercise some self control in the shop. It’s a treasure trove of ‘shabby chic’ finds, some of which come with an expensive price tag.
There’s distressed antique furniture mixed with elegant chandeliers, fine Venetian glass, Italian ceramics, reclaimed garden furniture and rare items such as ornate statues. Gardeners can choose from a carefully curated selection of plants in terracotta or coir pots (no plastic here), seeds and stylish accessories in the Garden Shop.


Display at Petersham Nurseries Shop

Special Events and Tastings at Petersham Nurseries

Take a look at their upcoming schedule of special events while you’re there. The programme is designed to tempt foodies and gardeners with book signings, cooking demonstrations, seasonal wild food walks, special suppers, wine tasting evenings, along with talks on growing edible flowers and kitchen garden planting.


  • 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

Bedroom The Bingham Hotel Richmond Upon Thames London

The Bingham

Richmond, London

A boutique retreat in the ‘country’ with lovely views overlooking the River Thames. The Bingham is just a short walk through the meadows to Petersham Nurseries.

Rooms from £92 a night.


Find The Best Places to Stay in London


Dogs friendly days out for foodies in Surrey

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.


Mr Hendricks

How to Find Petersham Nurseries Richmond



Church Lane (signed posted ‘St Peter’s Church’), Off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AB



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Entrance to Petersham Nurseries Cafe
The Foodie Travel Guide

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.