The Garden Café is the new restaurant at the recently redeveloped Garden Museum in Lambeth. Museum Director, Christopher Woodward, “wanted a café that fitted with a gardener’s ethos: that is food that is fresh, light, unpretentious and unique to its location.” Taking inspiration from its distinctive location, The Garden Café serves a daily-changing menu of contemporary, seasonal dishes.
The 54 cover restaurant is located in the museum’s beautiful glass and beaten-bronze pavilion building, linked to the Garden Museum by connecting cloisters. Designed by Dow Jones Architects and framed by two new gardens from leading designers Dan Pearson and Christopher Bradley-Hole, the space creates an inviting sense of being completely immersed in nature, providing the perfect backdrop to enjoy The Garden Café’s seasonal menu. The interiors integrate past and present, with the churchyard’s original gravestones set within a polished concrete floor, contrasted by Scandinavian furniture and a pared-back design. There are an additional 12 covers on the outdoor terrace, set within the formal hedged designs of Christopher Bradley-Hole’s garden, and overlooking the 1930s neo-classical Lambeth Bridge.
Headed up by chefs Harry Kaufman (Lyle’s, St John Bread & Wine) and George Ryle (Padella, Primeur), the kitchen serves a short á la carte lunch menu daily, as well as dinner on Tuesdays and Fridays. Using simple, seasonal ingredients Kaufman and Ryle create understated dishes that are both thoughtful and memorable, including the likes of Pumpkin friti, ricotta and oregano (£6.50), Kale sprouts, lardo and almonds (£7.50), Mallard and braised red cabbage (£17) and Ginger pudding with butterscotch sauce (£5.50).
Thoughtful sourcing of the best local, seasonal produce is key to their approach. Fresh salad leaves, for example, are sourced from the organic certified Keats Community urban farm in South London, while breads come from Bermondsey-based bakery The Snapery, and cheeses from East Dulwich-based Mons. Yorkshire butchery Swaledale provides meats, specialising in native British breeds. A short selection of beers and ciders and an interesting, but accessible list of wines with a focus on organic and natural varieties are also offered, as well as coffee from AllPress Espresso and teas from Good and Proper Tea.
The Garden Café is open daily, serving coffee, pastries and breakfast from 8am weekdays and 9am weekends, lunch is served daily from midday, whilst dinner is served on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 6pm.
The Garden Café Garden Museum 5 Lambeth Road London SE1 7LB
Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm; and Tuesdays and Fridays 5pm – 9.30pm Saturday: 9am – 3.30pm Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Breakfast served: Monday – Friday: 8am – 11am Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 11am
Lunch served: Sunday – Friday: 12pm – 3pm Saturday: 12pm – 2pm
Dinner served: Tuesday and Friday: 6pm – 9.30pm
Tel: 0203 640 9322
Twitter – @GardenMuseumLDN
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GardenMuseumLDN/
Instagram – @gardenmuseumcafe