Petersham Nurseries Cafe

1

"GOOD"

7 reviews

Church Lane, off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey , London, TW10 7AB

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SquareMeal Review of Petersham Nurseries Cafe

1

"GOOD"

Give yourself time for lunch at the Nurseries. In our opinion it’s a kooky, lovely place, though getting there isn’t easy – driving is discouraged, public transport is slow, and once there, service, though gracious, can be ditzy. It has been years since Skye Gyngell moved on, and the kitchen has never scaled the same heights since. Still, with many ingredients sourced from the beautiful walled garden of Petersham House and a River Café-esque team in the kitchen, you can expect up-to-the-minute seasonal cooking. Langoustine might be teamed with a colourful salad of dandelion, pistachio, fennel and nasturtiums, while ‘today’s game’ could appear with an autumnal assembly of horn of plenty, cavolo nero and polenta. Prices are high, yet this is a unique spot. If time or budget are important, try the tea room in the next-door glasshouse, which has great simple food at half the cost and without the wait.

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Petersham Nurseries Cafe Location

Church Lane, off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey , London TW10 7AB

Opening times

Tues-Sun 12N-3.00pm

Petersham Nurseries Cafe's Reviews

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Food & Drink: 7.9

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Service: 7.0

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Atmosphere: 7.9

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Value: 6.4

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Food + drink: 4

Service: 4

Atmosphere: 3

Value: 2

30 October 2013

A Tuesday lunchtime visit a deux, after a long walk along the river climbing over storm-felled trees. Hype and high expectations ringing in our ears, even though Gyngell is not in the kitchen nowadays. Friendly greeting amidst the antique and repro French benches, dressers and artefacts; dirt floors swept and jaded tables and chairs prepared by white shirted waiting staff, we were surrounded by colourful images of Indian deities and hoping for something divine to hit our plates. No visible Maitre 'd and sadly no tangible atmosphere or ambiance. Just 5 tables in use all afternoon. Simple yet tasty food. Interesting cauliflower risotto; tangy with citrus overtones; over-salted pork belly, mildly bland chocolate torte. Disappointingly small portion sizes were bulked out by home baked bread and fabulous oil and the A La Carte menu is just TOO expensive. There was no verve or flexibility for a non meat-eater on the Set Menu and £21 for a mixed vegetable dish in my wife's eyes is gastronomic suicide for a proprietor. The wine list is predominantly Italian and that too defies economic sense. The onus seems to be on making everything on the premises absolutely premium prices yet seemingly neither the restaurant or the tearoom has the substance to warrant it. The potential is absolutely there. Make it better value and the Skye's the limit.

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Food + drink: 4

Service: 4

Atmosphere: 4

Value: 4

Bronze Reviewer
23 March 2012

Fantastic food and service in relaxed surroundings. Best when the weather is good! Definitely worth the trip!

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Food + drink: 5

Service: 4

Atmosphere: 5

Value: 5

25 January 2012

Anyone who complains that finding this place is difficult and that parking is almost non existent is completely missing the point of why it is such a special restaurant! So wonderful to find such a delicious restaurant in a rustic setting – like having caviar and good wine and cheese at a picnic in the woods – the contrast making the experience that much more wonderful. We have been here many times, with our two daughters (now age 11 and 15) over the years and have always had a fantastic experience. The food always delicious, sometimes sublime, and the desserts heavenly. Our girls like real food and have always experiemented with flavours and they have loved everything, particularly the beef fillet, the scallops, the lobster pasta and the chocolate pudding cake.We have enjoyed everything immensely. The flavours are robust and always complement the dish that is prepared, imaginative but gutsy. Simple but complex – and the quality of the ingredients is always top. The buffalo mozzarella is absolutely fantastic, as are all the cheeses, particularly memorable was a blue dolcelatte served with a cherry compote. This is a restaurant for people who really love food, not overly fussy, too many ingredient on the plate type of food It is reminiscent of the very best lunches you can find in hill top towns in Italy, – with confident cooking (and usually obscenely slow service, which when on holiday never seems to elicit complaints like it does when you are at a restaurant at home..) bringing out the best flavours in the ingredients. Yes, the service at times can be a little uneven, but this is rare. And even when it is they are still charming and kind and seem like they care. I note that they now have a booking systmem which staggers reservations carefully so the small kitchen can cope with more ease. The dirt floor shop that you walk through to get to the restaurant is a visual treat and fun to browse. Christmas time is particularly magical and there are lovely ornaments and gift items on sale, some expensive and some not. Then a bracing walk down by the Thames is perfect after such a lunch, if you are feeling ambitious you can walk all the way to Ham House which has recently been renovated and is a visual delight. We have taken many friends and family from overseas here and it has provided a great venue for a memorable wonderful lunch and day “out” of town. PS The parking situation is not really as bad as they make it out to be. Most times when they say the lot is full it is not!!

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