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London's best park cafés for kids

Forget quiet dining rooms, these family-friendly alfresco cafés are ideal for free-range refuelling with children

© Alys Tomlinson
Pavillion Cafe, Victoria Park

Fields Bar & Kitchen

In the middle of the picturesque garden square, Benugo’s latest acquisition serves Scandi-style breakfasts, handmade pizzas and filling main meals. With two outdoor terraces, so you can watch the kids playing on the green, Fields is ideal for a worry-free lunchtime pit stop.

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London

Serpentine Bar & Kitchen

With spectacular views across the boating lake, the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen has a large selection of dishes to appease all tummy sizes. Run by Benugo (also behind Fields, above), the café has a menu including wood-fired pizzas and kid-friendly favourites such as fish fingers and chips.

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Hyde Park

Inn The Park

On the bank of the lake in London’s most elegant park, Inn the Park offers a ‘grown-up’ children’s menu of mac ’n’ cheese, barbecued chicken wings, salad and more, with a selection of cakes and light bites to satisfy the kids’ snacking needs. The array of waterfowl, including massive pelicans, is an added bonus.

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Whitehall

Golders Hill Park Café

Perched at the top of a hill, this café is a well-established family favourite. Its popularity means that there can be queues, but the ice cream and cakes are well worth the wait. A detour through the butterfly park will keep the kids occupied in the meantime.

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Pavilion Café

With large climbing frames, a sandpit, swings, slides and a zip wire, the playground here is bound to drain the energy levels. Refuel at the beautifully situated café, offering hearty meals, ice cream, snacks and takeaway coffee for caffeine-deprived grown-ups.

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East Finchley

Lakeside Cafe

Serving snacks and light bites, this café acts as a post-activity chillout spot for all of the other exciting things going on at Ally Pally. On the lake you can rent a rowing boat, or a swan-shaped pedalo; there’s a fishing spot, a deer enclosure and an ice rink, and Little Dinosaurs soft play area is not far away.

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North East London

Café on the Rye

This park now boasts everything from ponds to an adventure playground and a skate park. In the middle of the rejuvenated space, the café menu includes simple sandwiches and toddler-sized ices.

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South East London

Pavilion Café

Send the kids to the children’s chillout area and have a glass of prosecco at this café bar. Food intolerance-restricted diets are well catered for and highlights include local fish and own-brand coffee.

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Dulwich

Pavilion Café

Cheery service and panoramic lake views make up for the overcrowding at this café, with amusement provided by the park’s ducks, geese and swans. Featuring a menu of organic, home-made dishes, the kitchen serves everything from full English breakfasts to inspired salads. Hit the lake in a rented boat to work off the post-meal bloat.

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Victoria Park

Timber Lodge Café

The Tumbling Bay natural playground next to this Unity Kitchen café is an exciting environment of rock pools, wobbly bridges and tall treehouses. The café champions fresh, seasonal food, from snacks to full meals.

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Springfield Park Café

Formerly the Spark Café, this establishment in a listed building has an emphasis on healthy, freshly prepared food. It’s known for its child-friendly atmosphere, and the fenced-off garden means wandering toddlers won’t stray too far.

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Clapton

Fait Maison in the Park

This tea room is in a gated play area, ensuring little scamps are entertained but can’t slip under the radar while you eat. The menu has a good selection of healthy pint-sized meals.

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West London

Pembroke Lodge

The perfect place to take the grandparents, the tea house in this Georgian mansion offers a classic spread of jacket potatoes, cakes, sandwiches and lunch boxes. The picturesque surroundings will help keep both young and old occupied.

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Richmond, Surrey

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