Mudchute Farm is a revelation – minutes from the DLR and edged by Canary Wharf’s concrete jungle, you’ll find goats, sheep, horses, even llamas ambling about in sprawling parkland – and the kitchen offers up its own surprises. Outside, the clutch of wooden picnic tables isn’t altogether promising (it’s within smelling distance of the stables) but step inside and the queue of patient punters speaks volumes. Running the show is Frizzante, the company behind the well-loved cafés at Hackney City Farm and Surrey Docks Farm; its honest Anglo-Italian cooking is a big hit across all three sites.
Menus make use of seasonal ingredients and, where possible, produce from the farm gardens. Coffee is thoroughly decent, sweet treats oven-fresh (try the orange polenta cake) and brunches generously portioned (full marks for the fish-finger sarnie with punchy tartare sauce and rounds of crisp potato ‘chips’ sliced whole widthways). You can visit, too, for a Sunday roast (corn-fed chicken with sautéed greens and more of those chips) but our biggest cheer goes to the pasta – like everything else it’s made fresh on site and, on our last visit, meant gnocchi with a tender pork ragù. Toasties and gelati help little ones refuel after all the fun of the farm.