Petersham Nurseries Café

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
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© Celia Topping
© Keiko Oikawa
© Celia Topping
© Keiko Oikawa
© David Loftus
© David Loftus

Rustic charm, complete with a meadow on its doorstep, and mostly Italian cooking featuring the products of the Nurseries.

NOTE: Since this review was published, former Hix Soho chef Damian Clisby has taken over as head chef. The Time Out Food and Drink Team.

The ultimate in rustic charm, complete with a real meadow on its doorstep, Petersham Nurseries is the perfect balm for the frazzled urbanite. Housed within the garden centre, the Café resembles a stately greenhouse, hung with Indian prints and pictures, and furnished with rickety tables and chairs.

Cat Ashton is now head chef, following the departure of Greg Malouf in late 2012; the seasonal menu remains a delightful read. A pre-starter plate of prosciutto san daniele with rocket and melon was exactly right on a summer’s day – as was a peach bellini. Burrata with courgette flowers, sorrento tomatoes, shallot and rose dressing was queen of the starters; squid dusted in polenta with rocket, chickpeas, chilli and aïoli was oddly subdued.

At this point, things slightly unravelled, despite the best efforts of the charming young staff. An overly long wait for mains produced roasted baby aubergines (with red and yellow datterini tomatoes, ricotta and basil) that simply hadn’t been cooked long enough and were unforgivably chewy; grilled pata negra pork loin with sweetcorn, salsa, coriander and tomato was a glorious combination, but again, the meat required work. Such flaws are not really acceptable at these elevated prices, though a side of Cornish new potatoes with anchovies, crème fraîche and salsa verde couldn’t be faulted, and neither could a delicate strawberry, prosecco and rose sorbet. There’s also a Tea house, where light lunches and cakes are served, a shop and of course, the Nurseries.


Venue name: Petersham Nurseries Café
Address: Church Lane, off Petersham Road
TW10 7AB
Opening hours: Tea house Open 10am-4.30pm Tue-Sat; 11am-4.30pm Sun. Set meal £10.50 2 courses, £13.50 3 courses. Café Lunch served noon-3pm Tue-Sun
Transport: Tube: Richmond tube/rail then 30 mins walk or bus 65
Price: Main Courses £22-£30.Meal for two with drinks and service: around £120.
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

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Amy L

NB: This review is for the TEA ROOMS at Petersham Nurseries (not the cafe).

Decided to visit the Tearooms on a recent trip to Richmond as had been told that it was a cheaper lunch alternative to the Michelin-starred cafe/restaurant on the same site. It's a lovely setting, in the gardens of the nursery, and they have an interesting menu including a selection of salads and quiches. However, I could not get over how rude the staff working there were. One staff member in particular appeared to become incredibly frustrated by having to explain the menu to us (which was actually quite confusing - perhaps they should consider having another menu by the door outside so we can be looking and deciding while waiting in line?), and then responded very rudely when asked a (perfectly reasonable) question about where we should order coffee. I was also disappointed to find out that they only offer filter coffee. In summary, I enjoyed the food and the setting, but I'm not sure that I want to return to a place where staff treat customers like idiots!