When Hackney Council announced it was renovating Clissold House and replacing its café, local residents were excited. An outcry followed when they were informed that only catering companies with an annual turnover of £1 million-plus would be considered for tender. Company of Cooks, who have already done an efficient job of improving food in other London parks, won the contract.
The restoration is beautiful. The rooms have high ceilings, wooden floors, large windows and serene paint colours. There’s a new terrace on the south side too.
On our Sunday lunchtime visit, getting a table was a scrum and service was chaotic. Staff were not looking after newcomers; they seemed barely able to cope. It was 15 minutes before we were approached once we’d secured a table. Our main courses came 20 minutes apart, so that one daughter had finished her meal before the other’s plate arrived. We asked for a side order of bread and butter with our curry and rice; the curry came with unbuttered bread and no rice.
I wasn’t given any cutlery. We didn’t get our tap water. When reminded, the waitress poured the water into my daughter’s half-drunk sparkling elderflower, and didn’t offer a replacement.
Which is a shame, because the food was rather good, and reasonably priced. The cauliflower, spinach and potato curry had depth and complexity, while a Barkham Blue cheese-and-leek tart with mixed leaves was hearty and full of flavour. One daughter had mushroom soup and consumed every drop. An almond polenta cake had perfect texture, and the orange zest meringue was excellent. If the service improves, The House could be a winner.
Soon after reopening in January, The House at Clissold Park Café was targeted by a Facebook group calling itself the Clissold Park Café Action Group, complaining that the café was too expensive. Possibly in response to this, Company of Cooks brought in cheaper dishes such as pasta, cheese on toast, or sausage and mash durting March 2012.
|Venue name:||The House at Clissold Park||Contact:|
|Cross street:||Stoke Newington Church St|
|Opening hours:||Open 9am-dusk daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Stoke Newington rail or 73, 149, 475 bus|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £20|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
We rented out two rooms for our wedding reception in April. A beautiful setting and a friendly team. However, we hired one room as a party space and were not returned our deposit because of high heel marks on the floor. The team also threw away £70 worth of cheeses that we had asked them to keep until we got back from honeymoon . We didn't receive an apology. Gorgeous grounds and building but we were disappointed in the service we received.
Agree that this is a lovely setting and that the tea and cakes were reasonably priced and good. The staff were welcoming as we came in to order. However the state of the terraced area at the front of the cafe was awful, cups and napkins etc all over the floor and tables which was encouraging pigeons to gather around and on the tables. We tried to move inside but were told that the cafe was closing in 10 minutes and that we therefore could not sit inside as it had been cleaned (we could see someone sitting in this section) The very pleasant girl behind the counter did come out and clean a table with antibacterial spray for us but as the mess was still all around the pigeons continued to make a nuisance of themselves and generally distracted from the lovely location of this cafe.
This café had a fair bit of criticism when it opened in early 2012 (which, on the most part, was justified), however, it's come a long way since then. As a regular customer, the team has improved significantly! The staff are now a very friendly bunch, and always go out of their way to help. The café can sometimes get a little hectic on sunny days, but the team never lose their smiles. The food continues to be great, with the menu taking a slightly more traditional, less 'poncey' twist on things since the original menu two years ago (the menu now has a cheeseburger and potato wedges, and sausage and mash, to name but a couple). The coffee is the best I've tasted in N16! The cakes are also to die for! I know that this place came under fire two years ago for some of their prices, but a number of cheaper options have since been introduced (teas start at £1.30, cakes from £1.30, and hot food from £4.50). This café has come along leaps and bounds from the old café before the restoration (which was a nasty, grim, below par greasy spoon), and with its beautiful surroundings in Clissold Park, this place is a must visit for anyone in or around the N16 area wanting to grab something to eat or drink!