The Garden Café

Posted by Ruth

Where: 5 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1
Cost: Under £10 per person
Twitter: @GardenMuseumLDN

There are many unusual places to have lunch in London, but it’s not often you find yourself eating in a disused Church by the side of the river. This is the setting of the Garden Café in Lambeth, a simple vegetarian café, which is part of the Garden Museum.

The café offers a small daily-changing menu and is inspired by the vegetables grown in the garden adjourning the museum, and sourced where possible from local ingredients. The food is simple, but provides a refreshing lunch.

Dishes such as goats cheese and beetroot tart, and homemade soup are on offer, along with an array of tempting cakes. Some, which appear classic on first glance, actually include the humble vegetable (such as Butternut Squash cake) – not that uncommon nowadays, but still a nice reflection of the vegetarian emphasis.

Whilst we did not visit the Museum itself, it was apparent that this is a mecca for anyone with a passion for gardening. The museum houses artefacts and exhibitions about the history of the British garden.

It was set up in 1977 in the abandoned St Mary’s Church, as a tribute to John Tradescant (the first great Gardener in British history), who was buried in the church ceremony – hence the distinctive location.

Adjoining the cafe is small shop with a range of rare gardening books – a great place to pick up a gift for a green fingered friend.

Recommended if you’re looking for a cheap vegetarian lunch in an interesting location – but be warned, it’s absolutely freezing in the Church so wrap up warm!


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