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There’s nothing like a revitalising trip to the park; connecting with nature, inhaling the fresh air and escaping the concrete jungle of the busy city. But with the cold air nipping at your nose, and frostbite settling into your fingertips, a warm cup of coffee is an essential recovery prescription. That being said, there’s nothing about summer that would make us refuse a nice cup of tea with a buttered scone and jam either. So if you’re hoping to tire out the kids at a playground or enjoy a stroll round the park and round it all off with a nice frothy cappuccino and some edible indulgences, then take a look at our favourite park cafes.
Gladstone Park, Brent
The quaint Kamarama Cafe can be found on the top corner of Gladstone Park in Dollis Hill offering a delicious range of teas, coffees, soups, snacks and cakes. Their fruit pies are a special treat to quench the taste buds during summer. Their on site kitchen prepares fresh hot meals each day. It’s a busy spot but offers a fast and friendly service during its opening hours Friday to Sunday 11am to 5pm.
What was once a derelict building and some appalling courts in a run down park is now a thriving local park, sports community and cafe. It was the vision of Robby Sukhdeo who wanted to get everyone involved in the running of the facilities and the enjoyment of their benefits. It has now won a plethora of awards acknowledging its successes. The cafe is an integral part of the centre, providing jobs for local teens and hot drinks and pastries to the park wanderers. The terrace of the cafe allows for perfect viewing of the football and cricket pitches, so is a popular spot for parents and spectators.
The Lido Cafe is a trip in itself, but it is also the perfect way to end a walk around the park. It decor is light and airy, with white furnishings, bamboo fencing and indoor plants creating an earthy and chilled vibe. It has an eclectic and nutritious menu serving homemade burgers, wholesome open top sandwiches, fresh smoothies and coffees. It also caters to children and has a separate breakfast menu; featuring blueberry buttermilk pancakes, lunch menu and a sophisticated dinner menu. Alternatively, pop in just for a flavorful coffee and a devilishly good slice of cake. The Brockwell Park Cafe is a popular spot, so booking ahead of time is advised.
The Tangerine Dream Cafe is as charming as it sounds, nestled amongst some fruitful almond trees. There are plenty of outside terrace seats, so you can remain amongst the unusual medicinal and edible plants, The cafe offers attractive seasonal dishes such as wholesome salads, steak, fish and salmon en croute. The cafe is famous for its homemade, speciality cakes and pastries, with lavender flavoured scones and an adorably petite selection in their afternoon tea. Unfortunately there is a £10 entry fee to the garden which is the only way to gain access to the cafe.
Peckham Rye Park and Common, Peckham
This cafe is a gem, even for its bookish title alone; Cafe on the Rye. The busy cafe uses fresh and locally sourced ingredients to create their slightly quirky menu. They serve ciabatta sandwiches as well as wraps, burger, salads and pastries. The “Rye Fry” is an English breakfast with a local twist. They have daily specials, and dangerously tasty sweet treats such as fruity flapjacks and an almond and polenta cake. The cafe is child friendly and offers a separate kids menu.