Parks and other green spaces have always provided much-needed relief from the intensity of urban life. London is particularly well served, from the large Royal Parks to churchyards and smaller pockets of public space around the city, often complete with playgrounds, bandstands and cafés.
Not so long ago, a park café meant a pot of tea and a slice of cake – and pity you if you risked a coffee (usually commodity-grade with extra hot milk). Now that has changed. Here is our top 5 London park cafés with delicious speciality coffee!
Victoria Park, Old Ford Rd, London E9 7DE
Rob Green and Brett Redman opened Pavilion back in 2008, and since then have consistently been serving impeccably sourced and tasty food and coffee. What’s better is they now even roast their own single origin coffee! Pavilion continues to be the place to be on a sunny summer day – there can be few more attractive park cafés settings than Pavilion’s glass dome by the boating lake.
Lizzy’s on the Green
Newington Green, London N16 9PX
This is perhaps the ideal neighbourhood park café, with freshly prepared food, locally made gelato, 50p and £1 coffee for pensioners, plus well-made Alchemy coffee. Lizzy Bassham has done this consistently since 2013, and Lizzy’s has gone from strength to strength while several nearby cafés have risen and fallen.
Pear Tree Cafe
Lakeside Cafe, Battersea Park, Battersea, London SW11 4NJ
This cafe serves huge numbers of the public daily and there can be few better than this. It’s a chef-owned cafe and since they took over, Annabel Partridge and Will Burrett have transformed the space and raised the quality of food, drink and hospitality. A bespoke Volcano blend is served with impressive consistency and there’s live music on Wednesdays too.
The Watch House
199 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3UW
This is a wonderful cafe on the edge of St Mary Magdalen Churchyard in Bermondsey, serving delicious Ozone Coffee. What was once a shelter for men guarding the graveyard at night has now been transformed into a beautiful coffee shop that has kept all the original Victorian décor. After a slow stroll around the green, you can pop in here for a brew (and maybe a pastry or two!)
The Lido Cafe
Dulwich Rd, London SE24 0PA
Last but not least is Herne Hill’s Lido Cafe. As the temperatures sky rocket in the capital, nothing beats a dip followed by a refreshing brew poolside. It may not be the Bahamas, but with a delicious iced Allpress coffee in hand, chances are you won’t be complaining.
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