This is certainly one of the most distinctive experiences that The Guilty Stomach has enjoyed. Read on…….
the quirky and charming greenhouse restaurant
Petersham Nurseries, who has just been awarded a one Michelin star, is a wonderfully whimsical dining experience – you almost think you are with the fairies at the bottom of the garden and that one or more garden fairies will pop up on or under the table as you savour the wonderful food.
In fact you are literally at the bottom of the garden. The property is owned by Gael & Francesco Boglione, on which their home the majestic Petersham House sits, at the base of Richmond Hill outside London and running along the Thames. To save this local nursery from the clutches of the circling developers and multinational garden centres, the garden-loving Bogliones bought the run-down business and in doing so reunited the original Petersham House estate, separated for over 30 years. After extensive restoration work was undertaken, it re-opened in 2004 utterly transformed; a magically, whimsical place in the most idyllic of surroundings.
Specialising in the English gardening tradition Petersham Nurseries emphasises sustainable gardening, resulting in a ‘greening’ of the nurseries. If not from the nurseries, all seasonal produce is sourced from organic sustainable sources. It is among all this that the delightfully quirky café-restaurant lies, both with bare earth floors. Five days a week, chef Skye Gyngell and her team produce a short but inspiring menu of seasonal which you eat amidst the flowers, plants, herbs patches and vegetable plots at antique tables dotted in and about the enchanting main greenhouse.
The food lived up to the reputation of Petersham Nurseries in every way – exquisitely presented, perfectly cooked and awash with flavours
dorset crab salad white dandelion, crushed datterini (an ancient Italian variety of tomato) on bruschetta
seared scallops, finely sliced fennel, and chicoria with anchovy vinaigrette
roasted halibut, red and gold beetroot, carrots and creme fraiche
Guinea Fowl, roasted onion, squash, faro and marojaram salmoriglio
plum and almond tart with creme fraiche
cakes on offer at the cafe
casual lunch menu at the cafe
the cafe area
the garden shop
flowers for sale
more plants for sale
The restaurant offers an extensive wine list and a wonderful aperitif of Petersham Rose Syrup and Rose Petal Prosecco to stay with the garden theme. A more casual cafe, that you don’t have to book in advance for, sits alongside the formal main greenhouse restaurant. Closed on Mondays and Sundays.
Petersham Playhouse was recently launched and in the summer, in these lovely surrounds, you can enjoy the most quirky of theatre programs.
A delightful dining experience – only a 20 min train ride to Richmond from Waterloo station, London and then a 8 min taxi from the Richmond station.