By Lulu Le Vay
Embrace alfresco joy this summer by getting off London’s central shopping drag and take a well-earned rest at the best park cafes this great city has to offer.
St James’s Café, St James’s Park
This Benugo-run café can get rammed in the summer, but well worth a visit after a few laps around the park (go on, it’s worth it). Tuck into an abundance of deli delights and/or classic scrambled eggs with an impressive view of the lake. Just watch the pesky pigeons try to fly off with your bacon sandwich.
Serpentine Pavilion, Hyde Park
If you’re a design and architecture lover, then this is a must-see. The Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park has undertaken its latest re-haul – this year created by visionary Junya Ishigami. Gasp over this stunning bird-wing structure made of slate whilst sipping a tea and re-energising on a fruit scone.
The Lido Café, Brockwell Park
South East London is buzzing. Period. Head down to Brixton and a short walk/bus ride will take you to Brockwell Park’s Lido Café. Yes, a café by a Lido in a park. Gorgeous art deco surroundings matched with a smashing menu – the ideal recovery from a few laps in the pool. Polenta scramble with buckwheat pancakes anyone?
Good Hope café, Ladywell Fields
Further South East in the up-and-coming Ladywell neighbourhood is the Good Hope café in Ladywell Fields. A stone’s throw from Lewisham hospital and the colourful vibes of Catford is this charming café which trains and employs young people and works to support the local community. A peaceful sport, with excellent coffee. They even have ice-cream for your dog.
Fields Bar & Kitchen, Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Sneak off the tourist trail and discover this tranquil garden square café in Holborn. Make the diversion to soak up this oasis in central London. It is situated between tennis courts and the Sir John Soane’s Museum. Culture, sports and coffee, what’s not to like?
Physic Garden Café, Chelsea
London’s best kept secret, until now. Bringing the outdoors inside, the Physic Garden Café will have you sitting in-between rose bushes sipping Earl Grey and nibbling homemade fruit cake. However, If the to-die-for cakes, pies, salads and pasta don’t grab your fancy, then have a chomp on the edible plants on offer. No, not those kind of plants, silly.