One of London’s best gardens has got a new addition.
The plot thickens.
The garden in question is the recently refurbed Garden Museum (a de-consecrated and rescued church, complete with medieval tower and between two and five unexpected late Archbishops under the floor), whose exceptional restaurant, The Garden Café, sits in a gloriously sleek glass and beaten bronze pavilion jutting out from the church’s ancient walls. There’s a beautifully designed courtyard garden to look out over, and salvaged gravestones punctuate the café’s smooth cement flooring which – somehow – gives quite a charming impression.
As for the addition: in the kitchen, they’ve recently had to say their sad goodbyes to their Head Chef George Ryle, but in finding his replacement they’ve managed to pull off a bit of a coup. Now heading up the pans is Noble Rot’s ex Head Chef Myles Donaldson, whose other CV highlights include stints at The Anchor & Hope, Frank’s Café and St. John. Donaldson’s keeping it simple with a menu of modern European dishes – daily-changing, well-sourced seasonal ingredients, that sort of thing; taking inspiration from the natural environs where the food comes in sumptuous portions you won’t want to share, packed with punchy, fresh flavours.
They all evolve regularly, but you can expect the likes of wild mushroom croquettes; steamed mussels & three-cornered leeks; skate wing (the fish) with samphire; smoked haddock served with Savoy cabbage and bacon; and venison hunch with beetroot and horseradish. All of which washes down rather nicely with a glass or two from The Garden Café’s natural and organically-steered wine list.
The grand finales come in the form of an excellent chocolate mousse with hazelnut praline or a chestnut semifreddo made with mascarpone & chestnut shortbread.
And both are blooming marvellous.
NOTE: The Garden Café is open Monday to Friday 8am–5pm, Saturday 9am–4pm and Sunday 9am–5pm. Lunch is served 12-3pm, and dinner Tuesdays from 6-9pm. You can find out more and book online right HERE.
The Garden Café | The Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7LB
You’ll find a whole load of other Southbank restaurant recommendations here too…