Given that our tiny apartment does not have a garden, MTV boyfriend found it slightly ridiculous that I was so keen to visit Petersham Nurseries cafe. However, with Skye Gyngell at the helm, this little cafe is a justifiable foodie hot spot. Skye is originally from Australia and she has a cookbook, A Year In My Kitchen, and a weekly column in the Independent. So on the weekend MTV boyfriend and I cycled over to Richmond Park (quite a trek from Notting Hill) and then to Petersham Nurseries. Of course, bike is the way to arrive – Petersham Nurseries licence is under threat from car parking issues and so everyone is encouraged to walk, cycle or public transport your way there. The problem with cycling is that you aren’t able to purchase anything from the nursery as there is nowhere to carry it. MTV boyfriend knows my shopaholic tendencies and so he was slightly worried that purchases would nevertheless be made but I was happy to focus on the food.
We weren’t eating at the actual restaurant (you have to book on the day a month in advance for that) but at the delightful cafe. The setting is gorgeous: you sit in a greenhouse packed with rickety old furniture and potted geraniums and importantly there is plenty of room to spread out the Sunday papers. The sun streams in and all seems good with the world. Even when you realise that you have failed to comply with the unofficial dress code of Hunter wellington boots and designer jeans.
The menu is limited to one soup and sandwich and several cakes and slices. This was no problem as both options were so good. MTV boyfriend had the sweet potato soup. It was a vibrant colour with a nice thick rather than watery texture and packed with flavour. I had the egg sandwich with rocket. It was light on the mayonnaise (I hate egg sandwiches awash with mayonnaise) and the bread was excellent sour dough. After all that exercise to get there we felt that we had earned the cakes – we went for the rich fudgy chocolate brownie slice and the deliciously crumbly lemon polenta cake. Divine.
Now I just have to work out how to wrangle a Sunday lunch booking at the restaurant.
Details: Church lane, off Petersham road, TW10 (Richmond)