Wandsworth Museum Cafe
38 West Hill, Wandsworth SW18 1RX ff 020 8870 6060
Open Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm, Saturday 11am-5pm, closed
Tube East Putney Bus 28, 37, 39, 44, 87, 156, 170, 220, 270, 337, 485
The cafe and museum are wheelchair accessible
This is probably the only cafe in England with antique chemist’s shop fittings in the corner. Popular with families visiting the Wandsworth Museum, this is a good place to come for lunch: the spicy red lentil soup is tasty and filling.
William Morris Gallery Tea Room
Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4PP S 020 8496 4390
Open Wednesday-Sunday 10am-4.30pm
Tube Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow Central Bus 34, 97, 123, 215, 275, 357
The cafe is fully wheelchair accessible
The lovely William Morris Gallery Tea Room is an ideal place to meet for lunch or afternoon tea. With charming views over Lloyd Park, this is a light-filled space in which to enjoy a honey-glazed root vegetable pie, fruit salad and artisanal beer.
The Oasis Coffee Shop
The Salvation Army, Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, W1C 2DJ S 020 7629 5424
Open Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm
Tube Oxford Circus Bus 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 53, 94, 137, 139, 159
The cafe is fully wheelchair accessible
It is no wonder that this small, unassuming coffee shop is called the Oasis. Located near Oxford Circus, the two rooms are a peaceful haven for shoppers and local office workers who come here for baked potatoes, sandwiches and hot soups. The Oasis is one of the most reasonably priced cafes in London but is rarely busy. Most people who drop in for a cup of tea and cake speak rather quietly, as if they want to keep this a restful place for everyone who visits. If you also appreciate calming live music, free concerts are held at 1 pm on Friday in the Regent Hall behind the cafe, where you may get to hear a flute duet or piano recital.
RADA Foyer Bar
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, 62-64 Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E6ED
S 020 7636 7076 (RADA main number) www.rada.ac.uk/about/venue-hire/bar-cafe
Open Monday-Friday 10am-11pm, lunch served from 12pm During production season the bar is also open Saturday Ham- 11.30pm, but may close at 7pm if there is no scheduled event Tube Goodge Street, Euston Square Bus 7, 10, 14, 29, 73, 134, 188, 390
The cafe and theatre are wheelchair accessible
A small queue forms quite quickly just before midday when the hot dishes are brought out from the kitchen. Student actors, academics and other people working in the vicinity tend to keep this cafe a secret as it is such a nice place to meet up for lunch. To accompany a steaming bowl of hot chickpea ragout, fill your plate with mixed root vegetables or fennel and green bean salads. This is also a good
place to drop by for an early evening glass of wine or a pre-theatre dinner. Some evenings, you might even hear a recital or short performance in one corner of the cafe, but the atmosphere remains civilised and calm, whatever the event.
Petersham Nurseries Cafe
Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey TW10 7AG ® 020 8940 5230 www.petershamnurseries.com
Open Shop and nursery Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm, lunch reservations for cafe Tuesday-Sunday 12-3pm, teahouse Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4.30pm, Sunday 11am-4.30pm, open most Bank Holidays except Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Tube and Train Richmond Bus 65, 371
The nursery is on one level, except for steps into the teahouse. There is an accessible toilet and allocated disabled parking outside
The beautiful Petersham Nurseries were created in the 1970s from a large, rambling garden surrounding Petersham House. Under the direction of celebrated head chef Skye Gingell, the sustainable restaurant opened in 2004 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2012. The chefs source food from Petersham’s own walled kitchen garden, using edible flowers, herbs and heritage vegetables. Entrees might include smoked haddock and chorizo salad or quinoa with grilled halloumi. The teahouse offers light, Italian-inspired lunches as well as cakes and ethically sourced teas.
The Kew Greenhouse
1 Kew Station Parade, Richmond TWO 3PS a 020 8940 0183 www.thekewqreenhousecafe.com
Open Daily 7.30am-6pm, summer evenings to 9pm, closed Christmas Day
Tube and Train Kew Gardens Bus 65, 190, 391, 419, R68
The cafe is wheelchair accessible
Built in 1895, the Kew Greenhouse used to be the village bakery and this attractive tearoom overlooks the leafy village square near Kew Gardens. Everything is baked on the premises and you’ll find mainly traditional gateaux on the menu as well as baked vanilla cheesecake. This is one of the best places in London to have a clotted cream tea with scones, jam and a pot of Darjeeling. The view from the conservatory is delightful and on sunny days sitting at the pavement tables is a relaxing way to catch some dappled sunshine though the trees. This is an excellent place to order lunch, too, perhaps their celery and walnut roast or a slice of courgette and onion flan. If you get an opportunity, have a look at the beautifully preserved old brick ovens with their ornate cast iron doors and coke-fired furnaces in the old bakehouse at the rear.
Dulwich Picture Gallery Cafe
Gallery Road, SE21 7AD ff 020 8299 8717 www.dulwichoicturegallery.org,uk/the gallerv/pjcture gallery cafe.as Rx
Open Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am-5pm, closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve
Overground West Dulwich, North Dulwich Bus P4
The cafe is fully wheelchair accessible
With its cool veined marble table-tops, black felted seating and pale stone floor, this is a very stylish cafe to enjoy a mid-morning coffee or afternoon tea. Professional chefs bake delicious cakes in-house, and their lemon and poppy seed drizzle cake and raspberry and white chocolate muffins are much admired. Located at the entrance to the idyllic grounds of Dulwich Picture Gallery, the first public art gallery in the country, this is a very civilised place to have a white bean and fennel salad lunch or just a glass of chilled elderflower presse. The weekends can be very popular, so it is advisable to reserve a table in advance.
Seashell Fish and Chips
49-51 Lisson Grove, NW1 6UH S 020 7224 9000
Open Daily 12-10.30pm
Tube Marylebone Bus 139, 189
There is a 10cm step at the entrance to the takeaway
With over eleven varieties of English-caught fish to choose from, it is no wonder that Seashell Fish and Chips has such a high reputation. People come here from all over London to try cod Panco, a Japanese-style flaky breadcrumb-fried fish, and their bite-sized ‘popcorn’ prawns. It’s hard to choose between the freshly battered halibut, sea bass, haddock, rock salmon and Dover sole cooked in groundnut oil – all served with their inimitable chunky chips, a wedge of lemon and homemade tartare sauce. For a healthier option, you
can ask for any fish to grilled with just a sprinkling of olive oil, and there are salads in the chill cabinet next to the marble counter. The adjoining restaurant plays background music, but this traditional fish and chip shop fortunately remains muzac-free.
47 Brick Lane, E1 6PU ® 07799 292 709
Open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Sunday 10.30am-6pm, closed Bank Holidays
Tube Aidgate East Bus 15, 25, 115, 135, 205, 254
There is wheelchair access to the cafe
You would hardly notice, as the food is so varied and delicious here, but everything is gluten-free since the chef has to avoid wheat and other flours. Try their mango cake with passion fruit buttercream, or a slice of dairy free carrot and pistachio cake with a mug of hot chocolate. This very friendly cafe is a cool place to hang out at lunchtime. Their savoury pasties are appreciated not only by hungry locals but also by the artists Gilbert and George who often order a couple for their lunch. The artwork on the walls is usually exciting, unusual and hard to ignore.
160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB ® 020 7499 6996
Open Monday-Friday 7-11.30am, 12-3pm, 5.30pm-12am, Saturday and Sunday 8-11.30am, 12-3.30pm, 5.30pm-12am (Sunday to 11pm)
Tube Green Park Bus 8, 9, 14, 19, 22, 38
The Wolseley is wheelchair accessible
It is hard to believe that this opulent, high-ceilinged cafe-restaurant on Piccadilly used to be a car showroom, but this is how it obtained its celebrated name. With its huge arched windows, grand ceiling lights and black-and-gold chinoiserie panels, this is the perfect English brasserie. The service is impeccable, and the dishes on the reasonably priced a la carte or all-day menus are inspired by the grand cafes of Europe. Their avocado and lamb’s lettuce salad is an excellent starter, followed by seafood soup with mussels or chicken soup with dumplings. It is advisable to reserve a table in advance, especially for a Sunday morning breakfast of kedgeree or grilled kipper with mustard butter.