You're inside the glorious grounds of Kew Gardens, enjoying the changing seasonal displays After a while, you might just feel the need for some inner refreshment and a break from all the walking, wandering and admiring.
Close to the Main Gate is the elegant Orangery, dating back to 1761. Offering a good selection of herb teas (appropriately, although not Kew's own blend) and a pretty full gamut of other hot and cold drinks, together with a more limited alcoholic selection, it's tempting to have a drink here at any point in your visit. When the weather is good, and space permits, there's a beautiful terrace to sit and sip on, basking in the surrounding green glory.
If you're hungry, there's also a tempting choice of hot dishes, sandwiches, salads and enticing sweet treats. They also provide a cute cardboard lunch-box for your little ones. It's not a bargain but it will most likely enhance your visit and save you the chore of preparing an advance picnic. If you're pigeon phobic, be warned they regularly enter the space seeking their own snacks.
If you need an inspiring venue for a private function it's available for hire - at a (phew!) price, which also means it may not be open to the public 100 per cent of the time.
Overcrowded, chaotic and noisy with average food. Imagine standard cafeteria food served luke-warm and then being charged £13 for the pleasure. The building itself though is very pleasant to sit in with lots of natural light. Considering the expensive entrance fee to the gardens as well, I can't see how they expect an average family to afford a trip here which is a real shame. My advice, if you come when it is warm, is bring your own picnic.
The Orangery restaurant was originally designed as a hot house for orange trees. However it was apparently never particularly successful because not enough light came in through the windows. It now works very well in its new reincarnation - elegant cafe and restaurant in Kew Gardens. The building is a beautiful classical design. It is a good place to come for lunch or afternoon tea. The food is good quality and tasty. There is also a mouth watering selection of cakes. The only slight downside is that it can become very busy, particularly with mothers with young children (so it is not particularly peaceful). It is also quite expensive.
Shockingly bad service . Abysmal organisation . Loud and echo(y) , so avoid any timing that coincides with screaming children .
Food was reasonable but for a £25 "chistmas dinner" you might expect maybe a cracker , possibly a table cloth , maybe a party popper or 2 . This is not rocket science , maybe these guy should stick to what they are goo at , ie water plants .
Sunday 13 February 2011 Special Afternoon Vanilla theme tea. Tea itself would get five stars. Champagne flavoured with Vanilla as an aperitif. Generous selection of sandwiches scones with cream and jam and little cakes. The ambiance is pretty bad however. The sound of clanking crockery and cutlery is quite deafening and whole experience not in the least bit sedate. More school canteen. Basic tables and seating with no tablecloths just didn't live up to the food. At £15 a head it's not cheap especially after paying the extortionate entry fees now demanded at Kew. Couldn't believe it when we were asked if we would like to donate an additional £2 a person towards research etc. at the gate. What was our £13.95 each doing then, clipping the grass borders with gold secateurs ?.
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