Bushy Park is one of London's largest Royal Parks and a very popular tourist attraction. There is the famous Arethusa (Diana) fountain at its heart, along with the smaller 'leg of mutton' boating lake, a chldren's play area, sports pitches and even a monument to the SHAPE commanders that planned the D-Day landings here. But, in contrast with nearby Richmond Park, and the neighbouring Hampton Court Palace, it has until recently been rather poorly provided with food and drink facilities. Apart from the traditional ice cream vans at the height of the season, and a kiosk serving basic snacks, there was nowhere within the park's precincts serving more substantial fare.
The Pheasantry Cafe is a brand new facility which addresses this need and from my experience so far does so rather well- particularly if you are a cake lover! Open all year round throughout the week, it is also a pleasant retreat whatever the weather. On a fine spring day the daffodils in the adjacent woodland gardens are an absolute delight,and you can enjoy a pleasant leisurely stroll alongside a stream and small lakes observing all manor of waterfowl and probably hear, if not actually see, the many parakeets which now thrive in this far from home landscape.
One brid I did not spot were pheasants, but the rustic sounding name certainly reflects the surroundings well. The cafe has a large seating area both indoors and outdoors, and is particualrly popular with young families. It is also easily accessible by walkers, cyclists and motorists alike, having acquired a new car park alongside- though mind the deer grating if you are on two wheels!
The Pheasantry serves excellent coffees- I've particularly enjoyed their cappuccinos- as well as a good selection of speciality teas and cold drinks. Food can be freshly cooked to order, though at very busy times[ such as after the Olympic Road Race when I visited- you can expect to have to wait awhile for this. Otherwise, there are ready made ciabatta breas which are promptly heated at the till point, cold sandwiches and in the afternoon an amazing selection of delicious cakes as well as the healthier option of fresh fruit.
Service is friendly and generally very efficient and you never sense any hurry to leave unless of course it's closing time. Prices are good value and perhaps even a little cheaper than similar venues in nearby Teddington or Hampton Court.
In summary, for a quick lunch or an afternoon treat, The Pheasantry is a Pleasantry, with prices that are even affordable for the peasantry!
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