From brunch to beer and more, Jo Taylor reviews the Pear Tree Café – a hidden lakeside gem in Battersea Park...
For years Battersea Park was a rather lovely but slightly forgotten part of South West London. With no tube it was deemed ‘too difficult to get to’ and thus lacked a bit of lustre in the food department.
Then in late 2016 that all changed. By the little lake on the east side of the park, the Pear Tree Café appeared in place of a rather dated canteen that had sat rather sadly by the water. The brains behind the venture are Annabel Partridge and Will Burrett who have worked in some of the most renowned restaurants in the world.
The food is a testament to their pedigree with every taste catered for from pancakes to smashed avo. The maple bacon it is an absolute must– sweet, crunchy, salty and decidedly moresish. The coffee is excellent and - if you can drag yourself away from a strong caffeine hit - the almond milk hot chocolate feels far naughtier than it actually is. There is a distinctly sustainable feel to the café with a lack of plastic especially welcome given the surroundings. The café also lists its suppliers online so you can see where all your food and drink is coming from.
However, the café is more than just the food. For interior lovers it will prove very instragram-worthy. From the outside it blends perfectly into its park surroundings with dark green signage and the original black iron windows. The foliage-filled interior is a combination of pastel pink tiles, muted greens and gold lighting dotted around the circular counter, giving it a vintage feel. It is homely, cosy and not at all pretentious. Quite the opposite. Dogs are encouraged which is refreshing in London. Naughty Labrador puppies have been known to chomp the moss out of the giant flowerpots dotted in each corner. And children happily giggle at the pups. It feels busy and lively at weekends but you could still come and read your paper in a corner and not feel overwhelmed. The only advice is to get there before 10am in order to avoid the queues.
On a rainy day you can sit inside looking out to the lake feeling like you are in some kind of romantic film (well if you ignore the cheeky dogs eyeing up your bacon). But it is on sunny days when this café really comes into its own. With its waterside location, it has the wonderful advantage of a picturesque seating area, undisturbed by traffic, trains and general London comings and goings. The perfect place to start your weekend.
Whilst brunch is a favourite, the Pear Tree café has the whole package. You can have a delicious healthy soup, salad or sandwich for lunch if you’re all brunched out. On summer evenings, there is an outdoor bar serving an array of wines and beers.
With the appearance of the pier at the Power Station over the road, you can enjoy the most delightful of commutes home if you are lucky enough to live in Battersea – jumping off at the Power Station, winding through the east side of the park and then plonking yourself down at the café for a quick glass of…well…plonk.
For more information visit www.peartreecafe.co.uk or mosey on down to the lakeside yourself this weekend. Just be sure to guard your plate otherwise you might find a sneaky snout trying to snaffle your leftovers.