Why Everyone's Talking About The Petersham Nurseries Restaurant Opening

Why Everyone's Talking About The Petersham Nurseries Restaurant Opening

One of the country’s best-loved restaurants might be in Richmond, but many Londoners have never made it down the Thames to pay a visit. Luckily, distance is no longer as issue as Petersham Nurseries has just opened not one, but two dining rooms in Covent Garden. Did it live up to expectations? Read on to find out…
Photography: Paul Craig photography

The concept…

The restaurant where renowned chef Skye Gyngell made her name has opened a multi-purpose dining destination in Covent Garden. Petersham Nurseries Café – a sophisticated, family-run spot serving modern European fare in a glasshouse in Richmond – has now launched The Petersham, an elegant restaurant with a classic a la carte Italian menu; and La Goccia, a more relaxed all-day eatery with an open kitchen and wood-fired oven.

All housed within the aptly-named Floral Court, the standout spot is the rustic, flower-filled courtyard, where alfresco dining is an option. Elsewhere, there’s a bar, florist, wine merchants and homeware store filled with antiques and handpicked furniture, which allows guests to recreate the Petersham aesthetic back at home.

The setting…             

It might not be in a glasshouse this time around, but nature is very much at the heart of this new Petersham venture. The Grade II-listed building is made up of three glass atriums, so it’s still a suntrap. Plus, there’s the aforementioned Floral Court, which combines a traditional country garden with Italian elegance – think Tuscan terracotta pots filled with English fern.

Plant life also plays a part in the décor of the two restaurants – the antique mirror-filled Petersham is full of indoor trees and an array of vases full of blooms are used to separate sections of the restaurant, while the more stripped-back La Goccia features copper uplighters shaped like plants and chair backs wrought to resemble leaves.

The food…

The original restaurant has always focused on the ‘slow food’ philosophy, founded by Italian Carlo Petrini in 1986, which promotes the preservation of traditional and regional cuisine and encourages the farming of plants, seeds, and livestock. This sustainable approach is apparent here too – a main-course highlight includes responsibly sourced Haye Farm lamb with crisp sweetbreads, Spinosa artichoke, chard and basil.

The menu reads like all the perfect dishes at a country wedding: think varieties of courgette with peas, broad beans and Culatello di Zibelo prosciutto, followed by Portland crab and fennel salad with pistachios, crème fraiche and dill.

Throughout, the floral trend continues – edible flowers and herbs abound on almost every dish, adding a dainty touch to even the heftiest of dishes. For the most part, though, portions sizes err on modest, making it the perfect place for light lunches, or three-coursers without the heavy feeling of overindulgence.

The drinks…

For the first time, Petersham Nurseries has a list of signature cocktails. Inspired by nature and evolving with the seasons, the cocktail menu at La Goccia Bar goes heavy on botanicals, herbs and edible flowers. We suggest kicking off a meal with a Petersham rose petal prosecco in the alfresco area, before opting for a bottle of wine hand-picked by the experts behind The Cellar, Petersham owner Lara Boglione and her husband Giovanni Mazzei.

The verdict…

Sipping on a botanical cocktail in the secret garden-like courtyard on a warm summer evening, it’s hard to imagine that the usual bustle of Covent Garden is just moments away. Pretty, verdant and bright, this is the perfect destination for summer dining – we’re intrigued to see how the space will work come winter.

Paul Craig photography

Paul Craig photography

27-31 King St, Covent Garden WC2E 8JB
Visit PetershamNurseries.com

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily