Kew Gardens caters for Halal at White Peaks Cafe

By the Editor

Everyone’s heard of Kew Gardens – the world famous botanical garden in southwest London that’s said to house the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world”.

kew-gardens-white-peaks-cafeWhile close to 2 million people will visit London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site this year, many might not know that of the four cafes and restaurants available therein, there’s one that actually serves Halal.

That’s right; situated near the Brentford Gate and located adjacent to the children’s play area, Climbers and Creepers, White Peaks cafe is popular with families, with plenty of seating both inside and out.

Operating between the hours of 10am–5pm, the cafe has a fairly extensive menu of hot and cold food ranging from the obvious teas, coffees, cakes and sandwiches, to more elaborate dishes served at the Hot Counter.

Of course, this is Kew Gardens, so expect Kew prices!

With that said, the Hot Counter presently offers a menu which includes a gluten-free “Soup of the day” that’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and served with a poppy seed roll (Kids £2.75, Adults £4.75).

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Cornish Fish Stew of Coley, Prawn and Cod (Kids £5.95, Adults £9.50).

There’s also an elaborately presented and vibrant-looking Cornish Fish Stew of Coley, Prawn and Cod.

But it’s their Crown Farm Chicken Schnitzel – breaded chicken breast served with chips – which we learned was Halal.

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Crown Farm Chicken Schnitzel (Kids £5.95, Adults £9.50)

According to the cafe’s Sous Chef, Yasir Bilal, not only are all dishes prepared without any risk of cross contamination with pork on the menu, but the Halal status of any given meat dish is essentially dependent on the supplier for any given period. On this occasion, the chicken Schnitzel was certainly Halal.

Having said that though, it would be prudent to double check with the chef regarding the Halal-status of any dish before ordering.

In addition and for £3.50 each, they also offer a variety of sides too: fries, basmati rice, roasted autumn rainbow vegetables, or squash with herbs and seeds.

And from the Salad Counter, you have the option of the following for £6.50 each:

  • Golden and red beetroot with goats cheese.
  • Broccoli and runner bean with toasted oats.
  • Honey roasted squash, Pearl couscous and baby spinach.

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For children, there’s the Little Adult Box where, for £4.95, children can be given the freedom to build their own lunch by choosing a main item, two treats and a drink.

This pick ‘n’ mix includes a variety of sandwiches, sweet and savoury snacks, such as seasonal veg and portions of cheese, as well as fruity drinks.

While on sunny days, The Ice Creamery is open with a wide selection of ice cream and yoghurt flavours “made with 100% natural ingredients”.

As a day trip, there’s plenty to do at the 121 hectare garden, far too much, in fact, for one day.

And while tickets are reasonably priced from £15 adults and £3.50 children, if you’re within driving distance to either Kew Gardens or its sister-site Wakehurst botanic gardens in West Sussex (both run by the Royal Botanic Gardens), then you might want to consider an annual pass.

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