Ampersand & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew launch new botanical dining experience

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Ampersand, CH&Co Group’s specialist venue and visitor attraction catering business, have opened a new dining experience for visitors to the world-famous botanic gardens – The Botanical.

The new table-service restaurant, located in the heart of the Gardens with stunning views of the Palm House and lake, has been specifically designed to enhance the unique Kew Gardens visitor experience.

Ampersand is working with horticultural experts at Kew, including top tree man Tony Kirkham, to forage for herbs, plants and flowers within the garden walls to include in the mouth-watering seasonal menu. Meanwhile the curation of the space acknowledges the building’s former role as a museum, with artefacts on display in glass cases.

Serving brunch, lunch and afternoon tea, The Botanical offers modern British dishes and twists on classic favourites that uphold a strong commitment to seasonality and locally-sourced produce, and exceptional service. Reflecting the availability of ingredients and products, the innovative menu will change regularly throughout the year.

Dishes available include, for example, Hand Picked Kew Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup; Pan Fried Sea Bass with mixed grain tabbouleh and roast gem lettuce heart; and Botanical Garden Salad with heritage radish, elderflower and lime dressing.

Athena Morse, Head of Visitor Operations, said, “We are thrilled to have opened The Botanical restaurant, which offers visitors a very different dining experience to our other catering outlets. The view from the building is perhaps one of the best in the Gardens, stretching out across the water to the magnificent Palm House. We are confident that along with this visual feast, Ampersand’s menu, full of exciting, seasonal recipes, will lure visitors back again and again.”

Rob Santos, Operations Manager for Ampersand, said, “The Botanical is so much more than a restaurant. It’s part of the Kew Gardens experience. Visitors can enjoy a delicious bowl of wild garlic and nettle soup, overlooking the Palm House and lake, knowing that the ingredients have been hand-picked in Kew Gardens within walking distance of where they are sitting. There aren’t many restaurants in London that can say that!

“The beauty of The Botanical is that through foraging for some ingredients and forging close relationships with local suppliers, we have the scope to develop the offer throughout the year. Working closely with Kew experts, we will continue to discover exciting ingredients and create innovative dishes that capture the botanical essence of Kew Gardens.”

Ampersand was appointed caterer at Kew Gardens in September 2016 and provides all catering services for Kew’s 1.5million annual visitors, including the White Peaks café (a family food hall and ice-creamery); Victoria Plaza café (an artisan coffee shop and bakery); the beautiful Orangery restaurant (offering all-day seasonal dishes); and the Pavilion restaurant that provides alfresco dining in the warmer months.