Now, you may look at that title picture, and think to yourself that this is the London hideaway of Bilbo Baggins, Snow White or *gulp* Hansel and Gretel. You would, however, be wrong, as the Hollyhock Café is an adorable little café. In fact, the Hollyhock Café is so cute, it makes sleeping puppies look kinda average. (Obviously I’m joking, don’t @ me).
The Hollyhock Café. Even the name is ridiculously cute. Hiding in the midst of Richmond’s beautiful Terrace Gardens, this place could have wandered straight out of a fairytale. In fact, the only problem is that it’s in Richmond – not far from Richmond Park – which means your journey out there won’t be a fairytale. Think Brothers Grimm, rather than Disney, for the commute here.
Having said that, the Hollyhock Café is well worth the trek. Even if you aren’t immediately smitten by the crooked terrace and the twinkling fairy lights, you’ll quickly be won over by the panoramic views of the Thames. It’s a great year-round spot, too – whilst the charms of Summer are obvious, a crisp Winter’s day sees the café handing out blankets and hot water bottles to those taking up a place on the terrace.
Meanwhile, the food is as good for the world as it is for your stomach. By which we mean that everything on the menu is either fairtrade, or organically sourced. As a result, the Hollyhock Cafe is a great spot for veggies, vegans, and those looking to avoid gluten. It’s all typical countryside enclave food, heavy on the pies, tarts, and quiches, with the odd addition of soups, breads, and baked potatoes.
For drinks, this lovely spot offers up freshly-made juices and smoothies, along with the usual compliment of coffees and teas. Those hoping for something stronger can dip into the cafe’s natural wine and beer selection. Whatever you order, don’t leave without cake. Whilst this is sound advice for everyday life, we have it on good authority that the Hollyhock Café serves an exceptionally tasty (and rather large) slice. Resist the banana bread if you dare!
Truthfully, it’s frighteningly easy to load up on cake at the Hollyhock Café. Although it might be helpful to do so, because nearby Richmond Park is ginormous, and perfect for a walk. You’ll burn all those calories off super quickly, so just have another slice. Go on, you know you want to…
Also published on Medium.