New Café Opens In Gunnersbury Park

Praise for design but some park users not happy with prices

New cafe in Gunnersbury Park
New cafe in Gunnersbury Park

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Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum

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A new café run by the Benugo chain has opened in Gunnersbury Park as the refurbishment project approaches completion of the latest phase.

The company is a specialist in running cafes and restaurants attached to museums and parks and has the concession at venues such as the British Museum and the Ashmolean in Oxford as well as running the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen.

The café will open from 8am to 5pm seven days a week and is licenced. It may open later during the summer months and for special events. It serves breakfast, salads, sandwiches and has a wood-fired oven for pizzas. A range of gluten free options is available.

Salads start at £8.50 and pizzas cost a minimum of £9 although Benugo say they will be having two for one offers. Their ‘big breakfast' costs £9.50 and a bacon bap is £4.50.

Although there seems to have been a generally positive response thus far to the design and layout of the new café, some park users are unhappy about the prices which are significantly above those charged by the previous establishment.

The opening marks the latest stage in the multi-million pound restoration programme funded by Ealing and Hounslow Councils, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Heritage England.

Interior of the cafe
Interior of the cafe

Leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell joined Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Hounslow Council’s cabinet member for green policy and leisure for a tour of the restored site this Thursday to get a first-hand experience of its progress to date.

The Grade II listed Large Mansion has undertaken improvement works and is due to open on a date to be confirmed this Summer. Featuring a number of galleries, the Museum will provide a source of local history for residents and visitors to the borough.

Restoration of the well-known heritage structures dotted across the parkland has taken place, with work carried out on the Orangery, Temple, Bathhouse and Gothic ruins and the Round Pond. The Horseshoe Lake has also been reinstated. The grounds have also benefited from the appointment of a head gardener.

The Gunnersbury Regeneration Project will also see one of the largest outdoor sporting facilities in London open to the public in spring 2019. The £13.9 million sports hub is entering the next phase of its development which when complete, will boast a multi-use sports centre and gym, two external floodlit artificial grass pitches, new tennis courts, cricket and football pitches.

Cllr Bell and Cllr Chaudhary in Gunnersbury Park

Councillor Julian Bell said, “A great deal of work has gone into the painstaking restoration of Gunnersbury Park’s buildings, grounds and landscape and with the project’s completion in sight we are seeing its rich heritage spring to life. This ambitious, multi-million pound project is bringing the park’s past and future together with state-of-the-art sports facilities alongside its historically significant buildings.”

Councillor Samia Chaudhary said, “It’s a real pleasure to see the high quality restoration phase complete for Gunnersbury Park’s magnificent buildings, which will ensure that the area’s rich history can be enjoyed by all for generations to come. It’s also great to see that the development of the sports hub is well underway and along with confirmation that we will play host to the Lovebox and Citadel Festivals this summer, this is a very exciting era for Gunnersbury Park.”

The site will continue to be owned jointly by Hounslow and Ealing councils but from next month, the not-for-profit Gunnersbury Community Interest Company (CIC) will take over the day-to-day operations and oversee the park’s educational, leisure and cultural opportunities. Under the CIC, Gunnersbury Park and Museum will remain free to the public.

March 16, 2018

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