THE ROYAL PARKS
A&E Catering Design were appointed to work with The Royal Parks, Boyd Thorpe Associates and newly appointed concessionaires, Colicci, on three exciting foodservice facility refurbishments to The Italian Gardens Café, The Albert Memorial Kiosk and the Broad Walk Café in Kensington Gardens, one of London’s eight Royal Parks.
THE ITALIAN GARDENS CAFE
Situated at the head of The Long Water, The Italian Gardens Café was officially opened in September 2016 by The Royal Parks’ Chairman, Loyd Grossman CBE. The café has stunning views across the 150-year-old Italian Gardens, a gift from Prince Albert to his beloved wife Queen Victoria. Prince Albert was a keen gardener and modelled these ornamental Grade II listed water gardens on those at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. The café building was once a disused children’s toilet block that has now been transformed into one of The Royal Parks’ latest catering facilities.
The existing toilet block was stripped and the core brick structure retained to accommodate the kitchenette. An extension was constructed along the front elevation to accommodate the new café counter with internal seating leading out to an external decked area.
ALBERT MEMORIAL KIOSK
Following on from the success of the Italian Gardens Cafe, The Royal Parks approached A&E Catering Design to assist David Morley Architects with the design of an exciting new bespoke kiosk overlooking one of London’s most ornate monuments, the Grade 1 listed Albert Memorial. The monument was designed by George Gilbert Scott to celebrate Prince Albert’s passions and many interests. The kiosk is set in the midst of an area of new rich planting landscaped to reflecting the history of the adjacent English garden styled Victorian South Flower Walk. Colicci, were actively involved in providing the operational brief and A&E worked closely with them to develop the fit-out design for the display counters and equipment. The new kiosk offers simple high quality cakes, pastries and a typical range of English style sandwiches as well as speciality teas, barista coffees and soft drinks. An ice cream conservator features organic English ice cream.
The café is located adjacent to the popular Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground with its huge pirate ship that was inspired by the stories of Peter Pan. The area is a firm family favourite because of the playground and the Grade II listed Elfin Oak carved with figure of fairies, elves and animals.
Delivery of two significant Colicci ‘Italian’ products were identified as key requirements; outstanding coffee and excellent freshly baked pizza. To achieve this part of the existing store was converted into a new cold food preparation area and the back-of-house area redesigned to accommodate a state-of-the art pizza oven imported from Italy. Two new espresso coffee machines take centre-stage serving Colicci’s unique blend of coffee. A range of cakes, pastries and locally sourced artisan breads filled with a variety of hot and cold fillings are also served.