Inn The Park

St James's Park, Lakeside
St James's, London
Tel: 020 7451 9999 Victoria 0.3 miles

Oliver Peyton's all-day lakeside cafe in St James's park serves boiled eggs and soldiers for breakfast, afternoon tea during the Pelican feeding and roast rib of beef for dinner. Architecture by Hopkins (Glyndebourne Opera House) and interior by Tom Dixon

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Giles Coren's review of Inn The Park (The Independent)
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Inn The Park reviews

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A friend and I had lunch here yesterday, and it was a thoroughly horrible experience. We arrived 15 minutes early for our table, but were told that wasn't a problem. Well, they obviously decided they weren't going to serve us until after the time of our booking, as nobody even approached us until 25 minutes after we were seated, and that was only because we called someone over as they passed us. He made the excuse that everyone comes at the same time for lunch, but that's not an excuse in my book.

Our food eventually arrived 55 minutes after we were seated. The hand cut chips were cold and the side green salad was less than I'd serve to my 2-year-old.

When we finally got someone's attention to get the bill, it came back with 2 wines at a higher price than had been asked for. My friend had ordered 2 rose at £4.75, but we were charged 2 at £5.00. Now whilst this might only be a difference of 50p, we'd had such a rotten time that we challenged the waiter. He went away and asked what wine had been served and told us not to worry, we'd had the more expensive wine. We explained that that wasn't the point, we had asked for the cheaper one, so that was what we were going to pay for. He then went away, telling us NOT TO WASTE HIS TIME! Then the bill came back £5 more than when it went to be adjusted by 50p!

I now wish we had taken the service charge off the bill... Horrible, horrible restaurant.

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 by binker, 02 Oct 2011
Tried to eat there yesterday. Arrived just before 3pm and was told they were only serving afternoon tea at that time but we could eat outside on the patio! Went to try and decide how one chooses a meal. No menu or list, just a bunch of 'food' sitting on a hot counter. A chef was preparing a meal, so I asked where I could order similar. Was told by a man - who turned out to be OP - that one could not order as they were closed. OP was tasting the food the chef was preparing - I only hope that it wss for him!

Decided that eating there seemed way too complicated; plus, I do not feel that queueing up getting food and then paying for it while it is getting cold constitutes a nice meal.

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 by electra, 20 May 2011
Spent the day there with my daughter-in-law and beautiful grandaughter. Amazing bean, salmon and feta salads, also delicious biscuits. Beautiful architecture and setting - couldn't have chosen a better spot. Absolutely delightful and would definitely recommend to a friend.

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 by jacques.webb, 11 Sep 2010
I have been there just once, for a coffee. The latte I had was great and the service was fantastic.

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 by Bagi, 17 Feb 2009
I visited this restaurant for a reunion with some friends. The meal started badly as we didn't all arrive at once and rolls were served for those who had arrived first but not for those arriving later. We had to ask for further rolls. Sugar was not already on the table when coffee was served, so once again we had to ask for it. Service was also slow.

As I am a vegan, I had phoned them several days in advance and was assured that one of the main courses, which included puffball, could be adapted by omitting the duck egg. When I arrived I found that there was no option for a single course, I would have to pay for two. The only option for a starter was to adapt another mushroom-based dish. What is more, further items needed to be omitted from the puffball dish, and potatoes and vegetables were extra. I decided to cut my losses and have the starter and main course as adapted.

When they came, both courses could have been served on one plate with room to spare, and the puffball was too salty. I was still hungry afterwards. Inn the Park would do better to serve straightforward food well than to serve unusual dishes poorly.

Useful review? 1 1
 by anotheronymous, 25 Oct 2008
My family and I dined in the restaurant and had a fantastic meal. The food was surperb, with wonderful attention to detail - including a lovely farm butter that was just like my grandma made when I was small (my grandson, aged 18 months, cried for more it was so lovely). Thank you for a delightful family meal, which we will do again later this summer.

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 by MrDonaldParry, 23 Jun 2008
We rang the restaurant when they had just closed and they waited 15 mins for us to get there. The service was absolutely lovely, the food was the best we had in our whole time in London (Michelin-starred places included). I really recommend the children's menu. It was great to get proper food for them instead of deep-fried crap. I can't wait to go back the next time we're in London.

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 by shellyd, 30 Apr 2008
We went here for breakfast on a Saturday. On the plus side, it does have a lovely view of Horse Guards and the rear of the buildings on Whitehall. However, service was no good and the architect/designer needs to be lynched (the chairs are uncomfortable, and the toilet walls look like a colour-blind test). To be fair, the quality of the food wasn't bad, with the marmalade of particular note, but the chef/staff forgot one meal and the rest of us had finished by the time my friend got his. Oh, and the drinks were beyond abysmal - a tea was served as a cup of hot water and a tea bag separate!

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 by stewybabe (2 reviews), 18 Mar 2008
The setting is the only thing worth visiting Inn the Park for. The restaurant itself is disappointingly overpriced - £100 for 2, for mushrooms on toast followed by fishcakes accompanied by a bottle of Cote du Rhone is not good value, whatever the setting. And let's not forget that Inn the Park is half posh restaurant, half self service cafe, so if you are in the posh bit you feel doubly ripped off. Oliver Peyton should know better.

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 by A customer, 08 Jan 2008
Went with two friends last week. Beautiful setting and ambience, better than average food, but the service was really terrible. It wasn't that the staff weren't friendly or helpful, but there seemed to be no channels of communication, no one leading the service. We had to wait ages for everything, no one knew about the wine list, and generally I was disappointed as I was expecting great things from Oliver Peyton.

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 by rachel8571, 17 Aug 2007
Went for a party with a pre-set menu. There was nowhere near enough food for the number of people. The food was poor quality and overpriced. Better off with a sandwich from M&S - tastier, more filling and better value. The manager was rude and unhelpful, the serving staff sour faced and inefficient. Will not go back and would not recommend to my worst enemy. Poor establishment, which is a shame as the setting is fantastic and it has heaps of potential.

Useful review? 1
 by barnetro, 14 Aug 2007
Definitely not recommended. The location and view are amazing but otherwise a big disappointment. Despite being only the second or third table occupied at 9am for breakfast, we waited over half an hour for our food, and even when it arrived we had to wait longer for the toast, which was cold when it did get there. Pretty pricey but would have been worth it if the food and service matched the location. Sadly, they did not.

Useful review? 2
 by citygirl148, 27 May 2007
Fantastic! Everything was so great - service wonderful, roast lamb cutlets and garlic nuggets to die for, even the bread melted in our mouths. At the end I actually cried with gratitude.

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 by Tif, 19 May 2007
Hideously overpriced, poor service, ugly decor, avoid!

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 19 Jun 2006
Small choice but good food - very bad the service, very bad manager!

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 29 May 2006
Visited the restaurant recently with several friends to celebrate a birthday. Easter Sunday we found it under-staffed, toilets dirty and uncared for (obviously being used as a public loo).

Food generally was disappointing and am amazed that we had to pay a deposit to reserve a table that was not prepared for us or necessary as it was empty!

Useful review? 1
 by Julie W, 01 May 2006
I've taken my mother there for brunch, been there for cake with my friends, and had the most incredibly romantic dinner there on the terrace one nice night. I love the place.

Yummy food, cute waiters, the dreamiest chef that I've ever seen in my life. My Australian friend Kate assured me he's huge Down Under..

Useful review? 1
 by Anonymous, 13 Apr 2005
Inn the Park is a perfect dining choice for the summer, and combines a relaxed experience with good simple English grub. Not sure though whether the glass front and decking might make it too chilly a choice in the middle of an English winter!

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 by capital girl (54 reviews), 16 Jan 2005
Excellent restaurant. During a brief London break we ate at St John Bread and Wine, Blueprint Cafe, The Cow and Inn The Park. We considered Inn The Park the most enjoyable with Blueprint a close second. The Cow was ridiculously expensive and the magic of the Ivy I'm afraid passes us by...

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 by terence p, 27 Jul 2004
The food was excellent - and good value too. The views are stunning, the atmosphere relaxed - all in all a lovely way to spend an evening in London. We found the service very good actually - but I think we were lucky as our Italian waiter took a real shine to my mother and seemed determined to take good care of us. Will definitely be going back - it'll be fabulous in autumn...

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 by Chris Joseph, 22 Jul 2004

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