New Café Launches in Ravenscourt Park

Paddenswick Tea Gardens taking over recently refurbished building

Charlie and Fran Oppenheim who have taken over day-to-day Ravenscourt Park café operations
Charlie and Fran Oppenheim who have taken over day-to-day Ravenscourt Park café operations

August 11, 2023

After the prolonged absence of a café within Ravenscourt Park, a new venture has taken over the historic stable block.

Roots & Berries is a business owned by husband-and-wife team Charlie and Fran Oppenheim and they plan to launch the Paddenswick Tea Gardens in the Grade-II listed building this August.

The café’s menu launched with cakes, light bites, ice creams and hot and cold drinks, before expanding into fuller meals later this year.

The 200-year-old building was part of a private estate before it was converted into a public park in the late 19th century.

Roots & Berries has its own dedicated baking team based in Wandsworth, making sweet treats including raspberry lemon drizzle cake, salted caramel millionaire’s shortbread, espresso caramel cake and vegan carrot cake with coconut. Freshly-brewed coffee from local roastery Curious Roo, a stone’s throw away in Chiswick, will be served.

“We want Paddenswick Tea Gardens to be somewhere that everyone feels they are really part of as park cafés are such an important part of the community,” explains Charlie, who launched Roots & Berries in 2014 when he and Fran took over running the Skylark Café in Wandsworth Common.

“We feel really honoured to be here and very excited as Ravenscourt Park is a lovely place to be.”

The new Paddenswick Tea Gardens is the eighth green space café for the couple’s business, which also runs the Tea House in Bishops Park in Fulham.

The couple decided to leave careers in finance and advertising to pursue their passion for hospitality when their two children were very young.

“We wanted to create places that people could really spend time and enjoy,” adds Charlie, who is often accompanied to work by two-year-old rescue dog Maggie, a wire-haired Dachshund.

“The pandemic accelerated people’s love of green spaces and they went from important to essential.

“Being in greenery is good for your mental health and a walk in the park makes a real difference to people’s lives. The cafés sit in the middle of all of that.”

Charlie and Fran are often accompanied to work by two-year-old rescue dog Maggie Charlie and Fran are often accompanied to work by two-year-old rescue dog Maggie

It’s fantastic that families and friends will now be able to enjoy ice creams, locally-roasted coffee and hand-baked cakes in the green surroundings of Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith as the café reopens for the summer months,” said Cllr Sharon Holder, H&F Cabinet Member for Public Realm.

The reopening comes after the council carried out extensive repair and refurbishment works to the building’s roof and structure. In addition to a new roof in the main building and new toilets, many of the roof timbers and joists were replaced, as well as drainage, guttering, windows, doors and the clock that decorates the front of the tea house.

The café reopening adds to 21-acre Ravenscourt Park’s draw as a community green space, with its children’s paddling pool, garden centre, tennis and basketball courts.

The park is also home to the new Ravenscourt Park glasshouse, which opened earlier this year following a fundraising drive by Hammersmith Community Gardens Association (HCGA).

For more details, visit the Paddenswick Tea Gardens website.

To find out about events and workshops at Ravenscourt Park Glasshouse, visit the  Hammersmith Community Gardens Association website and sign up to receive the newsletter.


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