Sandwiches at Kettle's YardLara Poole with permission for Varsity

I have been to the gorgeous Kettle’s Yard before. But this time, as I arrived on a beautiful May day, it was different: doors open wide, and sunshine streaming through the café onto the courtyard. The last time I came was the winter, when I sat in a comfy chair with cushions, tucked away in the corner while writing my essay; as a result I had always seen the café as small and cosy. Now however, the sun was out, tables stretching across the length of the pathway, coming up to the gallery, and then the courtyard at St Peter’s Church. Some groups were sitting at tables just outside the café, and others were lying back in bright yellow deckchairs on the grass with a cold drink. Immediately my friend and I knew this was a perfect, tranquil summer spot — just enough out of the student bubble to feel separate to our stresses over our essay deadlines.

“A perfect, tranquil summer spot”

As we walked into the café itself, I was surprised by the menu. Often, it seems cafés belonging to museums or galleries can be quite hit or miss when it comes to options for vegetarians, but here everything on the menu was vegetarian. I had a tough time choosing between a hummus and falafel wrap, a spinach and feta roll, and vegan sausage roll, so ended up going for a generously sized brie and sun-blushed tomato bagel instead. There was also a wide selection of cold drinks, including a homemade lemonade with ginger and elderflower pressé that would be perfect if you just wanted to pop in for half an hour and bask in the sunlight.

Vegan date flapjack, vegan sticky toffee pudding, and vegan browniesLara Poole with permission for Varsity

Once my friend and I had ordered our food, and met the lovely Beth and Harriet, we wandered around the garden surrounding Kettle’s Yard — the path on the way in, the almost-hidden garden between the house. We eventually settled down in the courtyard at St Peter’s Church. Sitting on deckchairs under trees, surrounded by trees, this felt like a really private spot, and we enjoyed chatting and relaxing in the sun waiting for our sandwiches to arrive.


Mountain View

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And when they arrived. Wow. I cannot overemphasise how delicious our sandwiches were — they made me never want to try my beloved Costa cheese and tomato panini ever again. The brie was divine, and the bread was delicious. Almost full but still wanting to try more, my friend and I debated going up to order more food. Before we could however, we were very generously treated to some buns: vegan date flapjack, vegan sticky toffee and gluten free chocolate brownies. While previously when I had gone, I had been a little underwhelmed with the vegan chocolate brownie, with these treats it was a completely different story. I cannot even put into words how amazing this gluten free brownie was — please, I beg, you simply must go and try it for yourself.

“I cannot even put into words how amazing this gluten free brownie was”

After we had finished, looking for an excuse to stay longer, we wandered around to the back of the house at Kettle’s Yard, and found two tables surrounded by beautiful flowers. The scent of lavender, as well as quiet this space has, really brings a sense of peace to the grounds of Kettle’s Yard, making it an idyllic place to either reflect on the artwork within the gallery, or to come here after the busyness of exams to enjoy some well-deserved rest.