Tide Tables is a vegetarian café situated in a converted arch beneath Richmond Bridge, beside the Thames, in the lovely town of Richmond in South-West London. Having spent a lot of time in London over the past few years, I was getting bored with the usual tourist spots and was running out of new and interesting places to visit. However, I’d never been to Richmond before, and was interested in seeing the deer in Richmond Park. When reading about the town before my visit, I came across a reference to this café. Having checked out their website, I knew I had to visit!
I arrived at the Tide Tables café on a sunny day in March. It was lunchtime and there was a big queue to be served. However, only one person was sitting inside the café, and everyone else was sat outside in the sunshine, in the café garden overlooking the Thames. I chose to sit inside, so I could utilise the Tide Tables WiFi (as advertised on their website). However, unfortunately I couldn’t get this to work – despite repeated attempts at entering their password (written on their menu blackboard). Since the staff were so busy, I didn’t bother mentioning the problem or asking for help.
On the wall behind the counter is a huge chalk board menu listing a vast array of tasty-sounding veggie delights. On the counter is a cabinet filled with various pre-cooked foods that are ready to heat up, including pastries, pies and tarts. I chose a cauliflower tart from the chalk board, but was told that this was unavailable, and that the only tarts/pies/pastries available were those displayed in the cabinet. However, since the foods in the cabinet were all unlabelled, I had no idea what any of them were, so it was difficult to know what was available and what wasn’t! I saw some pies in the cabinet, so asked for their flavours, and ended up opting for the spinach and mushroom one. Alternatively I could have ordered falafels, omelette, pizza, or a baked potato. There was a separate menu for vegans, and also a list of gluten-free items.
My spinach and mushroom pie was served warm and accompanied by a side salad of leaves sprinkled with mixed seeds. It was a very tasty pie, and was clearly made in-house, and not mass-produced. I impressed by the flavour and ate every last crumb! I was tempted by the wide variety of cakes on display in the café, but since I had planned an afternoon of walking, I thought it best not to eat too much. When I left the café I followed the river for a bit, then headed up Richmond Hill, and on into Richmond Park. I took quite a long walk but unfortunately didn’t see any of the famous deer! I am planning to return to Richmond and to Tide Tables sometime soon – next time taking Ben with me. If you haven’t been to Richmond before – I would highly recommend it as a place to visit. The view from the top of Richmond Hill is stunning, and the park is lovely. Tide Tables is also well worth visiting. Their selection of vegetarian food is excellent, and the fact that there was a consistently long queue of customers there during my visit is testament to their popularity!