Relaxed - Remarkable - Refreshing

Pavilion at the Park Bedford

Bedford Park

locally produced, seasonal food. We cook simple and imaginative dishes and high quality British cuisine.

June and July at The Pavilion

Jazz at the Park - 25th June, The Pavilion
Welcome to our brand new evening, combining light snacks with music, in partnership with Conscia Jazz. Jazz at the Park will take place on the last Thursday of every month and will mainly feature solo artists, duos and trios. Tickets are sold online in advance for £10 (booking fee of 10%) and it all startsTONIGHT at 8pm with doors open from 7.30pm, and an end time of approximately 10pm. There will only be 30 tickets available for each event and as The Pavilion now has a licence no need to BYO!  Just turn up, sit back and relax, we'll take care of the rest.


Featured Artist - Sarah Le Brocq
Emerging Cumbrian artist, Sarah Le Brocq, has been busy hanging the artwork for our latest exhibition at The Pavilion. Do make sure you visit to take a look at her stunning work which is all for sale.  The exhibition will be running for 6 weeks until the end of July.  If you are an artist and would like to use our space next year please get in touch with our curator Anne-Marie 

Walk in the Park - 6th July, The Pavilion
Another new activity for the Pavilion, join us for a guided Walk in the Park on the 1st Monday of the month, starting 6th July at 10.30am.  Meet for tea/coffee and cake and then expert local historians will be on hand to tell you all you need to know about the history of the park as you walk round. The walks cost £6 and can be booked here. Each walk will last approximately 60 minutes and lunch will be available afterwards!


A Midsummer Night's Dream - 17th July, The Pavilion

An Open Air production by Big Spirit Theatre of William Shakespeare’s 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' comes to The Pavilion on Friday 17th July. Bring a picnic, or enjoy our lamb spit roast, vegetarian salads and a host of soft and alcoholic drinks which will be available from 7pm.  Wandering minstrels will also be on hand to amuse and entertain throughout the evening. Gates open at 7pm and the play begins at 7:45pm. There will be a 20 minute interval during which refreshments will be served and we will remain open after the show for hot drinks and cake.  Tickets are on sale here and if you'd like to be involved with marshalling on the night please get in touch:

Did you see The Pavilion on ITV1?

It had been a secret for many weeks, but finally last Thursday we were able to share with you our exciting news that The Pavilion had been one of the locations for ITV1's Long Lost Families! If you didn't get to watch it, it will be available on ITVplayer for the next couple of weeks.  


And the winner is......
Thank you to everyone who voted for us in the recent Bedfordshire Food and Drink Awards. The Pavilion was entered in the Best Newcomer category and we were really delighted to be awarded Highly Commended. It has been a fantastic first year and we hope that you have all enjoyed the different menus, food and events that make The Pavilion a really special venue.  We couldn't do it without you though so please do keep the feedback coming and remember to write a review on TripAdvisor if you have a minute!

Men in Sheds Bedford

We would like to say a huge thank you to the Men in Sheds who recently fixed our broken chairs and are now making some bird boxes for The Kiosk at the Park in Russell Park.  We enjoyed attending their Open Day last week and provided sandwiches and cakes for this event. If you haven't heard about Men in Sheds, it is a movement which was founded in Australia, specifically aimed at men aged 55+, which gives them the opportunity to get together and work with others in pursuing their hobbies, largely woodwork, sharing skills, learning new ones and helping with community-based projects. Future open days and full details can be found on their website.

Networking with Bedfordshire BusinessWomen
Last Thursday The Pavilion played host to the Bedfordshire Business Women, for their monthly meeting.  Being Ladies Day at Ascot, it was hats and fascinators all round whilst the ladies enjoyed some Pimm's and canapés. If you would like to find out more about the group, which is open to all businesswomen living or working in the county, please visit their website. The group is currently organising a Summer Ball in aid of the Alzheimer's Society - again, all information is on their website if you would like to find out more and snap up the last few tickets!

The Great British Proms at The Park Supper Club

In celebration of the return of 'Proms at The Park' to Bedford Park, we are delighted to offer you a 'Great British Proms at the Park Supper Club'.  Join us from 5.45pm to start your evening with a delicious feast made up of locally sourced fresh British produce.  You will receive one complimentary Concert Programme per couple and will be escorted to your VIP seats for the start of the concert (concert tickets should be purchased separately here). At just £29.50 a head for the Supper Club, this is the perfect way to make your evening special. 

Join us before Proms at the Park for a glass of Prosecco followed by:

Cream of Watercress Soup with Warm Bread
Puff Pastry crusted Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie with Seasonal Vegetables
Baked Cod with a Herby Parmesan crust with Seasonal Vegetables
Eton Mess

Book Now To Avoid Disapointment
email us with dietary requirements

Late Spring Events at The Pavilion

Welcome to our May newsletter. We have some fantastic events for the whole family coming up in the next few weeks and we really look forward to seeing you at some of them.

Art Exhibition and 1st Anniversary of The Window at the Park

We will be holding a very special evening on 22nd May to mark the first anniversary of the opening of The Window and, in collaboration with local designer Tabitha Mary, we will also be launching an Art Exhibition. We have commissioned Tabitha Mary to design three posters which will be available to purchase. The celebrations will be taking place between 6 and 7pm, followed by a Supper Club later that evening. If you can't wait until Friday to see the artwork then you can get a sneak preview of the posters on twitter via TabithaMaryUK. Please email if you’d like to attend. We would also like to say a big thank you to Eze Frame for all their framing support!

The Tabitha Mary Art Exhibition will be running until 20th June when our next visiting showcase artist comes to The Pavilion - emerging Cumbrian artist Sarah Le Brocq. 

If you would like to find out more about the artist, Sarah will be available to chat over coffee on the morning that the exhibition opens. 

Would you like to exhibit?

If you’d like to exhibit at The Pavilion please get in touch with Anne-Marie our curator via her Facebook page Art Gallery Space.


The Pavilion Cafe and The Road Victims Trust invite you to join them for the 'BIG LUNCH' on 7th June in Bedford Park. 

Bring your family and friends along as well as a picnic lunch and enjoy music from The Lost Plot, family sports day activities, and if you bring your dog along you can also join in with the dog agility sessions with A.R.A.S Dog Rescue. There will be lots of activities on the day including stalls, bouncy castle, face painting, beat the goalie, golf putting challenge, and much more.

If you would like to attend as a stall holder or for more information please contact Tel: 01234 351104.


The Pavilion Cafe and The Road Victims Trust invite you to join them for the 'BIG LUNCH' on 7th June in Bedford Park. 

Bring your family and friends along as well as a picnic lunch and enjoy music from The Lost Plot, family sports day activities, and if you bring your dog along you can also join in with the dog agility sessions with A.R.A.S Dog Rescue. There will be lots of activities on the day including stalls, bouncy castle, face painting, beat the goalie, golf putting challenge, and much more.

If you would like to attend as a stall holder or for more information please contact Tel: 01234 351104.

Join Bedfordshire BusinessWomen to celebrate
the onset of summer & Ladies Day

 Bedfordshire BusinessWomen will be holding an evening of open networking and Pimms at the Pavilion on Thursday 18th June between 6 and 8pm an you are invited! The group would like to welcome business men and women from across the county to network in the beautiful surroundings of The Pavilion and Bedford Park; and in keeping with the Ladies Day theme, the wearing of hats is encouraged! Please visit the Bedfordshire BusinessWomen website to find out more and book your place.

New Menus for Spring/Summer


We have some delicious new menus at The Pavilion, developed by our chefs, using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and freshly cooked to order. We think you will agree, our new children's menu above looks fantastic with the fabulous border design provided by Kitty Dinners

Supper Clubs Sell Out Fast!

Even though our Supper Clubs run most Wednesdays and Fridays, they nearly always sell out, with the bigger events often selling out weeks beforehand. So, if you want to come along to any one of the Supper Clubs, make sure you book early via our booking site

Family Supper Club - 27th May

We are holding a special family Supper Club during half term, with an earlier start time of 6pm on Wednesday 27th May.  At just £13.95 for adults and £7.00 for under 12's, you can look forward to Chef's Homemade Lasagne, Caeser Salad and Garlic Bread, followed by Eton Mess for dessert. Tickets and more details can be found here.

Book Club Supper Club - 3rd June

Supper Club at The Pavilion for all Book Clubbers is on Wednesday 3rd June - please spread the word and let any groups know. It is open to all and sundry! The menu is online and can be booked here. It is a BYO night as usual and promises to be a lot of fun. We'll be toasting the winner of the Bailey's Women Prize for fiction too as the announcement will be made on 3rd June (any excuse for a slice of Chef's Bailey's Cheesecake!).

Advance notice: Great British Proms in the Park Supper Club,
1st August at 6pm

This is sure to be an early sell out event! 

After several years away, LPH Concerts are bringing the Proms back to Bedford for an evening of pomp and patriotism that the whole family can enjoy. Bedford Proms in the Park is taking place on Saturday 1st August 2015 in Bedford Park; the concert will feature the renowned London Gala Orchestra, Bedford Choral Society and guest soloists, performing popular classics and film scores. The evening will conclude with a spectacular firework finale wrapping the night up with a bang!!


 So why not make the evening more special by having Supper at the Pavilion before the music starts. You will need to purchase your Proms ticket separately but your Supper Club  booking will include a complimentary programme and reserved seating for the concert. Early booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.

Where's Wally Fun Run in the Park

Where’s Wally?

On March the 22nd, the EXCELLENT answer to the question Where’s Wally? will be ‘in Russell Park, with all the other Wallys!’

When’s Wally?  Sunday March 22nd is a very special day.

It’s your chance to leap into the pages of the famous children’s book and be part of the stripy search for Wally.

Because on March 22nd, the National Literacy Trust‘s Where’s Wally Run comes to Russell Park. We’re hoping to make Russell Park look like THIS:

We want you to take part!

Obviously you’ll need to dress like a Wally. This may come pretty naturally for some…

You can buy an ‘official Wally’ costume, or you can make your own with the help of a stripy top, a bobble hat and a pair of round glasses. (Walking cane optional, but not to be used to trip up the competition and be warned it might slow you down on the run).

Registration is open from 9.30, and the run starts at 10.30am.

It’s a family friendly event, so bring the kids, dogs, friends, grandparents and any other Wallys you can think of…

We’ll kick the day off with a very special BOOKTASTIC! storytime at 9.30, and there will be a treasure hunt organised throughout the morning for little Wallys to take part in.

We’ve enlisted the help of Gale Force Events, who are helping us with the race day organisation. The route will be three loops of Russell Park, starting from the Kiosk. You’ll do two shorter loops round the park, cutting through the mini golf course and a longer final loop that brings you back to the finish line right by the Kiosk. There will be arrows telling you where to go and various very important marshall-y high-vis vest types keeping you on the right track (quite literally)! It is a ‘fun run’, so if your idea of fun is running more than 3 loops of the park… then you are more than welcome. Walking is also an option, and obviously, we’ll have drinks and snacks on hand if you prefer to participate in a ‘Wally-Watching’ capacity,  and as an incentive to reach the finish line! Book your tickets online here.

To get a sense of how much fun the day can be, have a look at this video by Dartford Science and Technology college, who took part in the race at Victoria Park two years ago.

Why Wally?

Because you’ll be helping to raise money for the National Literacy Trust. All of the profits from the registration fees, plus any sponsorship money you raise goes to support the great work that the National Literacy Trust does in promoting literacy in deprived areas; offering literacy support and teaching to families who struggle with reading and writing.

For most of us, it’s hard to imagine just how isolating it must be to live without being able to read and write properly. In the age of information, being unable to access basic resources is crippling. But actually, one person in six in the UK lives with poor literacy. The National Literacy Trust works to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities, where up to 40 per cent of people have literacy problems. It works with schools, communities and families to encourage literacy from a young age, organising literacy projects and campaigns to make improving literacy standards a national priority.


All profits from the fun run registration fees go to support the National Literacy Trust, but if you’d like to do any additional fundraising, you can print off a sponsorship form, and there are some great tips here for fun fundraising.

And if you’ve well and truly got the running bug, why not have a look at the details for the very first Run Bedford on Sunday 7th June 2015; a fast, flat 10k road race through Bedford, starting and finishing on Bedford’s beautiful Victorian embankment: a traffic-free course takes in the town’s major roads including the High Street!

More details and how to enter that on the Gale Force Events site here.

Keep checking our blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed for more details of the best book-themed fun run you’ll EVER do.

Roaming through the Gloaming – Supper Club at the Pavilion

The adventure begins on the edge of Bedford Park. It is, in January, the Park of Darkness. You have your torch and, if you're lucky, friends enough not to let the nearby graveyard overshadow your thoughts. At 7.00 pm the bandstand shines like a Victorian beacon, proud emblem of civic pride and town planning. At 7.00 pm the Pavilion, like a trim hunting lodge hidden in the forest, beckons the nocturnal traveller.


The greeting's warm, the long tables are filling with what look like familiar faces, faces glimpsed in the park, the Corn Exchange, the Higgins'. The air is convivial, there's a camaraderie found only in mess tents or polar ice stations. People have brought their own wine and beer, corkage is £3, glasses are filled. The first course arrives when all are seated: parsnip & celeriac soup with rustic bread. It's sweet, delicious, piping hot. The conviviality grows. The service is unobtrusive, smiling, efficient. There's the feeling that this is the dinner party you'd always planned to have and now it's effortlessly taking place around you. There's the opportunity to take in your surroundings: a Bohemian scout hut, a candlelit scene taken from a page of the Ladybird Book of Glamping.

The main course arrives: roast chicken breast in a wild mushroom sauce with griddled asparagus & sauté potatoes. The chicken is perfectly done, the asparagus has a wonderfully light smoky flavour, the mushrooms remind you of the wild woods outside with their earthy darkness. It's all delicately presented, as pleasing to the eye as it is to the belly. By 9.30 we're on to the pudding: white chocolate panna cotta with poached peaches and winter fruits. It's rich and subtle and beautifully assembled. As coffee and tea is being served people begin to move from one table to another. Friends are greeted, introductions are made. By 10.30 things seem to be winding down. Emma Garrett, in charge of the Pavilion, is on hand to field questions and say goodbye.

erica bywater laughing.jpg

 Is it all worth £25 a head? Yes, for the supper, care and camaraderie. They use seasonal, free-range and locally sourced ingredients, they're getting more people into the park by day and by night. Open on Wednesday and Friday evenings the menus – which are fixed – can be found on the Pavilion's website, Facebook page and Twitter account.


Written by Stephen Bywater

Head of English, Bedford Modern School

SupperClub – the blog.


We’re getting very excited about our first Supper Club at the Park – which is on THIS FRIDAY!

That’s right – Friday night is Supper Club night!

If you’ve not heard about Supper Club yet, there’s more info here – but essentially it’s like a dinner party but a lot less hassle. 

And if you are into your food, it’s one where you might get to meet fellow foodies and get chatting about, oh, wild mushroom gathering and slow roasting pork, or perhaps the best way to poach an egg. 

There’s no pesky washing up to do afterwards, and the food is all prepared for you by our talented chefs.

The adventure – and it is that – begins when you make your way to the Pavilion through the park, bringing along your own lantern or torch. The Pavilion is open from 7, with dinner served at 7.30.

Bring your friends, make new friends, and have supper at the park. You can even bring along your own alcohol – no eye-wateringly expensive wine menu here – just a £3 corkage charge per bottle.

The menu for this Friday is: 

Parsnip & Celeriac soup with Rustic Bread

Roast chicken breast in a wild mushroom sauce with griddled asparagus & sauté potatoes.

White chocolate Panna Cotta with poached peaches and winter fruits.

Cafetiere coffee or tea. 

Tickets are £25 and are available here.

Our First Christmas at the Pavilion

We'd very much like to celebrate our first Christmas at the Pavilion in style. But, it being our first Christmas here, and having only just got up and running, we're having to start from scratch.


We've got no tree yet.

No tinsel.

And no decorations.

So we're calling on all of the crafty people of Bedford to help out! If you have a home-made decoration that you think might look nice on our tree - then bring it along! Hang it up on our tree! You have our full permission to hum Christmas tunes as you do it, just to add to the festive atmosphere. If you're a baker and could make some edible decorations to hang up, that'd be great too!

Tomorrow, on Wednesday 3rd December, we have the lovely Katy arriving with a Christmas tree - and some decorations to get us started! Katy helped us out with sourcing some of our vintage chairs and cutlery (she got them from Emmaus Village - which is always worth a visit.) In the spirit of decorating on a budget and without resorting to a trolly-dash around poundland, Katy is going to be using recycled, upcycled and some home-made decorations to make the Pavilion look merry and bright for Christmas.

Katy will be with us from 11.30, and we'd love you to come along and join us. So if you're free tomorrow, you have a handmade decoration going spare and fancy a bit of festive cheer, come down for a hot chocolate and a spot of hall-decking!

We promise to grill Katy, and everyone who helps out, for tips and techniques to make a good-looking Christmas on a budget.

It'll get you in the mood for one of Bedford's finest annual traditions, the Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul's church  - which is officially opened tomorrow by the the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis.

Tickets are £2.50 for adults and it's free for children. All proceeds go to The Bedford Hospital Trust and St Paul's church. The festival is open until December 7th.

On Friday 5 December the annual Christmas Classics concert will be held in the church, perfomed by the Ensemble of London. You can buy tickets to that here.

So basically, Wednesday 3rd December is now officially Bedford Christmas Tree Day. Get involved. Get festive. Come and see our tree!

A first review of lunch at The Pavilion...

Local foodie Dan Fattorini, (and his son Rocco) went along to review the new menu at the Pavilion.  Dan, who makes his own sausages, owns a proper pizza oven and likes to smoke meat in his free time, knows good ingredients when he sees them; so getting his approval  means something. Luckily, it seems he was 'genuinely very impressed' and we're particularly delighted with his thoughts on our Scotch Eggs.

Scotch Egg

Here's what he thought:

"Walking around Bedford and looking at so many grand Victorian buildings one can’t help but imagine the glory days of this era. Bedford Park for me provides echoes of this time with its landscaped gardens, bandstand and duck ponds. You just can’t help but think of finely dressed families with hats and parasols, promenading in the open air.

It is within this setting that “Pavilion at the Park” has launched as a new restaurant and café aiming to provide breakfasts and lunches as well as supper clubs for keen foodies. I attended the “soft launch” to sample the food and atmosphere and see what promise it may bring.

Visually, nowhere nearby can boast such a beautiful setting and as you walk up from the bandstand surrounded by the last of the autumn flowers, the Pavilion itself is framed by the symmetry of the hedges. My first thought is that this is the appeal, no cars outside or ugly buildings, but this must also be the challenge to find custom when so off the beaten track.

Stepping inside, the Pavilion has been carefully styled with a clean theme of white and duck egg blue separated by finished wood. The beautiful vaulted ceiling sits at quite a height making the space feel nice and open and yet not at all cold. It is lit simply and is decorated with selected local artwork for sale around the room. It took me some time to realise my table was an up-cycled construction of scaffolding yet it seemed to blend in to its more traditional surroundings very well.

The menu here seems to focus on quality local ingredients with flavour and hearty satisfaction very much a priority. Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch menus each focus on a few good dishes rather than trying offer all things to all people which is so refreshing to see. I opted to try the mushroom and truffle soup but couldn’t help but also try the homemade scotch egg and sausage roll as they were invitingly positioned at the counter.

The sausage roll was generously filled and moist with a beautiful flaky puff pastry casing, however the scotch egg was something quite exceptional. Restaurants can be defined by their dishes and I can see people coming from far and wide for this scotch egg. The exterior was coated in crispy Panko breadcrumbs giving a fantastic crunch without a hint of greasiness. The egg inside was a deep yellow and cooked but not dry with a porky surround that was meaty and tasty yet not salty or over seasoned.

My soup was rich and a filling meal in itself, served with toasted ciabatta drizzled in a quality olive oil. This wasn't a mere light offering and a full dose of truffle was evident while the soup texture was thick and rustic rather than smooth and refined. My dining companion was my two year old son and he selected from a simple range of children’s favourites. 

Eating here is a real treat for children, but it's homemade treat food, not deep fried trash; this should sit the pavilion in good stead with local families.

Eating here is a real treat for children, but it’s homemade treat food, not deep fried trash; this should sit the pavilion in good stead with local families.

More generally there are pies, Lingers sausages, salads, paninis and fish dishes but the menu will change and evolve with the season and ingredients.

The menu is nicely placed to be able to fulfil a variety of tastes and scenarios while still fitting on one page. Traditional breakfasts progress on to exciting brunch offerings with a range of lunches that could suit a quick stop off and eat, or a more extended meal.

The supper club idea promises to bring something very different and may provide an exciting walk in the dark though the park but will be offered by arrangement in advance rather than a regularly dinner spot. Beers and wines and not currently available but supper clubs will allow a bring your own. Should an alcohol license be granted the opportunity for an afternoon Prosecco may just be the icing on the cake for the local ladies!"

We'd love to hear what you thought if you've tried out the new menu - we want to know what you think! Tweet us @BedfordPavilion or leave a review on our Facebook page here.

Happy dining! 


Sausage rolls
Sausage rolls

Chef Jonny with those sausage rolls...

Children in Need fundraiser at the park!

Children in Need 2014 poster It is that time of year again! Yes, it does come round quickly, and yes, you will need to dig out the following:

A onesie - your ticket to a free drink!* (only if you actually wear the thing to the park. None of this stuffing it in a carrier bag and trying to surreptitiously half-wear it. Be proud of your fleecy animal suit.)

*we donate the cost of your drink to Children in Need, so the more onesies the merrier!

Your estimating skills you'll need them for guessing the weight of the cake, (baked by the brilliant Karen of Karen's cakes and bakes) and the name of the teddy - the winning guessers get to take the cake and thee bear home!

As much cash as you can get your hands on. That is, afterall, the point. Children in Need is a brilliant cause to support with your children. This year the theme is about being a hero and raising as much money as you can.

Bring your capes. And possibly some lycra.

Be A Hero

The highlights of our morning:

At 9.45 the Theatre Train company are coming to run an excellent singing, drama and dance workshop for the under 5's.

There's lots more information about the wonderful Theatre Train workshops and classes here.

At 11.30 we've got more entertainment with Theatre Bugs who are hosting an interactive puppet show, complete with shakers, bubbles, singing and dancing.

The workshops cost just a £1 donation each, which all goes to Children in Need.

There will be special edition edible wands and Nikki's Gluten Free cupcakes for sale, and a coin Pudsey, which we'll be aiming to fill with as much change as we can. (Check your sofas, pockets and the coin jars! Raid the piggy banks!)


And to top it all off, we've got a colouring competition with the chance to win some great colouring goodies!

Oh, and don't let the weather worry you. If it rains, we'll put up a tent to keep the workshops dry, and we've got plenty of blankets and hot water bottles to keep fundraisers happy. That's essential.

Other fab things to do to raise some much-needed cash:
Download the official Children in Need single here
Have a look in the official Children in Need shop here
To get you in the mood, here's the video of the Children in Need song 2014: by Gareth Malone and an all-star choir, no less!





Bedford Film Festival & some exciting news!

We've been quiet here for a while, but that's not because we've run out of things to talk about, or because Bedford has stopped being a tip-top place to be; we've just been busy. But we had to break radio silence to talk about the second annual Bedford Film Festival - which takes place this weekend at The Higgins! And in particular we wanted to draw your attention to the event tomorrow morning from 9.30 - a screening of Disney's Aladdin - with super-duper creative workshop afterwards hosted by the brilliant Circus of Illustration. Book your tickets online here - perfect Saturday morning entertainment for the kids!

It's Robin William's magnificent performance as the Genie of the lamp that makes the film a better than average Disney movie, but there is also a feisty Princess, suitably evil villain and a lovable monkey sidekick - what better way to remember the much-missed Williams than watching him triumph as the irreverent, all-singing, all-dancing Genie?


There are lots of great films for the grown-ups too: don't miss the chance to see the critically acclaimed performance by Emma Watson in Palo Alto  - a full three weeks ahead of general release! The closing feature on Sunday evening is a hotly-anticipated fictitious documentary 20,000 days on earth  -24 hours in the life of musician and international cultural icon Nick Cave. It stars Nick Cave, Kylie Minogue and Warren Ellis. The screening is at 8.30pm - but come along to the drinks reception in the courtyard of The Higgins from 7pm to celebrate the final screening of the festival - mayor Dave Hodgson will be coming along to say a few words.

The Bedford Film Festival gang will be the first people to use brand shiny new permanent cinema facilities which have been installed by Bedford Borough Council and include a projector platform and window for anyone wanting to screen films at the venue.  This is really exciting for all film fans in Bedford: the Higgins is a great venue, and we look forward to many  more cinematic events there.

And our big news is that a NEW, IMPROVED AND VERY FANCY website is on the way - very soon. More blogs, more news, more brilliant illustrations of coffee cups. We'll be making a big old fuss about that in a couple of weeks on social media, so keep watching the Facebook page and Twitter feed. (Not constantly, obviously, We don't want to be responsible for any square eyes, missed social events or burnt-out batteries.)

Thanks to everyone who has ever read this blog, shared it, written a guest post or just laughed at one of our poorer jokes. See you over at the new online HQ very soon.

Best wishes and biscuits, the Kiosk at the Park team. xx

Branching out into Bedford Park

  logo window

Saturday 17th May is a very special day for the Kiosk at the Park team - we're officially opening up 'Window at the Park' at the side of the Pavilion in Bedford Park! Not to be confused with the cricket pavilion, this iconic building was built by Coleman and Fathers in 1888 and cost £400! When it first opened it was used as a public rest room, which also served refreshments through an open window. The building was used as a café until 1980. It was then restored and reopened in 1986, operating until 2003. After this, it was opened at weekends through the summer and local churches served afternoon tea to hungry park-goers until 2011. We are thrilled to have been awarded the contract to operate out of this stunning building and look forward to providing a focal point for Bedford's beautiful listed park. Pavillion logo

As part of our opening festivities, we've got LOADS of treats lined up for visitors - including:

BumbleBees Forest School, running nature themed art and crafts activities

The wonderful Kris from The Frog's Chorus singing and entertaining small people (so big people can enjoy coffee and cake in peace!)

Flynn the Bin Elf and the street rangers - on hand for litter-picking fun

Sensational Sophie and her fabulous face-painting factory

We'll be handing out mini Sweetlix party bags (while stocks last!)

pavillion party bags

And, of course, it goes without saying - there will be free cake!!  Designed and created by the marvellous Karen Bland!

We're also welcoming Bronwen, one of our superstar storytellers from Kiosk at the Park, who is going to be running a weekly tots activity session: Bronwen's Pavilion Playtime - which starts after half term.

Pavilion Playtime

We're really looking forward to our new adventures in Bedford Park - and can't wait to serve lots of new customers, as well as catching up with familiar faces from the Kiosk.  We are open to suggestions so please let us know your thoughts!  The success of the Kiosk at the Park stems from the community of people who have made it such a vibrant, buzzy place - and we're hoping that The Window will help enhance the Bedford Park community in the same way.  We look forward to serving great coffee, homemade cakes, giant cookies, great cups of tea, FROZEN YOGHURT (yes, really!) and delicious panini and sandwiches supplied by Roosters.  Lets hope the weather forecast is accurate - if so, the sun should definitely be shining!

'Window at The Park' will be officially opened by Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson at 10am.

You can find us on Facebook

And on Twitter

But most importantly, we're in the park, every day. From 8.30-6.00, (9.30 at weekends).

sign goes up

flowers at the pavillion


Bedford Regatta 2014 Preview - from a Junior Rower

We can’t wait to see the river flooded (sorry!) with teams entering the 150th Anniversary Regatta this Saturday 10th May! With Classic Cars set to add a new dimension to the day, it promises to be one to remember! And now that Kiosk at The Park is on hand to dish out Marshmallow Mountains and Malteser Squares to the exhausted and elated – everyone will be happy!

The Women's Tour races in to town!

In the UK, cycling is one of the fastest growing sports. This is helped, clearly, by the fact that we are really quite good at it (as a nation, that is; we're not trying to pretend that the Kiosk at the Park team are a finely-tuned racing squad. Yet.) So this week, Bedford really is lucky. We host day two of the Women's Tour 2014. On Thursday, May 8th, the best female cyclists in the world are going to hurtle down Kimbolton Road, along Park Avenue, up DeParys Avenue, down the High Street and the finishing straight is along the Embankment. Here's a taster of the action:

You can download the map of stage two, and find out the best places for watching the action of the Hinkley-Bedford race here.

The racing will be fantastic, as the standard of the competitors will be world-class. If the thought of the Tour coming to town has inspired to get on your bike then get down to the Cycle Marketplace at St Paul's square, organised by Bedford Sustrans, which will run from 10am until 4pm. It will include everything you need to get you up and pedalling, safely:  free checks of your bike to make sure it is road-worthy, free NHS health checks, copies of the new walking and cycling map of Bedford and Kempston and details of the free Adult Cycling Confidence Course that Sustrans run.

There will also be representatives from several local cycling clubs and a triathlon club, as well as Bedford's cycling campaign group that you can talk to about their activities, rides and memberships, as well as refurbished bikes for sale.

And the ultimate incentive to pedal just that little bit faster: the chance to have a go on the cycle-powered smoothie bike!

Smoothie bike



We've been pinning some lovely stylish cycling-themed stuff to our online pinboard here - follow Kiosk at the Park on Pinterest for more!

And if you fancy getting into the Tour spirit and making some flags to wave on the finishing straight - we've found a tutorial to make some racing ones here!


Look out for Tuesday and Wednesday's cycling themed blogs here too - we've got loads of good things to inspire you to get on your bike!

Time to get cracking: plans for the Easter Holidays!

It's the school holidays. It's time to think up a million and one interesting things to do without breaking the bank, or indeed, your sanity. Well, we've got ten things to get you thinking. And if you need more thinking time, come and do it in the fresh air at the Kiosk, with a piece of cake and a restorative hot drink. That's the best way to think, we find.

1. Go to the swings: visit the new playground at Russell Park. It's ACE. And frankly, if a slide is good enough for Dave the Mayor, (yes, he really did!) it's good enough for all of us...


2. Go to the theatre: check out the great kids theatre that's on over the next few weeks at University of Bedfordshire Theatre - the programme includes a production of The Just So Stories by Red Table Theatre on Sunday 6th April, 


3. Go on an Easter egg hunt! Eggsplore is a new Easter Egg hunt around Bedford town centre on 12th April  -start at the BedPop shop (the old Pizza Hut building on the High Street) anytime between 10am and 3pm. For more info, check out their Facebook page here. There is also a bunny hunt for little ones, the Circus of Illustration will be on hand for drawing-based fun, and you can collect discounts at independents along the hunt!

4. Get on your bikes! Take the section of route 51 between Priory Country Park and Willington to the Danish Camp and burn off the pre-Easter snack-fest. (This option has the added bonus of wearing the kids out. At least for a bit!)

5. Visit our little free library! If you are doing a spot of spring cleaning, why not sort the books you've read but would love other people to read too - and donate them! You can swap them for other reading adventures-in-waiting.

6. Run away to the circus - at Willington!  Frosts Garden Centre at Willington are hosting a circus! Between Tuesday 15th and Sunday 20th April , with performances at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm & 4.30pm. Book tickets (£5.99 per person) here.


7. Go to the movies!(for less.) The showings at Cineworld on Saturday mornings are just £1.50! And on Saturday 5th April, these include: Sherman and Mr Peabody, Frozen and Justin and the Knights of Valour! More info here, but we advise you book online to avoid disappointment and popcorn-grief.

8. Go to the Museum! The Higgins is a great day out anyway - but during the holidays they have loads of extra creative activities including workshops where you can try watercolour paintings (8th April) or build a (model) tractor, (11th April) or learn all about wool, (15th April) or find out which trees different wood comes from, (9th April) and then a chance to bring the foyer of the museum into bloom with by making paper daffodils and flowers. (16th April). All workshops are suitable for children over 3, and cost £2.20 per child. More details here.

9. Bake a cake! If you need any inspiration, why not check out one of our favourite websites they draw and Beautifully illustrated recipes, and a great way of engaging kids.

10. Build something incredible from Lego.  Anyone who fancies building a tiny version of Kiosk in The Park is very welcome to try! Here are the treats ready for you...








Doodles at The Kiosk - for charity!

It's NATIONAL DOODLE DAY tomorrow! What a wonderful national celebration - all in aid of the Epilepsy Action  charity. Doodling is fab, because even if you're not the finest artist in the universe, you can still do a very brilliant doodle. And, it helps pass the time in life's less-interesting scenarios too. (Afterall, who HASN'T drawn a masterpiece or three whilst on hold on the phone to a Very Dull Call Centre?) national_doodle_day_logo

So we've decided to celebrate the day of the doodle too. All day at The Kiosk at the Park, there will be paper, pens, and space on the doodle doors. (That's just the regular door of the Kiosk, by the way.) If you, your child, your dog or your arty friend want to pop by and draw a doodle, we'll stick it to out doodle doors. We'll even pick a winner! If you do draw a doodle, we'll ask that you leave a doodle donation in the pot, which we'll send off to Epilepsy Action.

If you can't make it to the Kiosk - you can still join in. There are forms available to download on the website here, which you can send off with a donation to be entered into the National Doodle Day competition! - You could even win your doodle made into a cuddly reality by Lucy Moose!


And National Doodle Day is made even more delightful by the involvement of the legendary Lord Dodo,

The famous Dodo-Pad

manufacturer of the very finest Dodo Pads, eminently suitable for doodling!

If you need some inspiration, just look what local illustrator David Litchfield achieved when he did a drawing a day for a year.

Microchipping at The Kiosk


The Kiosk at the Park is not only a haven for small children, parents, grandparents, walkers and runners, we're also a very friendly dog cafe (and by that, we don't mean that dogs are on the menu, obviously. Just to clear that up...).  We have a water bowl, a supply of dog-poo disposal bags and dog biscuits at the ready for your four-legged friends - the park is definitely a popular dog hangout!

And as if that wasn't enough, from 11am-3pm Wednesday 3rd March, the team from Dogs Trust will be coming along to The Kiosk to offer FREE microchipping for your dog!

There are loads of reasons to microchip your pet, but the main one is that if they wander off (as dogs do) they can be easily returned to you! For more benefits of microchipping your pet, have a look at this page from the RSPCA, or this from Dogs Trust.  Also take a look at the council's leaflet on Dog Control Orders for some more tips on how to reduce the chance of losing your dog.

This is a great opportunity to get your dog microchipped - and the perfect excuse to treat yourself to coffee and cake at the same time!  Microchipping will soon be compulsory in the UK, so make the most of this initiative and come down to the Kiosk and get it done for free!

dogs-21 (1)


Little Free Library at the Kiosk at the Park

Our very own little free library in situ at The Kiosk Those of you who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will know that we've had a book-themed plot up our sleeves for a while now - but if you've not heard the news - a Little Free Library is now in situ at Kiosk at the Park! Masterminded by local book enthusiast Rachael Rogan, it's a free community library - on a very small scale. We asked Rachael to tell us about the inspiration behind her idea of bringing the Little Free Library to Bedford, and what plans she had for it:

"When I first read about the Little Free Library movement I felt the surge of excitement normally reserved for the release of the latest Neil Gaiman novel. A friend, knowing of my love for all things book-like, pointed me to the growing number of over-sized birdhouses popping up across the US, housing books for locals to freely take, enjoy, return or exchange. As she said, “It seems like your kind of thing Rach…”. A dollhouse filled with books? What’s not to fall deeply in love with, begin obsessing over and make your latest mission?

On further reading I discovered that, not only was it deeply exciting, but it had a broader mission - to promote four of my favourite things: a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults, and libraries. By this stage I was hyperventilating and only dogs could hear me. Of course, the first step, ‘Build a library’, was fairly problematic, given that I have absolutely no skills in the rather necessary areas of carpentry, joinery, making things waterproof…

Luckily, an idea like this seems to attract the interest of other like-minded souls. And when one of those souls, local Handy Man Marc Simpson, happens to be something of a Grand Vizier of Craftsmanship, the result is a thing of beauty worthy of housing Bedford’s favourite books. A random text to local High Priestess of Horticulture (and Gardening Editor at The Guardian) Jane Perrone along the lines of “Oooh, wouldn’t it be cool if the Little Free Library had a green roof??” led to a Marc/Jane collaboration, which led to the creation of a living canopy. And a hesitant, “Do you think The Kiosk would like a Little Free Library..?” to Coffee Overlords Emma Garrett and Nansi Rose, provided it with a loving home.

In fact, from that first over-excited, optimistic moment, the Little Free Library has taken on a life of it’s own. As word has spread the book donations have flooded in – beloved favourites from locals, contributions from authors, even packages from publishers. However, it’s important that the library starts as it means to go on - something created by everyone, for everyone. So when the Library arrives at it’s new home after storytime at The Kiosk at The Park on Monday, it will be empty. We’re inviting you to fill the library with your favourite books in time for the big launch on Saturday 22nd February.

Do you have a book that you go back to again and again? Something you’d like to share with friends - and soon-to-be-friends? Spread the love – become part of the Little Free Library movement! "

Another local bookworm, aged 8, has already got going on that last very important bit - filling the Little Free Library with great books - and has made a list of five of her all-time favourites:

Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson

Atticus Claw Breaks the Law by Jennifer Gray

Alfie gets in First by Shirley Hughes

All time favourites of an 8 year old

We've found that all of these are available second-hand from Amazon Marketplace OR on Ebay, for the princely sum of between 1p and 50p, plus postage. Which is an excellent way to ensure that the Little Free Library stocks great recommendations, if you want to lend your favourite stories without having to donate your own copies.

The Grand Opening (including ceremonious cutting of the ribbon by exciting local Bedford book-celebrity!) of Bedford’s first Little Free Library will take place at 10:30 am on Saturday 22nd February.  Please join us for free 'Hungry Caterpillar' cake and try your hand at designing your own bookplate.

And, if you can't wait til the weekend, don't forget, The Library is now in place at The Kiosk at the Park (Russell Park) and the books are already flying in and off the shelves!

We've been collecting some beautiful pictures of Little Free Libraries on Pinterest - have a look at some amazing ones here! Please spread the word that the Little Free Library movement has come to Bedford - and share your books with us!

Summer opening times

pavilion open 9-5pm
the window stays open until 6pm

last food orders 3:30pm

Autumn opening times
as of October 1st

pavilion open 9-4pm
the window stays open until 5pm

last food orders 3:15pm

Mondays: Café opens at 10am

we are open 7 days a week and dogs are welcome on our heated veranda during the winter months

We occasionally close early for private bookings. Please always call us to book a table & avoid being disappointed!

01234 351104

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