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Pavilion at the Park Bedford

Bedford Park

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

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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!





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!

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!

Women and Girls Sport Festival !

If your New Years Resolution to get fit has taken something of a bashing already, how about finding some new ways of exercising and keeping active? Tomorrow, The Bunyan Centre hosts the second annual Women and Girls Sports Festival, aimed at encouraging more women and girls to take up sport, and demonstrating what activities are available locally. It runs from  11.00am until 4.00pm. It's a free event and you are welcome to drop in at any time and stay for as long as you wish to learn about and try a huge range of activities including:


•Wheelchair basketball




•Nordic walking




•Line Dancing

What a brilliant opportunity for girls of all ages to try out some interesting sports and activities. Everyone is welcome, from budding Olympic stars to those of us who last played netball, badly, in 1998. For more infomation and the full programme, read more here

women and girls in sport

Bedford Film Festival - Supporting Film Variety

More exciting news on the 'interesting things to do at the weekend in Bedford' front! Did you know that Bedford now has its very own FILM FESTIVAL? And it is taking place from 27th-29th September - that's right - this weekend! This exciting proposition was dreamed up just a couple of months ago by a small group of friends who wanted a bit more variety in the range of films being shown in Bedford. Cineworld is great, and all, but national chain multiplexes don't always scream 'variety'. Film festival founding member Paul says: "The ethos behind Bedford Film Festival is variety. We didn’t want to focus on one genre or subject because variety is after all what makes Bedford great... Documentaries aboutHip Hop, Snow Boarding, Adam Ant’s battle with depression, and legendary recording studios, help give us a reality check with uplifting and inspiring true stories before we escape into feature films from Britain, Cuba and the US."

As well as the films themselves (full programme here) the team have also organised workshops and talks, including a visit from Martin Stellman, writer of Quadrophenia, talking about the classic film and its legacy. There are lots of opportunities for film students to learn skills such as lighting a set, or make up for films. These workshops will be run by industry experts and exclusive to Bedford Film Festival - an opportunity not to be missed!

Kiosk at the Park had a good nosey around the programme for the weekend, and we've decided that our must-see-three are:

Wayland's Song - a film shot in Bedford! This is exciting on many levels, but playing spot-the-location is going to be particulaly fun! There is also the fact that this is directed by one of the founding members of Bedford Film Festival, Richard Jobson.

For the kids: Turbo - the story of a speed-freak snail who likes to live life in the fast lane! This is being shown 3 weeks ahead of its general release - so you'll need to get in the fast lane yourself to see it - tickets are selling quickly! It's being shown at 1pm on Saturday 28th at The Higgins. Book tickets online here.


For the bigger kids, we love the look of Dead Cat, a film about childhood sweethearts reunited in their 30s and trying to figure out whether it is love, or merely nostalgia. Described as:

"Directed by Stefan Georgiou and starring Sebastian Armesto (both hotly tipped in Screen International’s Star of Tomorrow 2011), Dead Cat is a winsome, entertaining take on contemporary relationships, and a breezy shot in the arm for British comedy."

Dead Cat

But to be honest, they all look good. And this is a rare opportunity to see a wonderful variety of films in great local locations. Hurrah for Bedford Fim Festival!

If you'd like to get into the spirit by purchasing some popcorn, don't forget we sell Portlebay Popcorn in a variety of delicious flavours here at the Kiosk! Pop down and get some ready for the weekend...

One of those simple things in life that just seems to make you smile!

An afternoon at The Higgins

Are you excited about the re-opening of The Higgins ? We were! So on a very sunny Sunday, we went to have a nose around. The new look museum and gallery is light, airy and beautifully laid out. The courtyard entrance, decorated with brightly coloured bunting and which hosts a lovely cafe, is the perfect welcome. It was great to see some community art projects alongside beautiful works by Edward Burne-Jones, Rosetti and William Burges. The 'A Sense of Place' exhibition was curated by artists Alex Julyan and Lucy Wilson and brings together works by ten different community groups, all exploring their sense of 'place.'  It is part of The Higgins’ Audience Development Project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. All of the groups have all had a relationship with The Higgins for some time and include family carers, from Carers in Bedford, (read more about the group here) adults with learning disabilities, first-generation Italian migrants, members of the Polish British Integration Centre and people in new housing area, Wixhams.

You can see more work by Carers in Bedfordshire at the Tourist Information Office from 21st May 2013 until the 25th July 2013 and then at Borough Hall from 25th July 2013 until 1st October 2013.

Here are a few highlights of a lovely day out in Bedford's Cultural Quarter.

Higgins 1


higgins 2

Higgins 3

If you are worried about whether it is wise to take children to a museum, then take a look at this 'colouring station' - loads of sheets to colour so that your offspring can 'redesign' some of the artwork without being evicted from the premesis. A good range of well-sharpened colouring pencils too: no blunt crayons here!

higgins 6

There is also a brilliant afternoon tea section with lovely tea sets and cake stands for the kids to play with whilst you learn about the local origins of this great British tradition, and a dressing up box full of bonnets, top hats and long gloves for children to try on.


The exhibition of William Burges' painted furniture; his Sleeping Beauty bed and Narcissus mirror were a particular highlight, as was the Edward Bawden exhibition, and The Great Bedfordians section. And there is a great history of the British Afternoon Tea ritual (of which we are known to be partial to at The Kiosk.) Oh, and a porcelain cauliflower. You don't see many of those. The gift shop has got some lovely items, and enough pocket-money buys to keep the smaller visitors satisfied. It is also worth noting that The Higgins offers rooms and gallery space to hire out for events;  it would make the perfect venue for meetings, workshops and other events - there are concessionary rates for charities. See here for details.

All in all, The Higgins is a triumph, and a credit to Bedford. We can't wait to go back for more!

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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