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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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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...

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

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!

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...








Hedgehog Mania!

So we told you that we were planning a hedgehog-themed event. Missed that? Catch up with hedgehog news AND an exclusive interview with local illustrator Kitty Dinners here. Well, we got rather carried away, and made it an even MORE exciting event! If you've got school-age kids, it's that point in the holidays where the children are getting a bit...restless (have we put that politely enough?). So we've put together a programme of events to suit all kinds of wriggly children (and hedgehogs.) The date to remember is Wednesday 28th August! Hedgehog in the wild!

The emphasis of HedgehogMania is on creating a mascot for the Kiosk: Russell the Hedgehog. We want your input! What does Russell look like? What are his favourite Kiosk snacks? And who does he hang out with? Katy Dynes (aka Kitty Dinners) will be on hand from 10am for drawing, collage-making and colouring. We've got handy hedgehog templates for less-confident artists, and lots of paper, pens and sparkly stuff to decorate your creations.

At 10.30 we have our guests of honour: visitors from Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital, with an African Pygmy Hedgehog called Honey! They'll be showing off the tiny hedgehog, as well as giving advice on what to do if you find an injured or orphaned hedgehog, and what to feed any spiky visitors to your garden on to keep them healthy.

We'll have a brief pause about 10.50 for drinks and snacks, as you'll need to be sitting comfortably for 11am when we are VERY lucky to be welcoming storyteller Jane Lambourne. Jane specialises in nature-based storytelling, and believes that 'every place has a story to tell' - so she's the perfect person to help us shape some stories and ideas about the wildlife around the Kiosk. This should be one very special storytime at the Kiosk!

Baby African Pygmy Hedgehog

From 11.30 until 12.30 there'll be more opportunities to create your own version of Russell - the winning design will be made into an actual soft toy mascot by Katy - so it's worth having a go - you could be designing a really special hedgehog! As well as craft, there will be facepainting (free!), hedgehog biscuit* decoration (small charge per biscuit). All profits and any other donations from HedgehogMania will go to the Shepreth Hedgehogs - wristbands will also be available for pocket-money prices.

If this has tickled your fancy for all things hedgehog - this is a good place for finding out more 'hog-info.

Oh, and if you've got any soft toys or books that need a change of scene (hedgehog themed or otherwise), bring them along on Wednesday for The Great Kiosk Cuddly Toy & Book Swap - a great way to rejuvenate the playroom!

Sometimes it is wrong to resist pictures of hedgehogs in knitted hats. This is one of those times.

Also on Wednesday is a public consultaion about the exciting new play equipment that will replace the old timber-frame multi-play units in the playground area. The organisers want your ideas, and your childrens' design for a 'signature piece' - designed to the specification of the many young children who play in this part of the playground. The meeting will be held from 12-3 in the play area - please pop along and help shape the future of our park!

See you on Wednesday!

*that's a biscuit in the shape of a hedgehog, rather than a biscuit for a hedgehog, in case you were wondering!

The Higgins is Amazing...

Very exciting day in Bedford today: the opening of The Higgins! Read all about Paula Walker's preview for The Bedford Clanger here! The Higgins is open all day and evening to celebrate the longest day of the year. Will you be heading down?

Walk to Work Week (and the offer of free flapjack!)

This week, May 13th-17th is National Walk to Work Week! What a great thing. Walking to work is good for you in MANY ways. Not only are you getting some exercise, it is good for the environment, free, and a nice chunk of time to listen to music, or make long lists of stuff to do, construct Grand Plans or just have a good old daydream. All of which are very important. And just think of all the vitamin D you are absorbing on the way. In a way, walking to work is the ultimate way to multi-task.


And one other bonus - all this week, you can claim a free flapjack with any hot drink  if you are walking to work past the Kiosk! Just come and see us. Our flapjacks are full of oaty goodness to power you on your way to work. Just what you need!


Racing on the River


It is not every town that boasts an embankment and river quite as stunning as the one here in Bedford. It's so easy to take the river for granted if you live nearby; rushing past it on your way to school and work all the time. But this weekend is one of the weekends when the river really comes into its own. This Saturday (11th May) Bedford will host the largest one-day regatta in the country; a regatta with a long and wonderful history. The Bedford Regatta celebrates its 149th birthday this year, with a race every two minutes between 8.15am and 7.30pm, and over 1,500 competitors from all over the country.

The 1200m course begins at County bridge, and crews race under the town bridge down to the finish line just by the Suspension Bridge; making it an excellent regatta to come and watch, and you can admire the wonderful display of tulips in the flowerbeds along the embankment at the same time!

If you'd like a closer look at some of the trophies on offer, you can walk along to the enclosure, just near the Suspension Bridge. For the price of a race programme (£1.50) you can come and wander around the enclosure, where there will also be a barbecue and fully licensed bar to enjoy! It's also a great chance to meet and chat to some of the competitors and get to know a bit more about the sport of rowing, and how you can get involved.


Rowing used to be seen as a bit of an elitist sport - strictly the territory of public schools and Oxbridge. And whilst these institutions have a vibrant rowing history, the future of rowing is far more open to all. Bedford sports not one, but two rowing clubs, who come together to organize the regatta along with the Harpur Trust. Both Bedford Rowing Club and Star Rowing Club are open to any new members, from total beginners to seasoned professionals wanting to get back on the water. They also work with local state schools to get more children into the sport. Interested? Why not come along on Saturday to get a glimpse of what you could achieve with a little hard work, dedication and a LOT of flapjack!


Bedford has a proud history of rowing alumni, including Tim Foster, Olympic gold medalist who trained at Bedford Modern and Star Club. You could be watching the next generation of Olympic rowers whilst sitting serenely on the embankment sipping your Kiosk Ethical Addictions coffee and munching on one of Barbara's flapjacks (endorsed by many a hungry rower.)

We picked the brains of David Dixon, President of Star Club for the crews to watch this year. He recommended trying to catch the Elite 8s race between Christ Church college Oxford and Kingston Rowing Club at 2.38pm. The Christ Church boat should contain 4 members of this years' victorious Oxford boat race crew - which basically makes it a rowing-celebrity boat. It should be a great race, and the final of the Elite mens' 8 category is the last race of the day, at 7.30pm. There's plenty of local interest too, as Bedford Rowing Club, Star Club, Bedford Modern, Bedford School and Bedford Girls School all have crews taking part, and there should be some good clashes to test local loyalties. Race commentary will be provided throughout the day, keeping you up to date with exactly who it is flying down the River Ouse.

Bedford Regatta 1851 c) Cecil Higgins Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

This painting is of a regatta on Bedford river in 1851, just a few years before the first official Bedford Regatta began. Maybe it will be hanging in the newly renovated Higgins? (opening June 21st - also very exciting!)

Storytime at The Kiosk

The latest in our line-up of SuperStar Storytellers at The Kiosk will be none other than Alex Levene, director of The Place Theatre. Alex has read at Storytime before, so is a seasoned professional. Do not be alarmed by his beard. Or his paper hat. Or, his expression in this photo. He is an actor, OK? Image

Storytime will be at The Kiosk at 9.30am, bank holiday Monday - 6th May. The weather forecast is great for once*- so kick off your Bank Holiday with a brilliant story session and a early energy burst for the kids in the park. Coffee, tea, cakes and cookies will be on hand, as well as milk and biscuits for the children. Dogs, bikes, scooters, mums, dads, brothers, sisters and grandparents all very welcome.

Alex will not only be reading a story, but also announcing some VERY special news about a brand new and very exciting project coming to The Kiosk this summer. Be the first to know the news. We are, quite frankly, GIDDY with excitement...

*That's our final word on the matter in case we accidentally jinx the good weather.

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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