I’ve heard the Secret Garden café is closing. Is this true and when will it close?

 Yes this is true. The last day of trading by the existing operators of the café will be Sunday 30th October. There will then be a temporary period of closure before a new operator can commence trading. This is likely to be in the New Year.


Why did the existing operators not want to continue with the café?

The current operators have a parent company that has expanded significantly since they started the Secret Garden Café back in 2012. They have taken the decision to now focus efforts on their core business.


Where can I get refreshments in the park while the Secret Garden Café is closed?

 The Summerhouse Café and Pettigrew Tea Rooms will continue to trade as normal within the closure period so hot and cold refreshments are still available within the park and there are additional catering offers at buildings close to the park’s edge.


What will happen to the toilets?

 The external courtyard toilets are cleaned and managed by the café operators as a condition of the lease and therefore these toilets will be closed while the café is closed. The Council have explored keeping these toilets open under a different management regime but, regrettably, for financial and operational reasons this is not feasible.

The operators of the café also clean and manage the public toilets inside the next door Education Centre Building as a condition of the lease. However, we are pleased to confirm the Council have been able to find a viable alternative management regime for these toilets during the café closure period. The toilets inside the Education Centre will be open while the building is open to the public, i.e. 12 – 3pm 7 days a week.


When will the café open again and what affect does this have on the Education Centre?

We can’t give a definite answer on when the café will open again but as soon as a timescale is available communication will be updated. To give some guidance it is anticipated the café will re-open sometime in the New Year.

The operation of the Education Centre is unaffected and the building will remain open 12 – 3pm 7 days a week unless otherwise stated. Groups looking to hire space at the Education Centre who historically have bought catering from the café will be offered alternative options during the closure period. Once the café re-opens the offer of beverages and buffet catering to groups hiring the building will resume.

The Council and Bute Park team would like to reassure people that our priority is to secure a high standard of catering provision at the café as soon as is possible. We are grateful for the understanding and cooperation of park users in the meantime, and apologise for any inconvenience caused.