Five of the best summer museum cafés

We pick some of the best places to go to for a brief respite from enjoying art in the lovely weather.


The Orangery Café

  • Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Cornwall
  • Free entry with National Art Pass

Located at Penlee House, an Italianate villa, the Orangery Café offers lunches and teas with home-baked cakes. It has a sunny terrace that overlooks the park, which is full of lush trees and shrubs. The park itself is ideal for quiet contemplative strolls, as it is a memorial and sensory garden, as well as having a play area for children.



  • Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
  • 50% off entry with National Art Pass

Right next to the coast, Webbe’s offers a breathtaking view of the sea while you enjoy the café's fantastic menu. The menu is made with local ingredients, such as locally caught fish by the Hastings fishing fleet. Enjoy the terrace with a board of smoked seafood and some Prosecco, or smoked haddock cakes and soft leek dressed with kipper sauce.


The Whitaker Café

  • The Whitaker, Lancashire
  • Free entry to all, 10% off café purchases with National Art Pass

Enjoy the scenery at Rossendale Valley while you munch on delicious sandwiches and cakes at the Whitaker Café. The menu is split between 'tartines' - meals served in hollowed-out bread - and tasting boards of assorted meats and seafood. It boasts a friendly atmosphere and Victorian grandeur, making it ideal for a relaxed lunch, or an afternoon tea.


The Stables Café

  • Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
  • Free entry with National Art Pass

The Stables Café is located just a short walk from the manor built by Ferdinand de Rothschild in Louis XIV's style. It is housed in the old stables, painted in light colours and furnished to give off a contemporary look but maintaining the original architecture features. As of May 2016 there is a new lunch and tea menu, with soups, sandwiches, deli boards, and burgers, as well as popular options for the little ones.


The WaterShard Café & Kitchen

  • IWM North, Greater Manchester
  • 50% off exhibitions and 15% off café purchases with National Art Pass

The WaterShard Café is just the right spot for a break during your visit at the Imperial War Museum. It overlooks The Quays, has activities for the kids, and a wonderful selection of snacks, sandwiches and hot meals. Care for a harissa spiced chicken burger, or a crayfish and lime mayonnaise sandwich?

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