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Working lunch, Rothamsted, Harpenden

The Rothamsted café is the perfect place for a healthy, quick and easy lunch in Harpenden. Great spot for homeworkers!

I’ve found a good place for lunch. If you’ve ever driven past West Common between Harpenden and St Albans, and wondered what goes on inside Rothamsted Research, I can let you in on a secret. There’s a café and restaurant for the scientists and all the other staff who work there, and it’s open to the public. If you fancy healthy, tasty food cooked from scratch that’s amazingly good value, I recommend it. It’s great for homeworkers: somewhere to pop out before cabin fever sets in. You can watch other people having meetings and debate whether it’s better to work for yourself at home, or would it actually make a nice change to get out every day and be part of a team?

I don’t know whether the good folk at Rothamsted will appreciate me saying this, but it’s also a rather good place for a meeting. All the usual hot beverages are available, and a range of cakes, brownies and shortbread. Here is the quesadilla that I had for lunch. It was absolutely delicious and zingily fresh. I’ve included the blackboard with prices – what’s not to like?

This is a good spot before or after walking your dog – countryside surrounds it, although you’ll have to leave your dog in the car. For parents with buggies, this is a great place! There is so much room, you’ll love it. And, while I realise this it’s boring, but it’s good to mention it, there’s lots of free parking.

For those of you who don’t know Harpenden, Rothamsted is the world’s oldest agricultural research centre, and was founded by John Lawes, who also lived in Rothamsted Manor, now a fabulous wedding and party venue. You can walk up to the manor house and admire it from the outside.

If you want to see the splendour within, pop along on Sat 17 and Sun 18 March, for the open days being hosted together with Tipis4Hire, with refreshments, and there may even be music. I went to one last year and it was great. While there were lots of visitors who were planning weddings and parties, the invitation to come and have a look around is extended to anyone who fancies a snoop. Dogs are also welcome although they may be asked to stay outside. The interior is spectacular.

To find the café for lunch, or a post school run coffee and cake, drive into Rothamsted and head for the Conference Centre.

Rothamsted Centre West Common, Harpenden AL5 2JQ

Rothamsted Manor    Rothamsted Manor Open Days


Find more ideas here


4 comments on “Working lunch, Rothamsted, Harpenden”

  • Zara-Jane Gordon June 11, 2018

    Can you Please let me know if you are open on a Saturday or Sunday and what the times are, please.

    Thank you, Zara

    • sandradeeble June 11, 2018

      Hi Zara
      Unfortunately I think that the cafe isn’t open at the weekend because it’s there for the people who work at Rothamsted during the week. However, I will check with Katie who works there. Sandra

  • Alison Hayhurst February 21, 2019

    Do have have to reserve a table . Hoping to go this Friday lunch.
    Have you a number to call
    Many thanks

    • Katrina February 21, 2019

      Hi Alison, thanks for getting in touch. My predecessor, Sandra actually discovered this gem, but I’ve had a quick look on the site and you could try calling the conference centre, who should be able to advise you – the number is: (0) 1582 938 500. Let us know how you get on!


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