Local lido user and Benugo to run Heath cafes

Local resident Tara Kingsley and café provider Benugo have won a tendering process for cafes at Hampstead Heath and Highgate Wood following a detailed review and approval by the Hampstead Heath Management Committee.

The lease at Parliament Hill Lido café was awarded to Tara Kingsley – a local lido user - and leases for cafes at Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park and Highgate Wood were awarded to Benugo.

Tara Kingsley will focus on providing reasonably priced fresh, home-made food with locally sourced ingredients. Service will be all year round, serving outwards towards the Heath as well as to users of the Lido.

Benugo, which runs cafes in a number of public sites in the UK, will offer locally sourced meat, fish and other produce.

It has offered to work with the Hampstead Heath’s Learning Team to create a wildlife map for children to explore the Heath’s natural environment and provide free coffees for volunteers.

Affordability was a key part of the evaluation and Benugo have confirmed that they will continue to offer tea and coffee for £1.

Sue Ireland, Director of Green Spaces at the City of London Corporation, said:

“We want to make sure our visitors are getting high quality, affordable, healthy food and refreshments, with the best possible service.

“We have a duty to run our services in the most cost-effective manner as it is only by doing so that we can invest £5million a year into Hampstead Heath.

“We have ensured throughout this process that the winning tenders will be able to demonstrate not only high quality refreshments, but also that they can offer a service with a strong community focus.

“Both Benugo and Tara Kingsley are high-quality catering partners with a range of healthy products and I am delighted that we will have a regular lido user running its café.”

The existing leases at the cafes were either expired or expiring. 

This agreement follows a fair and open tendering process contested by 28 separate bids. They were evaluated against set criteria, including quality and price, in a fair and open tendering process overseen by an independent catering specialist to ensure a good deal for customers.

The winning bids were subject to detailed evaluation and debate by the Hampstead Heath Management Committee.