Peterborough city centre restaurant embraces cafe culture with ‘parklet’

A green oasis has sprung up outside a Peterborough city centre restaurant, offering diners a slice of alfresco hospitality.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 1:29 pm
The new outdoor seating at The Banyan Tree in Westgate at night

The Banyan Tree, in Westgate, now has bays to seat around 30 customers and will be serving a special “street food” menu.

The bays, sheltered from passing traffic by hardy bamboo, is the brainchild of restaurateur Dinesh Odedra, who said he was inspired by the city council’s championing of cafe culture in the city centre.

“People have asked to sit outside recently but on Saturday we will be looking to make more of a statement and create a bit of an atmosphere,” said Dinesh, who opened the restaurant in 2010.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The new outdoor seating at The Banyan Tree in Westgate at night

“There will be a chef outside cooking street food and I am hoping to arrange a little music as part of our Diwali celebrations.”

Going forward the menu will concentrate on Indian street food - one of the things The Banyan Tree is famous for - and two or three curry options.

“We are not looking for an Indian theme outside, although the food will be,” said Dinesh. “The music will be casual, easily listening stuff, although it would be great at some point get a little live music out there, but keep it nice and relaxed.”

Drinks outside will be boosted by sharing a beer menu with The Bumble Inn, across the road, and at night the area will be illuminated by the restaurant’s floodlighting.

The new outdoor seating at The Banyan Tree in Westgate at night

“It is inspired by the council’s push on cafe culture,” added Dinesh. “We have created a little green space in the middle of the city centre, a ‘parklet’.

“And we have tried to keep it ecological and use local resources where possible.

“We used recycled plastic in the base, sustainable plywood in the construction and the tables are recycled.

“And it has been great to work with local companies, particularly Vanguard, who have built it, and Peterborough Solar Roofing who have done all the fibreglassing.”

The new outdoor area at The Banyan Tree in Westgate, Peterborough city centre

Bays can be booked or used on a walk-in basis.

The new outdoor area at The Banyan Tree in Westgate, Peterborough city centre