Food and Drink at Down House

Treat yourself to something to eat or drink in the Down House Tearoom, located in the kitchen where in the mid-19th century, all the Darwins' meals were prepared. If the sun is shining, why not sit out on the patio where the renowned scientist used to receive his famous 'water cures' from his butler Parslow? If the weather is bad, there is seating inside and overflow seating in the Butler's Pantry.

Food available at Down House

What We Offer

Choose from our seasonal menu, which includes a soup of the day, a daily special and a selection of freshly made sandwiches made with free-range eggs, organic cheeses and salads from our own gardens when available. We also feature locally sourced items such as Kent dry honey-baked ham, plus the distinctive bread rolls known as Kentish huffkins.

For sweets, we offer an array of goodies - shortbread, brownies, flapjacks - and a gorgeous line-up of cakes: spiced ginger, apple, chocolate fudge and Victoria sponge. Or you can choose to have a traditional cream tea or, with the addition of sandwiches, afternoon tea. A special option is our Scotch fruit cake, made from one of Emma Darwin's very own recipes that she often asked her cook to bake.

You can quench your thirst from our range of teas and freshly ground coffee, a number of different juices and a regional ale.

Vegetarian, and dairy and gluten-free options are always available.

Inside the Down House Tearoom

Opening times

The tearoom is open on all the days that the site is open: opening times.

Other facilities

  • Toilets, including ones for disabled people
  • Highchairs
  • Water provided to warm bottles
  • Baby-changing facility (within disabled toilets)
  • Children's lunch boxes during school holidays


We can offer a buffet menu that can be tailored to a group's needs at a variety of prices. Minimum: 20 people at £10 per head. Please book in advance.


Unfortunately picnics are not allowed within the grounds. The Home of Charles Darwin, Down House is a 'Site of Importance for Nature Conservation', which means that it contains many important protected species such as very rare forms of fungi growing in the grass around the house.

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