Hidden in what looks like nothing more than a car park, Gardenista is part greenhouse, part patio and the perfect alternative to a picnic in the park.

Located just off Kim Ma, Gardenista could easily be missed while chugging through relentless traffic or browsing the hundreds of clothes shops. Make a break from the rows of glammed-up mannequins, though, and you’ll find a serene retreat on the corner of Van Bao. With outdoor umbrella-shaded tables on the right and a flower-filled greenhouse on the left, Gardenista has all the allure of a botanical garden under the guise of a café.

Flower-pots, hanging plants and terrariums fill every gap and surface, successfully meeting the quota of ‘green’ needed in a greenhouse. Staff intermittently squirt plants with water and miniature succulents creep onto every table, taking precedence over cutlery. In fact, at any given moment, there seems to be such an influx of plant pots over coffee mugs that it seems the café is simply encroaching on a garden. Of course, this is all part of the appeal.

Amongst the greenery is sleek wooden furniture, colorful cushions and stylish ceramics. The idyllic surroundings are confirmed by the hordes of amateur models and photographers posing on every other surface. Although the constant clicking of cameras may be considered annoying by some, it is definitely part of the charm of the café to others. After all, what trip to a park would be complete without people-watching?

Although the appearance of Gardenista may be the main appeal, this certainly doesn’t detract from the menu, with a grand choice of exotic drinks and desserts, as well as cheerful, polite staff.

Address: 50 Van Bao, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

006 015 014 013 012 011 010 009 008 007 005 004 003 002

DCIM101GOPROGOPR8379.

016 017 018 019

DCIM101GOPROGOPR8383.

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