We’ve often wandered across the park and had tea and cake at the café, and looked longingly at the always booked adjacent green house. The lack of evening opening always hampering our booking, but it is all in the back of a green house in a garden centre, so one does have to make allowances. In fact in deference to its rustic charm the restaurant is the café and the café is the tea house.
The setting is certainly a large amount of the appeal of the restaurant, dirt floors, waiters in wellies, old church chairs, and old worn tables that have seen a lot of life. This is all in the back of the main green house which is half the garden centre shop and the rear half is the café, where you happily sit amongst the foliage.
The rustic feel translated into the food, with good hearty portions, coked impeccably. For starters we had lobster tagliolini and speck risotto, a super succulent lobster claw with the pasta and the risotto was delicacy creamy with a lemon zing.
Mains were veal and poussin, the veal was an almost tagine affair in a bowl full of broth and preserved lemon, the veal super moist and succulent, my critique here would be to add a couple of potatoes as there was a little lack of carbs and a spoon for the broth. The roast poussin, was similarly super moist and cooked with a lovely crisp skin, but again maybe missing a carb element to the plate.
Deserts were a chocolate panancotta with caramel sauce, where my only critique here could be that maybe it was a little too big as very heavy and rich, but as I am very greedy I finished it with a flourish. The lemon tart was also superb, crumbly crust and just the right amount of lemon sharpness.
Service was super friendly and efficient, orders were taken promptly and first course arrive within 20 minutes. The whole meal only took an hour and a half, so all quick enough without being rushed.
The bill split £103.5 for food and £26.85 for drinks (3 glasses wine, water and coffee) with a further 12.5% added for service, which for a Michelin stared restaurant, or indeed any restaurant serving this quality of food, it represents great value.
The only down side, is that it is a bit difficult to reach, we had to drive (hence small drinks bill) which due to limited parking they do actually discourage and as I mentioned it is a lunch time only venue, so limits our desire to return very soon.