Once a haven for pensioners – and refuge from the rain – these days nurseries are not just about the flora and fauna thanks to the addition of reputable eateries with seasonal menus and afternoon teas.
The Coffee Shop at Langlands
A family business through and through, Langlands is a friendly, thriving nursery with a second site near Leeds. As well as a comprehensive garden centre there’s a farm shop, giftshop and light, airy coffee shop that won Garden Retail’s ‘Best Coffee Shop in the UK’ award in 2009. All the meat is locally sourced and home-baked cakes are a speciality, including scones that were recently voted the best in Yorkshire.
York Road, Shiptonthorpe, York, YO43 3PN
T: 01430 873426. Website
Betty’s Tea room at Harlow Carr
Within the beautiful Royal Horticultural Society’s Harlow Carr gardens this plant centre has been awarded ‘Best Specialist Retailer in the North East’ by the Garden Centre Association. To satisfy your hunger the excellent Betty’s Tearoom offers food all day from satisfying breakfasts through to a classic afternoon cream tea, which you can enjoy on the terrace overlooking the gardens.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate, HG3 1QB
T: 01423 565418. Website
Café Azure at the Azure Garden centre
The Azure Garden Centre and Café is an eco-conscious charitable enterprise giving opportunities to people with disabilities. The café was opened by TV’s Hairy Bikers and offers great value snacks and light meals. The café also tries to source as much local produce as possible for its classic and modern dishes.
Azure Garden Centre, Station Road, Cramlington, Northumberland, NE23 8BJ
T: 01670 733762. Website
Café 1842 at Armitage's
This garden centre caters for all your green-fingered needs; there are even plant surgeries and barbecue demonstrations throughout the summer. Café 1842 offers seasonal hot and cold meals throughout the day, which you can enjoy whilst taking in stunning views of the Pennines. Try the mouthwatering pies and sausage rolls from local suppliers.
Armitage’s Pennine Garden Centre, Huddersfield Road, Shelley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD8 8LF
T: 01484 607248. Website
First Approach at Bents Garden Centre
Bents was voted the UK's Best Garden Centre in 2010. It offers two dining options: a stylish restaurant, The First Approach, serving both traditional and contemporary dishes; and Caffé nel Verde, offering lighter options, cakes and pastries. All food is made each day on the premises using the best local produce the chefs can source.
Warrington Rd, Glazebury, Cheshire, WA3 5NT
T: 01942 266300 Website
Willows at Barton Grange Garden Centre
Friendly waitress service and home-cooked food awaits you at Willows restaurant. Although it serves food all day it’s particularly well known for afternoon tea. If you are looking for a quick pit stop there’s also the Riverside Café, which offers light, snacks as well as cakes and pastries. The long-established garden centre offers a wide range of plants, many of which are grown in the nursery.
Garstang Road, Brock, Preston, PR3 0BT
T: 01995 642900 Website
Oswaldtwistle Mills Shopping Village
Here you’ll find a huge shopping village with lots to do to keep the family entertained including a garden centre, two museums, a ceramic warehouse and children’s playground. There are three eateries: Café Nova serving Italian coffee and paninis; Pavillion Coffee Shop serving light snacks such as sandwiches and baked potatoes; and the Hungry Traveller self service restaurant which offers more hearty meals.
Moscow Mill, Colliers Street Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, BB5 3DE
T: 01254 871025 Website
London & South East England
Clifton Kitchen Café at Clifton Nurseries
Having started life in 1851, this elegant London nursery is a delight to visit. The Clifton Kitchen café offers high quality, home-cooked food; even the jams and chutneys are made in-house. The speciality has to be brunch with offerings such as free-range Eggs Benedict or American style pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.
Clifton Nurseries, 5A Clifton Villas, London, W9 2PH
T: 0207 2896851 Website
The Café and Teahouse at Petersham Nurseries
This wonderful, slightly quirky nursery, where plants are interspersed with antiques, is home to the culinary delights of Skye Gyngell and her multiple award-winning café. It's wise to book if you wish to sample the delights of the weekly changing menu. If you fancy a lighter bite or just a refreshing drink make your way to the Tea House where a range of speciality teas are served, plus hand-roasted coffees and English apple and pear juices.
Off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AG
T: 0208 6053627 Website
There’s something to appeal to everyone at this diverse farm. At the plant centre you'll find plants, shrubs, stoneware and water features; at the farm shop a delicatessen and butcher's counter; and at the coffee shop the best ingredients carefully sourced, then turned into classic light meals. Go early to experience the excellent cooked breakfast.
Sandy Lane, South Nutfield, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 4EJ
T: 01737 823304 Website
Denmans Garden Plant Centre
This relaxed licensed café offers outdoor seating in the finer months where you can enjoy award-winning food. The nursery has a wonderful range of rare and unusual plants.
Denmans Lane, Fontwell, West Sussex, BN18 0SU
T: 01243 542808 Website
The Glasshouse Café at Waddesdon Plant Centre
This National Trust property is the home of Lord Rothschild. Residing on the edge of the estate, the plant centre has a range of popular plants, plus more unusual flora. The Glasshouse Café is tastefully furnished with an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and is somewhere you can enjoy light meals accompanied by local wines.
Queen St, Waddesdon, Aylesbury , HP18 0JW
T: 01296 651287 Website
Burford Garden Company
A long-established garden centre, Burford offers a stylish range of gifts and homewares as well as a vast range of plants to suit all garden styles. The Café, situated in a bright glass house, serves seasonal food, while the Little Burford Café caters for families with a special children’s menu and lots of activities to keep the little ones amused, including a mini cinema.
Shilton Road, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4PA
T; 01993 822502 Website
Pear Tree Teashop at Waterperry Gardens
Not only can you enjoy the stunning gardens at Waterperry, but there’s also a nursery where you can buy plants to take home, five acres of orchards with over 50 varieties of apples, and a museum. If you’re hungry The Pear Tree Teashop is renowned for its freshly baked scones and offers a wide range of cakes, pastries and light meals. It also sells Waterperry apple juice made from apples grown on site.
Waterperry Gardens, Nr Wheatley, Oxfordshire, OX3 1JZ
T: 01844 339254 Website
Riverside Garden Centre
In the shadow of Clifton Bridge this garden centre offers Bristol’s largest range of plants. The Riverside Café serves an organic, wholly vegetarian menu using local produce wherever possible. Dishes include homemade, organic falafels and halloumi and pesto ciabattas.
Riverside Garden Centre, Clift House Road, Southville, Bristol, BS3 1RX
T: 0800 0375796 Website
The Food Hut at Cleeve Nursery
At Cleeve Nursery you’ll find a traditional nursery offering expert advice along with a small farm shop and, for meals, The Food Hut. Open every day, this café serves a regularly changing menu influenced by the seasons and availability of local ingredients. The cuisine ranges from light snacks to more substantial lunches. It’s not licensed but you can bring your own bottle for a modest corkage charge.
Cleeve Nursery, Main Road, Cleeve, BS49 4HW
T: 01275 853050 Website
Eliza’s Tearoom at Secretts Garden Centre
Alongside the garden centre, Secretts also boasts a flower shop and a farm shop selling a wide range of fruit, vegetables, salad and herbs all grown on its own farm. There’s also a ‘pick your own’ service where you can pick berries, asparagus and rhubarb depending on the season. If you fancy a bite, Eliza’s Tearoom, which was designed in the 1930s, serves cakes and light lunches, while the Rendezvous restaurant offers breakfast and light lunches.
Hurst Farm, Chapel Lane, Milford, Surrey, GU8 5HU
T: 01483 520500 Website
The Samford Restaurant beside Bourne Garden Centre
A great destination for garden lovers and foodies alike, as Bourne Garden Centre is located next door to Suffolk Food Hall where you'll find butchers, bakers, delicatessens and other high quality food retailers. The Samford Restaurant in the Food Hall serves excellent local produce and offers stunning views of the River Orwell.
Peppers Lane, Wherstead, Ipswich, IP9 2AB
T: 01473 786617 Website
The Sunflower Café at Scotsdale Nursery
Set within Scotsdale Nursery, the award-winning Sunflower Café is the perfect place for a rest and a refreshing cup of tea. The café has a large outdoor seating area and a great range of food and drinks for the family. During the summer the café is open until 7.30pm offering light suppers.
120 Cambridge Road, Great Shelford, Cambridge, CB22 5JT
T: 01223 842777 Website
The Kitchen Garden Café at King' s Heath
This garden café is a hidden gem in the heart of King’s Heath shopping centre. The lovely café serves wholesome food, while the organic garden shop sells everything you need to start your own kitchen garden at home. All food is prepared on site, including the jams and preserves and the café does its best to ensure that the ingredients are seasonal, organic and Fairtrade.
17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7SA
T: 0121 4434725 Website
Garden Room Café at Fairways
Take a break from garden centre shopping and visit this relaxed and friendly café, which provides stunning views of the Derbyshire countryside. The café serves breakfast, lunch and a popular traditional Sunday roast, but you’re also welcome to pop in for a cup of tea. There’s also a farm shop offering a variety of local produce including honey, pies and chutneys.
Fairways Garden Centre, Clifton, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 2GN
T: 01335 347900 Website
Wales & Welsh Borders
The Café at Derwen Garden Centre
This independently-owned garden centre has a number of feature gardens inspired by its work at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Do visit the gardens, then buy your favourite plants before going to the café for locally sourced meals and delicious home-made cakes to eat in or outside on the patio. Be sure to visit the farm shop which stocks good quality organic produce including ethically sourced Spanish cured meats and olives.
Derwen Garden Centre & Farm Shop , Guilsfield, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 9PH
T: 01938 553015 Website
You’ll find a great plant selection with a special emphasis on plants suited to a coastal environment in this garden centre, located in a picturesque setting close to Caernarfon. The comfortable café offers daily specials and locally made cakes and you can purchase some goodies to take home from Hooton’s Homegrown Farmshop.
Frongoch Garden Centre, Pant Road, Llangfaglan, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL54 5RL
T; 01286 672212 Website
The Garden Restaurant at Raemoir
One of the finest garden centres in North-east Scotland, with an excellent range of plants suited to the local climate, Raemoir is also home to the family-run Garden restaurant, which offers stylish food plus lighter meals such as baked potatoes, paninis and pizzas, served by friendly waiting staff.
Raemoir Garden Centre, Raemoir Road, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, AB31 4EJ
T: 01330 825059 Website
Terrace Café at Floors Castle
Floors Castle is the family home of the Duke of Roxburghe. The garden centre is set within the castle’s walled garden and is adjacent to the Terrace Café, which is overseen by the Duke’s private chef, Ian Collingbourne. Enjoy a mix of traditional and modern dishes accompanied by home-baked bread served in clay pots. Some of the dishes are on sale in the deli for you to take home and enjoy.
Floors Castle Garden Centre, Kelso, Roxburghshire, TD5 7SF
T: 01573 224530 Website
Patio Restaurant at Cardwell Nursery
This popular café attracts people from far and wide for its popular steak pie! Everything is freshly made in-house and you sample a light snack or go for a three-course lunch. And it’s not just the food that’s locally produced; the award-winning nursery grows 60% of its own stock.
Cardwell Nursery Garden Centre, Lunderston Bay, By Gourock, Renfrewshire, PA19 1BB
T: 01475 521536 Website
Cuisine Ecosse Café at Cupar Garden Centre
Be sure to visit Hazel and her team for a traditional Scottish welcome in the Cuisine Ecosse café, where you'll find a varied breakfast menu through to a comprehensive list of suppers. With its special senior citizens’ menu and children’s menu, there’s plenty to tempt everyone at all times of the day. The large nursery offers just about everything you could possibly need for your garden.
Cupar Garden Centre, Cupar Trading Estate, Cupar, Fife, KY15 4SX
T: 01334 655595 Website
Mid Ulster Garden Centre
This family-run garden centre offers a range of indoor and outdoor plants as well as a well-stocked gift area. The café serves slices of home-made apple pie and local ice cream to accompany your cup of coffee or if you want something more substantial try the local sausages and champ.
35 Station Road, Maghera, Co. Derry, BT46 5BS
T: 0287 9642324 Website
Blue Geranium Café at Hosfords
Set within the sustainable eco-built Hosfords garden centre, the Blue Geranium Café is inspired by the Slow Food movement. The café serves seasonal food from organic and artisan producers alongside home-made produce. As well as modern Irish cooking you can enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dishes reflecting the experience and travels of the chefs.
Hosfords Geranium & Garden Centre, Cappa, Enniskeane, Co. Cork, Ireland
T: 00353 238839159 Website
Written by Chloe Black and Debra Waters