The tales of a half-Spanish, Southern guy with Yorkshire roots living in Bolton and looking for some half-decent grub

Sunday 19 October 2014

Bents Garden and Home, Warrington by Hannah

This weekend we took our poodles to the groomers over in Leigh. For poodles, ours aren't the stereotypical diva dogs who enjoy pampering so the brakes went on as soon as they realised where they were going!

It normally takes about 4 hours until they're done so I decided to take Elliott to Bents Garden and Home

Elliott isn't what you'd call green fingered so he wasn't exactly thrilled at the prospect of going to a garden centre. However I did my wifely duty and proved him wrong!

I haven't been to Bents for a number of years but the one thing I remembered about it was the amazing food. 

I was so surprised when we pulled into the car park at how much the shop has expanded since my last visit.  Not only has the store itself grown but the restaurant has too. Luckily the restaurant was still as good as I remembered serving delicious looking hot and cold food and an enticing patisserie.

Elliott decided to have a Portuguese chicken in a garlic wrap. I had a mozzarella, beef tomato and basil toastie on tomato focaccia bread. Our lunch also came with a fresh small side salad and some salted crisps. Heaven!

The allure of the patisserie counter was just too much so we also got a white and dark chocolate tart and a piece of sticky fudge cake for afters. We were so full we didn't have any tea!

After lunch, I went a bit mad buying up winter plants and shrubs for my flower beds and planters. I was like a kid in a sweet shop! Everything is really well laid out and for a gardening amateur the signs helped me pick out plants I wasn't going to kill in a week's time.

The store also has an amazing collection of homeware and a food hall. 

The seasonal Christmas department was out of this world so I must give it a mention. It was packed full of beautiful trees, twinking lights and festive decorations. It was a real experience and got me all giddy, even though we've not got past Halloween yet! If you've got kids they will really enjoy coming here too. There are plenty of toys and a miniature Christmas village to keep them entertained. 

It's definitely worth a visit and be prepared to stay the day because once you start shopping it's difficult to stop. Husbands don't be dismayed, Elliott really enjoyed it and he normally hates this sort of day out. Suffice to say it kept us occupied the whole 4 hours and if we didn't have to pick up the dogs we'd have probably have stayed longer.

Bents is currently undergoing further expansion so I'm intrigued to visit again to see the end result.

PS... in case you were wondering, the dogs look very beautiful now so a good day was had all round. Hurrah!

Bents Garden & Home on Urbanspoon

Debbie Halls-Evans, Pop Up Restaurant, Horwich

When it comes to food experiences we like to try new and exciting things which was certainly the case this Friday night.

At the recent Bolton Food Festival Gala Dinner, we tasted the delightful cooking of Debbie Halls-Evans who won Channel 4's 'The Taste'.  We were delighted to see that our local lass was hosting a number of 'Pop Up Restaurants' in Horwich which we could not miss out on!

Taking over the Ice Cream Parlour at the Cowshed on Winter Hey Lane, we were treated to a 3D dining experience to remember.

With only five tables, this was an interactive and intimate meal.
Debbie's bubbly personality wasn't just shown in the quality and presentation of the food but she also took the time to come out of the kitchen and explain each course to the diners.  

Each course was presented beautifully and boasted a range of subtle flavours that confidently balanced with each other.  We were royally stuffed at the end of the evening and will be returning the next time Debbie hosts an evening to remember.

Information about upcoming events can be found at Debbie's website.

It's Grim Up North Manchester restaurants