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

Tuesday 7 April 2015

The Garden Kitchen, Bolton-by-Bowland by Hannah

Last week it was my birthday. Typically I had tons of lovely things planned on my days off work but I ended up with full on flu, so I spent the whole week in a delusional stuper freaking people out with my insane ramblings.

By Tuesday, I'd gotten so bored of watching box sets and dreaming about zombies (the Walking Dead has a lot to answer for!) it was time to break out of the house.

I had been wanting to go up to the Forest of Bowland for a while, it's truly beautiful this time of year and I find it so relaxing. My secret pleasure is driving around the countryside picking out my dream house. This activity never works out how I want it to... I usually end up sulking by the end of it after consulting with the Rightmove app. I was either going to have to win the lottery or work for the next 200 years to buy said dream house!

There are loads of great places to eat in this area, such as The Duke of York at Grindleton, but our chosen pit stop today was the Garden Kitchen at Holden Clough Nursery.

You may think I'm a bit obsessed with garden centres seeing as the majority of my blogs seem to be about them, but the thing is, I've never eaten at a garden centre and been disappointed. They do great food!

The afternoon tea at the Garden Kitchen is amazing. The afternoon tea concept has become increasingly popular and one could argue if you've had one, you've had them all. However, at the Garden Kitchen it's that little bit different which makes it way more special than the average. 

My eyes were on stalks when our waitress brought it in. Served on a quirky picnic table, there were lots of different goodies to sink your teeth into. Even a little glass wellington boot filled with banana milkshake!

Today was the Easter Special picnic. For just under £20 each you get lots of food, a pot of tea and a glass of prosecco. There were plenty of comments from the tables around us of how lovely it was, which says a lot. It's great for grown ups and for kids.

Overall, the food was excellent and I really can't fault it. Whilst the service was a tad on the slow side, I'd like to mention the guy manning the front of house as he was very polite and welcoming despite being completely rushed off his feet.

Inside the restaurant there is a small gift shop with locally brewed ciders, jams/sauces/chutneys and lots of other unusual food stuffs which would make great foodie gifts. To my delight they even sell a variety of different flavoured Lancashire Bombs, my most favourite local cheese. If you haven't tried it, then you don't know what you're missing! They are mostly available at farmers markets and artisan shops in the Lancashire area.

The garden centre itself is small but has a lovely selection of plants and shrubs. It even holds its own bespoke gardening courses and design services by John Foley who won BBC Gardener of the Year.

The whole day out really cheered me up and more than made up for my crappy week stuck at home. We were supposed to come to the Garden Kitchen on Good Friday but managed to re-arrange until I was feeling better. I'm so glad we did because the weather was gorgeous, so much so that people were sat out in the sunshine. 

It was a fantastic opportunity to explore and get some breathtaking pictures. It makes me very proud that Lancashire is my home!

Now I better get saving for that dream house...

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