Review // Garden Kitchen Restaurant, Wyevale Garden Centre, Kingston (Lewes, Sussex)
The Garden Kitchen Restaurant is a freshly launched restaurant in one of our previous favourite weekend haunts – Wyevale Garden Centre, in our old home town of Lewes. The newly refurbished restaurant caters for every need – from a quick coffee stop to a wholesome family meal, created using some of the freshest garden and British-sourced ingredients, and last Saturday Team Make, Do and Push! were invited along to sample their menu.
We opted to sit near the patio doors as it was a sweltering day, and sadly there was no air conditioning in the restaurant. The decor was beautiful, with white-washed tables and plant pots everywhere. It was a wonderfully light, bright space, which felt very country chic – a style I love.
After perusing the menu I opted for the cheese and chive tart with salad and new potatoes. Nick and my Mum chose the roast pork carvery sandwich with apple and plum chutney. Busby had sausages, chips and peas. I was really disappointed with the lack of imagination on the children’s menu; there wasn’t a lot to choose from other than a sandwich meal deal or something with chips.
Nick and my Mum both enjoyed their sandwich; the pork was succulent and not dry. They also enjoyed the huge plate of crackling that accompanied the sandwich! They were able to choose between brown or white bloomer bread, which had been baked onsite that morning.
My tart was yummy, although could have done with a touch more cheese, and sadly the pastry was a bit chewy. The highlight of the dish was the delicious new potatoes, which tasted buttery and fresh.
Busby’s food was rather disappointing; the peas were overcooked and, for a Toddler who loves sausages, these were mostly untouched and required prompting to eat – which is unusual as they’re usually a guaranteed Busby pleaser. They didn’t seem to be the best quality sausages. She did wolf down the chips though!
Thankfully pudding was fantastic, and the saving grace of the meal.
I had the raspberry and lavender cake, which was well-balanced and delicious. Lavender is a difficult flavour to get right and the cake was spot on! I was also given a piece of lemon meringue sponge for my birthday – a lovely gesture – which was very scrummy.
Nick opted for the orange and rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream, which was beautiful; the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and piping hot out of the oven.
Busby had chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream, which she wolfed down!
We had a lovely eating experience at the Garden Kitchen Restaurant, but I couldn’t write this post without mentioning the wasps who continuously tried to annoy us during lunch. We had chosen to sit inside for this very reason, but they still plagued us. I understand this isn’t the fault of the Garden Kitchen Restaurant, but there didn’t appear to be anything to deter them from coming inside, and they did make the experience rather more tense.
The Garden Kitchen Restaurant has a soft play area for children, which is a fantastic addition to the restaurant! Busby had lots of fun running about whilst lunch was cooking. There’s also a “baby station” where one can warm up bottles and food.
Overall, we had a lovely lunch with pudding being the winner! The staff were all very friendly, and families are well-catered for in terms of facilities. Everything was reasonably priced and service was fantastic. We were disappointed on a couple of aspects:
- As I mentioned above, the children’s menu wasn’t very inspired; with a name like Garden Kitchen I would have expected a few more home-cooked, organic options.
- A name like Garden Kitchen suggests homegrown, seasonal food but there was very little information about the provenance of the ingredients. Was the rhubarb locally grown? Were the sausages from a local supplier? Providing this information to the customer would have been a welcome touch, and its absence was something of a let down.
We’ll definitely visit the Garden Kitchen Restaurant again – if just for a cup of tea and pudding!
Find your local Wyevale Garden Centre here.