Since Becky was up for the weekend visiting (cos I don't know if I mentioned but it's my birthday tomorrow..), I thought it may be nice to take her along to my review so she could help me make an informed decision about the food. Launched by the same folk as the ones behind the Baltic cafe and the famous SIX, Garden Kitchen is Fresh Element's latest venture offering homely, thoroughly British cuisine. One of the things I love about Garden Kitchen is the attention to detail. The whole restaurant has a very rustic feel, With an actual picnic table at one end, watering cans as decoration and wooden crates stacked with of old lemonade bottles. It's almost as if you've wandered into the kitsch little allotment of some old bloke who's just decided it's a good idea to stop for lunch. The menu itself is similarly eccentric, offering interesting and fresh takes on British classics.
After perusing the menu for all of five minutes, we decided to opt for the signature Garden Picnic.. although it was kind of a toss up between that and the Afternoon Picnic, a more traditional afternoon tea comprising finger sandwiches, scones and other sweet treats accompanied by tea or cloudy lemonade. I'm pretty sure it was the scotch eggs that swayed it.. As soon as our picnic arrived, we were faced with huge helpings of homemade sausage rolls, celeraic remoulade (or posh coleslaw as it turned out to be), mini scotch eggs, potato salad, crustless sandwiches and freshly baked cheese and tomato tart! In between mouthfuls of sausage roll, we nodded at each other appreciatively until it was all gone, then helped ourselves to a slab of salted caramel cake made by the lovely lasses at Pet Lamb Patisserie.
What with a posh pub platter served on a miniature picnic table, condiments presented in teeny jars, and bucket loads of ginger beer, it felt as if we'd wandered straight into a Famous Five novel.