Ladies Who Lunch

Four Seasons Coffee Shop / Restaurant, Wymondham Garden Centre

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I like the name of this coffee shop ‘Four Seasons’; it suggests there is more to gardening than summer bedding plants. I call in occasionally to see what’s looking good in the winter months, and to see what other plants look like in their off-season. So I was really pleased to see that the coffee shop was a hive of activity and was being well used. And there is a big easy car park – free and close to the entrance; ramps and wide corridors make it all feel spacious and relaxed.

The Garden Centre’s main indoor space has embraced the quiet winter months with the most splendid and varied array of gifts and decorations – quite the best I have seen. It being late October the display is focussed on Christmas, but I was scared witless by a plastic Halloween ghost with a menacing grin and a big axe in his hand. We decided to check out the coffee shop immediately on arrival; plan our lunch, and then go looking for Santa whose grotto was even then being constructed. It’s a bright spacious area; a little bit noisy and the ‘piped music’ didn’t help, but it was very clean.

Coffee was hot strong and plentiful and set us up for the next hour as we browsed the indoor Christmas merchandise. We then braved the outdoor garden section and bought pansies and primulas to brighten up our winter gardens, and seeds to get ahead with the broad beans.

Back in the restaurant we quickly chose a vegetable moussaka for my companion, and a jacket potato for me with prawns and Rose-Marie sauce, and coleslaw. Both meals came with a very generous serving of salad and the lasagne was accompanied by a bread roll and plenty of butter. Both our salads were much more than just a garnish, and the amount of prawns I was given was also generous. The whole plateful was delicious and as usual I didn’t leave anything except the raw onion. My friend dealt with her meal similarly - slightly sad that the meals came on cold plates, but I reminded her that salad on hot plates isn’t ideal either – it’s a conundrum.

There were no puddings as such – pie and custard or tarts with cream sort of thing, but the range of cakes on offer more than made up for that. There was a plate with samples of a meringue concoction which I tried, and there was the option of toasted tea-cake too. But there was an irresistible five inch (13 cm) tall chocolate cake comprising four layers of sponge and alternate layers of chocolate cream and orange cream: my friend chose that! Not to be outdone I plumped for a similar sized triple chocolate cake covered in chocolate. Really we should have shared one! But I like to have two different options to tell you about each time. Sadly the place isn’t licensed, so no wine or beer; but you never know … we had elderflower fizz and apple juice instead.

I like this coffee shop very much, and saw several people I know taking a break from the rigours of early Christmas shopping, or late Halloween, or even buying fireworks for bonfire night – it’s all there, decent accessible loos too.

Apple juice 1.65
Elderflower fizz 1.50
Moussaka 7.95
Jacket with prawns 5.95
Two coffees 3.50
Two cakes 5.00

Total £25.55

Four Seasons Coffee Shop / Restaurant
Wymondham Garden Centre
Tuttles Lane East,
Wymondham NR18 0EP
01953 600282
http://www.wymondhamgardencentre.co.uk/
open 7 days a week, Monday to Saturday - 9 till 5, Sunday - 10 till 4

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