Where better to go on a cold, rainy day than a garden centre? If you’d told me this time last year that I’d be enjoying myself whilst surrounded by potted plants and all manner of garden furniture and fencing; I would have laughed at you. Now whilst I enjoy a flowery shrub as much as the next person I wouldn’t call myself a garden enthusiast. It fact I’m far from that, a garden centre would not be top on my list of places to visit but we’d been recommended this place which was only a fifteen minutes drive away so why not try something new.
We pulled into the car park, strapped Lola in the buggy and off we ventured into ‘Greener pastures’ ha!
Our first stop had to be the cafe which turned out to be one of the cutest cafes we’ve ever visited. The selection of hot and cold food was very good, they even have baby/children options. I had every intention of being good and choosing something healthy but their choice of freshly made cakes was to die for! We ended up going for a cake and hot drink each (hind-sight: should’ve shared a cake as the portions were massive) Very tasty! The restaurant was huge and has plenty of space for your buggy to fit next to the table or to pull up one of their high-chairs. In the corner we noticed a small play area too for older babies or toddlers so this is definitely a good spot to consider for any future mummy meet-ups. I can only imagine this place would be even nicer when the warmer weather comes and the suns out. Baby changing was available next to the cafe and you could also use special kids trollies with cars attached to keep any little ones entertained whilst having a mooch around.
The cafe is attached to a large gift shop, selling everything from plants, furniture to books and pet food. Continuing outside we found a small pet store and ceramic workshop. This place really did have so much to offer. The workshop would definitely be something to keep-in-mind when Lola’s older: http://www.leapfrogceramics.co.uk/ Inside the pet store is the local store pet ‘Norman the rabbit’ and several hamsters.
Right at the back of the centre is the aquarium/fish store. Now if you’re expecting to see a mantaray, some sharks and performance of a penguin dancing then you’re going to be disappointed. This is a more basic aquarium but still interesting enough. There’s lots of colourful fish to see and an array of tanks and pond life.
Overall this place was brilliant. If you’re local to the area Henry Street Garden Centre in Swallowfield is great. Whether you’re just a bit peckish or looking for something to do for an hour or so this place ticks all the boxes. It’s also down the road from Lockey Farm so you could visit both and have a fun-packed day out on the cheap. Check out their website: http://www.henrystreet.co.uk/ for more details.