Finding somewhere in the city centre that provides a veritable banquet when it comes to afternoon tea is no mean feat. Sometimes cafes and hotels can be a bit stingy in terms of their spread and I’m personally left needing another slice of cake to compensate. While my Mum and little sister were in the North East last week I took them along to Garden Kitchen, which is located in Eldon Gardens. It was my first time visiting this establishment, although I had walked past on numerous occasions on my way to Bravissimo (curse my curvy frame!). There’s no afternoon tea option for vegans so I decided to try out their Charred Brocolli & Quinoa Salad instead. My Mum and sister were in for a treat, however. For just £19.95 two people can share what’s called a Garden Picnic. A selection of scones, cakes, salads, soup and sandwiches are served on a quaint miniature picnic table.
There’s even a children’s version of this offer, although we couldn’t attest what that looks like as we were unaccompanied by the smallest (and cutest) member of our family 🙂The Garden Picnic was so large I had to move to another table to allow my Mum and sister room to eat their feast! They were given a smaller bowl of the salad I had ordered, along with a Penne Pasta topped with Mozzarella. The BLT was a doorstop and the two small servings of Mushroom Soup – which happened to be the Soup of the Day – meant the savoury options would have probably been enough for lunch. A vegetarian sandwich is available for those who are meat free.Factor in Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Drizzle Cake and Northumbrian Scones and I knew I wouldn’t have to cook that evening. They actually asked for a doggy bag in the end as they were so overwhelmed by what was served to them.I liked my salad, although I felt it could have been more filling with another vegetable added. Perhaps Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato, which both can be served cold after initial cooking, would work really well with the quinoa and broccoli. I think our server sensed I was a woman who liked my grub and suggested a side of fries too. At £6 I certainly wasn’t going to complain about price and was pleased their menu is clearly labelled for those with allergies/dietary requirements. It would be great if there was a vegan cake option available at Garden Kitchen as it isn’t always easy to find somewhere to have a cuppa and SFV cake in the city centre. That said, the Garden Picnic is great value for money for those wanting something a little different.
Thanks for reading,