Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Marks Cross: The Gardeners Cafe

An extremely soggy Bank Holiday Monday found us in Sussex. Always up for a good tearooms, we called in at the Sussex Country Gardener nursery at Marks Cross for an afternoon cup of tea in the cafe. Recommended by my mum, as well as being a large plant nursery they also have a very popular and well stocked gift and garden shop so a good few hours could be spent here.

Heading to the cafe at the other side of the plants, we walked past the outside seating which would be tempting on a sunny day. Entering through the wooden doors into the wooden hut, we are met with a large but warm and homely cafe interior.

The serving counter displays all the daily cakes on offer such as banoffee, coffee, chocolate and various fruit cakes along with cheese and fruit scones. Order placed at the till, it is made up there and then and placed on a tray for you to take. We went to find somewhere to sit armed with our trays of goodies. Now there is a lot of seating here, both inside and out and although very busy we managed to plonk ourselves at a comfy table by a dresser displaying some wares for sale.

On a lovely day this outside area would be a very tranquil place to take tea, with views across the Sussex countryside. Another visit is in order for when the sun comes back. 

The interior is painted in a pale sage green with a cream wooden floor and matching comfy chairs and tables. All the staff are friendly and there is a cosy feel to the whole place. Everywhere was clean and tidy with tables being cleared away swiftly. It reminded me ever so slightly of the feel of the Macknade cafe at Faversham.

For our choices he had an Americano with cold milk and a big slab of chocolate cake. The coffee was reported to be good, with a deep full bodied flavour. The cake was extremely rich with an almost brownie texture but good, although it beat him!

I went for an Afternoon Tea with a pot of English Breakfast, fruit scone with raspberry jam and clotted cream. It was delicious, the lovely homemade scone was a lot bigger than it looks here and was very good - much better than Tiny Tim's Tearoom in Canterbury.

The Verdict?
A very pleasant and welcoming cafe with some great breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea options at reasonable prices. There is lots of seating and on a good day we would take advantage of the outside space.  The friendly staff don't make you feel rushed and overall it's a great little cafe to call in if passing.

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