Sutton Green Garden Centre, Whitmoor Lane, Guildford Rd, Woking, GU4 7QB
Go there for: Fabulous coffee in a great location.
Avoid: Getting lost: the address is misleading – it’s really on Guildford Road.
Is it worth the calories?: I’m not sure the full English is ever really worth the calories – but we seem to need it.
Tips: Drop into the lovely Noel’s Farm Shop, buy a plant at the garden centre and pick your own produce when you pass by for coffee.
A retired serviceman, Paul has the easy-going assurance of a young Bergerac and offers a friendly welcome at his Blue Shed Coffee House . Newly decked and painted, the garden centre plants have been arranged so you feel the café is in a real garden – but if you spot some plants you like you can take them home.
Paul’s here partly by chance: buying plants for his new garden, he became friendly with manager Kevin and was drawn into the thrusting new vibe at the garden centre. It’s his first foray into café culture but he’s taking it seriously, spending a day choosing the best coffee at the London coffee festival and training as a barista. He set up tasting days with friends and family at home before choosing the Handmade Cake Company as his cake supplier and was tasting ice-creams as we arrived.
He has a simple menu as yet – his sandwiches and salads are still being refined – but his all-day breakfast menu for big boy’s and hungry ladies(£8.50) is going down a storm. Our smoked salmon salad (£8.50) was a simple but fresh, but developing the menu is next on Paul’s agenda. The scones were freshly warmed in the oven so were crisp and inviting and came with butter, cream and a tangy pot of raspberry jam (£3.50).
He’s going to use the produce from the pick your own to use on the menu: we’re looking forward to his spicy butternut squash soup. He’s got plans to expand the menu, expand the premises, and turn the Blue Shed into a hot spot. It’s already worth a visit for coffee and cake – and it’s a lovely place to sit and contemplate your garden plans while Paul puts his into action.
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