15 great garden centre cafes in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
Combine spring plant and garden furniture shopping with breakfast, lunch or a lovely slice of cake.
Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm
An extensive garden centre truly selling everything you could possibly need. Recently opened is the site's brand new 250 seat restaurant, The Kitchen, complete with outdoor terrace. Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, the restaurant supports local suppliers where possible and serves award-winning Paddy & Scott coffee and ethical loose leaf We are Tea. Stop by for breakfast platters, brunch, homemade sausage rolls, and hearty hot dishes, be that a hog roast pork brioche or steak and ale pie. There are lots of children's options as well.
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Open from 9.30am to 3pm daily (2.30pm Sundays and bank holidays)
A nursery and lifestyle shop with a particular focus on selling scented, interesting plants which bring beneficial insects into the garden.
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The much-loved café serves delicious cakes and pastries from 9.30am before launching into a decidedly different all-day menu from 10am, with a global influence. Forget soggy sandwiches and potatoes, this is a cut above. Recent dishes have included veal sweetbreads with swede and mustard sauce, and wild garlic, leek and Parmesan tart.
Urban Jungle, Beccles
Open 10am to 4.30pm daily
A garden centre with a difference. Urban Jungle is full-on exotic, growing and selling incredible Mediterranean plants, air plants and cacti. The award-winning café sees diners ensconced right in the eclectic, boho jungle amidst the greenery. Food is served from breakfast (full English to waffles) through lunch, and is all homemade, using homegrown produce where possible. Leave room for one of their sinful gooey chocolate brownies.
Wild Blackberry Cafe at Swann's Nursery, Bromeswell
Open 9am to 3.30pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am Sunday
Set across 35 acres, Swann's has decades of satisfied customers under its belt, specialising particularly in hedging, shrubs, and trees. Independently-run Wild Blackberry Café at the front of the site has its own suntrap terrace and focusses on serving interesting daily specials, breakfasts, lunches, cakes and savouries, made from scratch using as much local produce as possible. Dishes have included hunter's pulled barbecue chicken burger and garlic prawn and bacon salad with chilli dressing. Panini and sandwich fillings offer more than your run-of-the-mill egg mayo. Think hummus with chilli jam and toasted almonds.
Perrywood, near Sudbury
Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and 9.30am to 3.30pm Sunday
Since family-run Perrywood took on the former Wyevale site they've been making many improvements, including extending the covered outdoor space, and bringing in more lifestyle and gift products, as well as stunning house plants. The Tiptree site is famous for its food and Sudbury is proving to gain just as good a reputation for home-cooked, generous portions of good cooking. Be that quiche, freshly filled baguettes, hot daily specials, towering cakes or the gigantic scones. Try the delicious stilton and walnut ones. And look out for the coffee and walnut cake.
Roots & Shoots, Badley near Stowmarket
Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday
A large family-run business over an extensive site, selling everything you could need, from a huge variety of bedding plants in season, to arbours, benches, lighting, water features and more. The café, with its own garden, opened in 2014, serving breakfasts, lunches and snacks, from freshly filled bagels to Suffolk ham, egg and chips. There's a range of cakes and scones too.
Hollow Trees Farm, Semer
Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and until 4.30pm Sunday
Much more than a farm. This is an award-winning shop, deli and butchery, with a family farm trail, regular events and a superb café. The plant centre stocks a select range of carefully homegrown specimens, changing throughout the seasons and focussing on quality rather than offering masses of varieties. After making your purchases enjoy breakfast, homemade pies, pizza, quiche, salads or cakes in the café, alongside a really good cuppa. Great for families.
Marlows Home and Garden, Bury St Edmunds
Open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday
So much more than a garden centre. This is a beautiful home and garden lifestyle shop with furniture, lighting, gifts, houseplants, food and drink and many, many other wonderful things. The Kitchen café has been shortlisted for the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2020. The Scandi-style café makes fabulous breakfasts and lunches, and serves up high quality barista coffee. Afternoon tea though is a real treat, priced at £19.50 per person including finger sandwiches, sausage roll, scone with Tiptree jam and clotted cream, a selection of mini cakes and your choice of luxury loose leaf tea, traditional tea or filter coffee. Booking is essential.
Garnetts Garden Centre, Hacheston
Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday
The team at this friendly garden centre are trusted to supply hanging baskets to local high streets - so if you're looking to bring a bit of pizzaz to your outdoor spaces, give them a look. There's a farm shop on site too, as well as the cafe, which crafts homemade food every single day - from quiches and soups, to salads, homemade cakes and desserts. Cream tea (£5.60 per person) is popular, as are the afternoon teas (book in advance) priced at £24.95 for two, including a hot drink of your choice, sandwiches, cakes and fruit scones.
The Place for Plants, East Bergholt
Open from 10am
A lovely garden centre, set within a Victorian walled garden. They grow and sell thousands of varieties of plant here, from herbs and perennials to trees, with gardeners travelling far and wide to make purchases and to visit the garden and arboretum (entrance fee charged). The café is simple but delightful, serving up cakes, scones and hot and cold drinks. It's at its best when you can eat outside on one of the benches.
The Bluebell Tearooms at Bypass Nurseries, Capel St Mary
Open 10am to 4.30pm daily (3.30pm Sundays)
Bypass, just off the A12 is much bigger than first appearances suggest, having thousands of product lines in stock, from plants and furniture, to gifts and lifestyle products. The site also encompasses other businesses selling everything from wood fired stoves, to swimming pools and aquatics and pond equipment. Bluebell Tearooms opened last year, serving up lovely lunches, homemade cakes, speciality teas and coffees and a rather good sausage roll. Check out The Bluebell Ploughmans - just under £10 for Suffolk ham, Black bomber cheese, brie, mixed salad, onions, chutney and bread.
Laurel Farm, Ipswich
Open 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am Sunday
A large, independent garden centre just outside Ipswich, selling beautiful plants over its four acre site and also offering a professional florist service. Oh, there's a vintage shop on site too. The café is popular and has a dedicated stream of regulars who love the spot for its Italian hot chocolate, loose leaf tea, lunchtime specials (from soups to pasta dishes), scones and cakes. Afternoon and cream teas are popular and should be booked in advance.
Narey's Garden Centre, Stowmarket
Open from 8.30am Monday to Saturday and from 10am Sunday
This independent garden centre specialises in seasonal bedding - from snapdragons to gazanias and cosmos, and all other things you need to make your garden grow.
The café, decorated in soothing greys, greens and wood, opened before Christmas, and is a serene place for home-cooked food. Breakfasts have proved popular, as has the decent coffee, and freshly-baked scones.
Kiln Farm Nursery, Kesgrave
Open 10am to 4pm seven days a week
They're passionate about getting people growing here and have everything you need to get started - especially if you want to grow your own fruit and veg. The nursery is especially known for putting together gorgeous hanging baskets and can give loads of advice on the topic. The coffee shop has proved a popular spot for Paddy and Scott's coffee, Tea Pigs tea, hot chocolate and homemade cakes, scones and teacakes, with cream teas available. Local produce is used as much as possible.
Sturmer Nurseries, Haverhill
Open 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday (not Thursdays) and 10am to 4pm Sunday
This large nursery has lots to offer, but is particularly known for its stock of fruit trees of all sizes. The impressive tearoom is open for breakfast, lunch and snacks and takes great care to cook everything in-house, using high quality ingredients, from free-range eggs and meat to organic milk. The menu includes specials, soups, sandwiches, cakes, pork pies, Scotch eggs and more, complemented by freshly ground coffee and loose leaf tea.