There's something that just CLICKS when you combine a nursery with a gift shop and cafe. Growing up, my parents would always take me out to nurseries on the weekend - they love plants and gardening. Near my parent's house in the East, there's Hawken's Garden Center which is just huge: there's a fish shop (as in... pet fish, not the edible type), boutique gift shop, indoor and outdoor furniture, lots of plants and a nice outdoor cafe.
It so happens that we have a Gardenway in the West which is very similar in concept. Recently, mum wanted to check out the sale there so we went to the Gardenway restaurant for breakfast.
We went on a Sunday morning at about 10am, which is the ideal time and day for a lazy brunch session. Dad and I pored over the menu while mum went to check out the dessert cabinet.
The Gardenway restaurant is lovely and spacious - it's semi outdoors in a way that it's protected from the elements but still has fresh, free-flowing air and views of the nursery beyond.
I ordered a lamb fry big breakfast, dad chose the banana bread and mum succumbed to her sweet tooth by ordering a sticky date pudding. We also ordered hot beverages to sip on.
The drinks came first. Mum and I both ordered coffees which were good. Dad had chosen a hot chocolate. He really enjoyed it though I suspect it was ordinary drinking chocolate. That's not to say it doesn't taste good though.
My big breakfast comprised of fried lamb's liver, grilled tomato, bacon, toast, poached eggs and some greens. It was comprehensive and hearty but relatively healthy at the same time. All in all, a very satisfying breakfast.
Mum's sticky date pudding was decent but a bit too sweet for both my parents. I didn't mind the sweetness but it wasn't 'sticky' enough for me. Still a nice treat when coupled with ice-cream and cream but not the best I've had.
We waited a while for the banana bread before chasing the waiter up. One of the staff, I think the manager, heard and apologized profusely before hounding the kitchen himself. Our bread came really quickly after that. It was delicious - moist, dense and a distinct banana flavor. I loved the honeycomb butter together with the cinnamon spiciness of the banana bread.
Our morning at Gardenway was a great experience, made all the more better by clear and sunny weather. The food was good and service was a standout.