Sunday, 18 October 2015

Afternoon Tea in the Secret Garden, Kent

The Dining Room at the Secret Garden Kent

When my friend Sarah suggested we go for afternoon tea at the Secret Garden in Kent, I did not hesitate for a moment before saying yes. I thought that it sounded like such a magical, whimsical place and I’m glad to say that this secret Kentish location is as lovely as it sounds.

We met up on a sunny autumn Sunday afternoon and took a table in the cosy dining room. As we looked around, our mouths watered at the sight of families enjoying Sunday roasts and friends chatting over soup and homemade bread. We immediately knew that this is a place we will return to.

For a place that exudes secrecy and exclusivity, the staff at the Secret Garden are incredibly lovely and friendly. No matter how busy they got that afternoon, they were endlessly cheery and patient with us all.

The Afternoon Tea

Mismatching china at the Secret Garden Kent

On our visit, we chose the Traditional Afternoon Tea with extra Bubbles for £23.95. The first thing that caught our eye was the gorgeous mismatched china. Now I like fancy tea sets as much as the next girl but there is something so quirky and authentic about mismatched sets and it suits this location perfectly.

The sweets at the Secret Garden Kent

When the cake stand arrived, our mouths were watering. All this food was for four people and I can tell you that it was a lot of food!

The afternoon tea stand at the Secret Garden Kent

The sandwiches at the Secret Garden Kent

The Delicious ham sandwich at the Secret Garden Kent

The choice was sandwiches was traditional afternoon tea fare but they were absolutely delicious. I really loved the home cooked ham and coarse grain mustard sandwich and liked the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich so much that I had two of them.

The scones at the Secret Garden Kent

The scones were lovely – moist in the inside but with a slightly crumbly texture. I liked that they were served with strawberries – this was a great addition and a lovely palate cleanser too.

Carrot cake and lemon cake at the Secret Garden Kent

The deserts were lovely but I could only manage to eat four of them in the end. Always disappointing but I am definitely more of a savoury person than a sweet person. I loved the panna cotta in a shot glass and really enjoyed the super chocolaty profiterole.  My favourite were the carrot cake with an exceptionally subtle icing and the lemon drizzle cake.

Love at the Secret Garden Kent

The Gardens

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (2)

Following our long afternoon tea, we took a much needed walk in the Secret Garden itself. I just loved all of the signs posted about the place and the feeling of love that flows through the gardens. I can just imagine why this venue is so popular as a wedding venue.

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (3)

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (4)

We could hardly believe how beautiful the weather was on the day we visited. This is definitely unusual weather for October and there was a definite chill to the air despite the bright sunshine.

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (5)

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (6)

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (7)

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (8)

There was a giant pumpkin patch to remind us that Halloween is around the corner. I should have taken a photo with a person in – these pumpkins were as tall as my knees.

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (9)

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (10)

There were lots of chairs and table overgrowing with moss. I just love this and can imagine fairies and sprites playing here.

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent (11)

There is also a gift shop at the Secret Garden and several businesses share the site too.

The Gardens at the Secret Garden Kent

In addition to Sunday lunches and afternoon teas, The Secret Garden hosts pudding nights and Kentish evening tea events.

The Secret Garden Kent
Mersham-le-Hatch Business Village
Hythe Road
Ashford
Kent
TN25 6NH

Notes on visiting: The Secret Garden Kent is located really close to Ashford International train station. You can catch a train from London, spend the morning shopping at the Ashford Designer Outlet and then catch a taxi or bus to The Secret Garden.

If you’re wondering where to visit next, why not visit my friend Liz who also wrote about our afternoon in her Photo Sunday: Secret Garden post or you can visit Sarah’s blog Inspired Travels and read about the postcard project she is doing for her mum.

Finally, I’m making a concerted effort to catch up on my blogging. I have a couple of posts lined up and I’m also slowly catching up on my blog reading. Feel free to leave me a comment below and tell me that I’m long overdue for a visit!

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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