What is the most fun you’ve had recently? Late last year, we discovered that one of our favourite venues in Kent, The Secret Garden, runs a monthly pudding night. You might remember that we attended Afternoon Tea at the Secret Garden last autumn and we loved it. We knew this was something we just had to do and so Andrea, Liz, Sarah and I consulted our diaries and booked the next available date that we were all free. Four months later, that day finally arrived!
The Secret Garden is a wedding venue and restaurant located in Ashford, Kent and it is just down the road from Ashford International station and the designer outlet. It is a gorgeous venue with lovely gardens and absolutely superb food. Each time I go, I know that it is just a matter of time before I return because in 6 short months, The Secret Garden has become my favourite location in Kent.
Our evening began with a glass of prosecco and a round of cocktails. I opted for the Mr Wanstall mocktail, named after the Wanstall family who are proprietors of the establishment. It was delicious and every bit as appetising as the grown-up, non-designated-driver cocktails.
Soon it was time for our main course. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t quite appreciated that we’d be receiving a main course at a pudding evening and this was a very pleasant surprise. An even bigger surprise was that I had remembered to warn the restaurant of my garlic allergy when we booked and they prepared a special garlic-free meal for me. The meal was absolutely delicious; chicken with Enoki mushrooms and a creamy white sauce with new potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
I think it is only proper to admit that the photo above wasn’t a carefully composed shot but instead the result of eating half my meal before realising that I might need to capture it. I’m such a good blogger.
It wasn’t long before the restaurant staff began to fill the central table with the most mouthwatering array of puddings and desserts. It began to capture everybody’s eye and soon had a dedicated crowd of admiring observers. Behold, this work of art:
One of the highlights of any visit to The Secret Garden is the absolutely wonderful staff. They are ever welcoming and hospitable and nothing is too much trouble for them. They even went so far as to demonstrate the correct arms-over-the-head technique for allowing food to settle further down the body so that you can eat more. Let me tell you, that technique came in handy!
I went straight for a massive serving of trifle and it was so good. I then had a much smaller portion of the delicious lemon and ginger cake, with cream, followed by an even smaller portion of bread and butter pudding. When we go again, and we will definitely be going again, I will try to eat less main course to leave space for more pudding. I’m also not going to eat for a week before going. I suggest you follow the same strategy should you go.
To round up the evening, we took part in a hilarious quiz and a lovely cup of tea.
Happy and full, we then hit the road for the long journey back home.
Needless to say, I would absolutely recommend The Secret Garden, Kent and can’t wait to return.
Pudding Night at The Secret Garden, Kent
Mersham-le-Hatch Business Village
Cost: £30 per person, including welcome drink, main course and all you can eat desert
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.
Do you know of any other secret or quirky places to visit in Kent? How about Essex, Surrey or Sussex?