Inside The Secret Garden

For a few weeks I had been tempted and teased on the way to work with posters and signs advertising somewhere called The Secret Garden.  This got me thinking, I’m sure there would be a Facebook page, sure there is one for everything these days isn’t there?  To my delight I was right, I had a wee nosey on it and found it that it was a restaurant in a local Garden Centre near where I work.  The pictures were so tempting that I ended up showing mum.  Each day pictures would be uploaded and would pop up on our Newsfeed tempting us, from buns to meals to pastries, we had to try it!  So yesterday afternoon we did!

 I’m going to be bad and tease you first with this picture, I’ll show you the rest once I tell you more about The Secret Garden Restaurant itself.


Address . . .

78 Old Dundonald Road


BT16 1XS

Telephone – 028 9048 4000

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH (or just their Facebook page)

The Secret Garden restaurant and gift shop – ‘A room with a view’ A 120 seater restaurant and gift shop on the grounds of a nursery filled with beautiful plants and shrubs!
In our restaurant you will be able to admire beautiful views of Stormont while enjoying a wide range of fine homemade foods. Every day our chef will prepare delicious hot dishes to suit all tastes, as well as soups, scones, sandwiches and treats for the kids. Not forgetting a wide range of delicious cakes and scrumptious tray bakes!
After your thirst has been quenched and hunger diminished why not peruse our gift shop where we will have a selection of specially chosen items for you and your loved ones!

We plan to open a late night during the week to take away those mid week blues. Why cook when we can do it for you! For larger gatherings why not hold your events here? From engagement parties to birthdays we will have a package to suit you for any special occasion.
We will provide full table service in a relaxed, family friendly environment, making it a fun day out for all!
Mum and I decided to go for the afternoon tea, luckily when we arrived it was still on and we didn’t have to book.  It was £19.99 for the two of us I thought wasn’t too bad, we were able to choose are tea, plain or fruit scones and what flavours of sandwiches we would like from a section, which would then be prepared for us.  This I really liked as I hate when you get sandwich fillings you don’t like in an afternoon tea and then it is a waste as you never eat them.
Friday morning in at home had started of quite nicely weather wise but as the day had gone on we had thunder, lightening and loads of rain.  However as we headed up to Newtownards and then Dundonald at about 3pm the weather was lovely and sunny, not a pick of rain or a grey cloud in the sky.  Mother however was convinced it may again rain so as I talked her in to sitting outside in the sun and a lovely breeze, her compromise was that we would sit in a covered, yet open area in the corner of the outside seating area.  This we later learned was a smoking area, however not by the smell or any cigarette butts, but by a member of staff. The area we chose was lovely and clean with a nice view of the flowers.
This was one of the views from our cosy little spots . . .
The first thing bought out was the cutlery, plates and these cute little personalised napkins . . .
It wasn’t very long before our afternoon tea arrived . . .
The top layer – tray bakes and what seemed a bit like a panacotta in a shot glass
The second layer – scones, raspberry jam and cream
Layer three – sandwiches, we chose roast chicken and egg mayonnaise
The tea pot and tea cups, these were a good size and we got at least two cups of tea each
First off we scoffed the sandwiches, they were lovely and the bread so fresh.  Next we moved on to the scones, the only disappointing thing about the scones, jam and cream was that the cream must have been from a can so by the time you got to it, it had started to turn to liquid.
The top layer consisted of tray bakes, which were ok, I don’t like almonds so mum ate the almond tray bake and we shared the other two, I’m not that big of a tray bake fan, but these were ok.  The shot glass, which was filled with what seemed to be a panacotta I didn’t really like, more for the texture, I don’t like things like that,  but mum liked it and ate both hers and mine.
I would definitely recommend a trip up to The Secret Garden Restaurant!
Good food, reasonable prices, lovely views and atmosphere, clean and tidy and some really friendly, welcoming and attentive staff.
I will definitely be back to try out some of the other meals and nibbles they provide!
To keep up to date or for more information and pictures from The Secret Garden, click this link for their Facebook page and click ‘like’
Zane xxxx

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