I think I’ve discovered my new favourite place for lunch! Not only does Bradley Gardens in Wylam have all the charm of an 18th-century walled garden, coupled with the architectural prowess of John Dobson, but it is home to a really wonderful café/restaurant in the guise of a glasshouse!
Originally built for the purpose of growing exotic fruits, the Glasshouse has become a tranquil and beautiful setting to enjoy a light lunch or even Afternoon Tea. Entry to Bradley Gardens itself is free, so there is no need to worry about having to pay to go to the Glasshouse – if there was an entry fee I’d even go as far as to say it would be worth paying it! There is a reason for me saying this, which is the fact that I have been to the Glasshouse twice for lunch now and both times I have had great service and brilliant food that could rival some of the more expensive restaurants I’ve visited around the country. The Glasshouse is light and airy, decorated in an array of whites, creams and beiges, with lovely views of the gardens. It really is the ideal lunch venue.
The menu at the Glasshouse is eclectic: my family and I have enjoyed everything from Thai fishcakes, to a cheese and spinach soufflé. On my most recent visit yesterday, I was really impressed with the fish of the day: grilled garlic king prawns with French fries, salad and garlic and herb mayonnaise. The prawns were cooked perfectly and the accompaniments did not disappoint either.
If you’re after something a little lighter, there are salads and sandwiches also available on the menu. Whatever you go for, I’d highly recommend finishing off your meal with some of the delicious Petit Fours! We went for the sea salt chocolate truffles and they went down a treat.
Whilst the charming Glasshouse Café is more than enough reason to visit Bradley Gardens, it is of course not the only thing that drew me there in the first place. The quaint gardens are lined with fruit trees, and at the entrance to the gardens is a nursery filled with various plants and garden ornaments for you to peruse and buy.
Why not finish your visit off with a trip to the Gift Shop and Bridgewater Home-store? These kinds of shops are my idea of heaven – I love browsing all the different gifts they have on offer and was delighted to see they stock products from some of my favourite ranges, including Emma Bridgewater!
I’m sure that I’ll be back to Bradley Gardens as the gardens change with the seasons and the opportunities arise for me to try both the Glasshouse’s Sunday Lunch and Sparkling Afternoon Tea! A wonderful place for a day out with lovely gardens and even lovelier food.
Overall rating: ****
Pro(s): Idyllic in every way.
Con(s): Perhaps not the easiest to get to via public transport. Wylam train station is just less than one mile away.