Spring sunshine tempted me out of the office one lunchtime and down to Darfoulds for a bite to eat.
Darfoulds Nursery is only a stone’s throw from Worksop along the A619 and is a destination for gardeners, shoppers and lunchers alike.
Set in idyllic landscaped grounds, including a beautifully serene lake, the garden centre is a pleasure to browse.
There was plenty of car parking space when I arrived and a few people were browsing the plants and vegetables outside.
There are a few large greenhouse buildings to stroll around. The biggest houses a gift shop and Greenhouse Coffee Shop.
I could have spent a good half-an-hour looking at the decorative homewares and gifts that adorned the place. But I was limited for time and had food on my mind...
The cafe, at the back of the greenhouse, is airy and light, with plenty of chairs, tables and a couple of sofas.
There are also a few tables outside at the front of the shop. In hindsight I should have chosen to eat al fresco. But I was tempted by a comfy looking sofa and a pile of Derbyshire Life magazines.
It was warm inside - a little too warm - but several ceiling fans stopped the temperature soaring too high.
A blackboard menu boasted a variety of hot drinks, light bites and sandwiches.
Light bites, like toast with jam or marmalade (£1.70), toasted teacake (£1.75), soup and a roll (£2.30) and chips or wedges (£1.90) were not going to satisfy my appetite.
So instead I took my pick from the sandwich selection. Fillings included delights such as chicken, bacon and mozzarella; brie and cranberry; tuna melt and cheddar cheese and chutney (all £4.95).
For £5.95 you can get the Darfoulds’ famous club sandwich - which I imagine is a towering beast of a sandwich.
All these can be served on panini, baguette or ciabatta bread.
I went for good old fashioned sliced granary bread with a filling of smoked salmon, lemon and pepper.
Considering the heat, a cup of tea was perhaps not the wisest choice of drink.
But my Nana’s old adage that ‘a brew cools you down in the heat’ rang strangely true.
A smiley, polite waitress took my order at the counter and let me leave my bill open - I told her I had spotted the cake cabinet and wanted to choose something sweet for afters.
I sunk back into the obscenely comfy leather sofa and poured myself a brew from a tiny teapot.
It was just the ticket - hot, sweet and refreshing. And I was pleased to get not one, not two, but three cups from the pot. It cost just £1.25.
Then arrived my delectable sandwich, accompanied by a colourful side salad and pot of creamy coleslaw.
The granary bread was thick and firm, with plenty of bite and packed with deliciously chewy grains.
It held the sandwich together well, which was a good job because it was packed full of smoked salmon.
No wafer thin strips of bland fish here at Darfoulds. This salmon was thick-cut, juicy and supremely flavoursome.
A sprinkling of black pepper and a drizzle of lemon juice really enhanced the flavour. I couldn’t put it down.
Once finished, I definitely had room for more. But I couldn’t manage a cake.
Instead I chose an ice cream cone from a freezer box (£1.50). To my delight it was a Thaymar Ice Cream - lovingly made right here in Notts.
Lemon meringue was my chosen flavour and I ate it outside overlooking the lake before driving back to work.
By Hayley Gallimore