WITH Halloween and Christmas not far around the corner, our garden centres will soon be bustling with shoppers looking to pick up festive goodies for the winter season.
Shopping can be thirsty work so it’s important to have somewhere decent to take a well-earned retail breather from the crowds.
A good place to start is the Citrus Café in the Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre, located just two miles from Gainsborough on the A620.
The attractive citrus-themed café is housed in a large converted greenhouse and makes for a light and airy focal point at the back of the main garden centre.
First stop were the large blackboard menus displaying the varied range of dishes on offer.
There was plenty for people wanting a lighter bite, such as large salad platter with new potatoes (£5.99), soup and sandwich (£5.50) and jacket potatoes with various fillings (£3.99).
They also do hot dishes for those needing something a little more hearty, such as luxury fishcakes, meat pie and gravy, battered fish and mushy peas and lasagne and garlic bread – served between 12-2.30pm for just £5.99.
Weekend diners will not be disappointed either, with a roast and Yorkshire pudding option served up on Saturday and Sunday for £6.99.
I plumped for the vegetable kiev, chips and salad option, at £5.99 and took my drink to take a seat and wait for my food to arrive.
The weather has certainly been anything but tropical of late, but just a few minutes sat next to one of the many citrus trees in the balmy greenhouse café and I felt as though I was on holiday.
The waitress bought my lunch with a smile to the table about 20 minutes later and I began tucking into the atttractively-presented dish.
I was a little bit disappointed to see the kiev didn’t appear to behome-made, although it was pretty tasty and well-cooked.
Any disappointment was made up for, however, by the large hand-cut chips.
They looked really yummy and tasted even better – a definite winner.
Full from the home-made chip extravaganza, I passed over on the dessert menu which boasted an array of naughty treats for £3.65, such as toffee apple bread and butter pudding and black forest tumble pudding.
The Citrus Café proved to offer a civilised, relaxing and friendly environment – perfect for catching up with friends and family over a cake and coffee or hearty meal any day of the week.
Star rating ****