Following on from last week’s Sunday Lunch challenge, we thought we would step down a gear. No chance.
Nicky’s Pantry is the on-site coffee shop in John Toomer’s garden centre in Stone Lane, Lydiard Millicent. And we were pleasantly surprised to discover it offers much more than coffee and a quick bacon roll.
A bit Heath Robinson, as OH put it. The coffee shop is situated in a conservatory at the back of the garden centre, furnished with odd bits of furniture, miss-matching china and a massive patio heater. In style terms, it’s definitely more Kirstie Allsopp meets the boys from Scrap Heap Challenge, than Philip Stark. And definitely not the place to take that client you’re trying to impress.
But, as they say, appearances can be deceptive. Nicky’s Pantry proved to be a bit of a hidden gem.
Excellent for a coffee shop. In addition to the staples (toasties, baguettes, baked potatoes, cakes etc), there was a full Sunday Roast on offer, soup and a good selection of traditional puddings.
We opted for the roast lamb, which was accompanied by roast potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, gravy and onion sauce. For dessert, we chose the orange and lemon meringue pie. Boy opted for chicken nuggets and chips, again (with peas), and a chocolate brownie for dessert.
As the cafe is unlicensed, we had filter coffees and Boy enjoyed some apple juice.
Quality of food
Excellent. We arrived relatively late on the Sunday, so we may have benefited from that, but the roast was perfect, with the meat just falling off the bones. The potatoes too were superb. This was definitely home cooking at its best (and without having to do the washing-up). Boy cleared his plate, so thumbs up there too. And the lemon-meringue pie tasted homemade, with an interesting twist of orange too it. Definitely not a frozen job reheated, which is what you often find in pub or chain restaurants.
Excellent. Attentive, efficient and our waitress was quick to volunteer that the brownie had walnuts in it.
Value for money
OH and I couldn’t agree on this one! At £8.95, he thought the cost of the roast a bit dear given the surroundings. That said, it was excellent quality. The puddings at £2.50 were excellent value. We spent just over £30. It’s a very different proposition from a pub lunch (no drinks, for a start). But, overall, I would say it offers good value for money.
Nicky’s Pantry only has four reviews, but gets a 5/5.
Food Hygiene Rating
None listed for Nicky’s Pantry. However, the cafe at Toomer’s scored a 5/5 at the last inspection in 2012.
A bit of a find. We will be going back again.