Sheer Indulgence: Garden centre cafes

Blarney Garden Centre

PERFECTLY sited just outside the historic village with its legendary castle, Blarney Garden Centre offers everything you need for your own garden, with all the plants, shrubs and trees you could wish for, together with friendly advice and expertise.

Plenty to amuse the kids too, with a pet zoo that even boasts adorable pot bellied pigs! And the gift shop is the perfect place to find that special present.

The big attraction though is the fully licensed restaurant which offers hot food every day, including breakfast and lunch as well as teas, coffees and home baking. Indeed Sunday lunch at Blarney Garden Centre is already a tradition. They’re delighted to cater for parties and special occasions too like anniversaries, Christenings or get-togethers – why not check it out next time you’re there? Easily accessible from the Mallow Road with plenty of free parking, it’s the ideal place to spend time and enjoy yourself.

* Open: Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-6pmTel: 021-4385402 Web: www.blarneygardencentre.com

THE Secret Garden, between Kanturk and Newmarket, is a wonderful world, simply full of inspiration. Flowers everywhere, rare old varieties of fruit, herbs, vegetables, and more. Friendly hens and ducks pottering about too.

Now celebrating its tenth birthday, The Secret Garden has always been passionate about the environment, and has just received the accolade of Green Retailer of the Year. “We're so pleased,” says owner Sarah. “It encompasses everything we're about - encouraging wildlife and biodiversity, encouraging sustainability, the whole ethos.”

Being green doesn't mean denying yourself. The tea room is sheer indulgence with coffee freshly made to order, tea served properly in a china pot, and delicious home baking. Local crafts and gifts in the shop, preserves and free range eggs to take home. The Secret Garden really is that enchanted place you always hoped to find.

* Open: Tues-Sat and Bank Hols: 10am-6pm, Sun: 1pm-6pmTel: 029-60084 Web: www.thesecretgardener.com.

WHEN Claypot, the Cork-based catering and gourmet food company, opened their new café in Atkins Garden World on Carrigrohane Road last year, it proved an instant success. With an inviting and relaxing vibe, and free Wi-Fi, it's the ideal place to stop off whether you're strolling the Lee Fields or heading out west on business. Hot breakfasts, healthy lunchtime choices, irresistible cakes and desserts - they're all here. Food to go as well, and Claypot will even cater your private or corporate function to the same delicious high standards!

Now the newest Claypot is open - at Cork Airport Business Park! Another opportunity to give yourself that much-needed break during a hard working day. There is simply nothing to equal the Claypot experience. Only the best quality ingredients are used in their sumptuous food, and once you know that superb service and friendly staff, you will be hooked.

* Claypot at Atkins open:Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm, Sun: 12.30pm-5pmTel: 021-4347045 Outside catering: 021-4840048Web: www.claypot.ie

IT WAS a happy day for Cork gourmets when Jam Café, Bakery, Deli, famous throughout Kerry, opened a store within Hanley’s Garden Centre, just off the Kinsale roundabout. Jam is a warm, buzzy, meeting, eating and greeting place and has quickly become a beloved destination for its fresh salads, hot and cold savoury dishes and its famous just-baked breads, cakes, pastries and desserts!

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the goodwill and welcome from the people of Cork, many of whom would have known us from our shops in Kenmare, Killarney and Tralee,” says chef/owner James Mulchrone. “People love that all our food is freshly prepared every day in our own bakery and kitchen in Kenmare using the best, fresh, local Irish ingredients. This sort of response really lifts and motivates us to be even better and our Home Catering Menu and Take Out dishes are proving really popular too.”

Jam is open 7 days a week with plentiful free parking and easy access off the Kinsale Roundabout on Ballycurreen Road.

* Open: Mon-Sat: 9am-5.30pm, Sun: 12pm-5.30pmTel 021-4323018 Email: info@jam.ie Web: www.jam.ie


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