Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
Riverside Garden Centre Cafe - Cake Counter
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The Riverside Garden Centre is the closest garden centre to where we live. Tucked away round the back of a massive self storage building on Clift House Road in BS3, we’ve only ever visited to buy plants and pots…but that’s definitely going to change from now on.

It’s got everything the keen gardener needs, from seeds and tools to a huge outdoor section with a wide variety of different plants and pots. And it’s also got a cafe, which is regularly praised for its varied selection of homemade cakes. A perfect excuse to pop in…

The cafe itself is at the back of the garden centre, and it’s beautifully designed – if a little too warm on sunny days. The wooden tables, each seating either two or four, have a flower design etched into the top in keeping with the setting, and the whole place has an airy, relaxed feel. There are even a few more tables hugging the floor to ceiling windows on the outside of the cafe, and a small children’s play area to keep little ones entertained.


Riverside Garden Centre Cafe - Interior


There are highchairs by the entrance, making the place even more family-friendly, and a rack of newspapers if you’re looking to sit and while away a few hours.

The menu itself is pretty varied – as well as the obligatory pots of tea and other hot drinks, there’s a chiller cabinet with a whole host of soft drinks, including cartons of juice for little ones.

Food-wise, you’ll find everything from tarts, pasties and quiches to burgers, filled flatbreads and ploughman’s platters, all priced under the £7 mark – and there’s a small selection of children’s dishes on offer too.


Riverside Garden Centre Cafe - Menu


There’s a huge range of cakes and other sweet treats too, which we’ll come on to later…

Once you’ve placed your order, you’ll be given a numbered wooden spoon to take to your table. Food at the tables around me seemed to be coming out the kitchen pretty quickly, and givem the simplicity of my order, I’m not surprised that mine did too.

The skinny platter (£5.25) is simply salad and a selection of light bites, served with crispbreads. On the day, it was pretty basic – a hard-boiled egg (pre-boiled and fridge cold), slices of cheese, and a very generous pot of spread.  Basic, but it did the trick.


Riverside Garden Centre Cafe - Skinny Platter


It would have been wrong to leave without sampling a slice of cake, as the Riverside Garden Centre cafe cake counter looked absolutely amazing…


Riverside Garden Centre Cafe - Cake Counter


There were six options on offer, including a gluten-free carrot cake and a vegan cookies and cream loaf. I was swayed by the cherry and almond cake (£2.95), though, and was served a generous slice. It was a good, dense cake, glacé cherries dotted throughout and the odd crunch of almond, and a beautiful marzipan-like flavour.


Riverside Garden Centre Cafe - Cherry and Almond Cake


We’ve since been back for a coffee and cake stop, and can confirm that the gluten-free carrot cake is fantastic – beautifully spiced, generous on the frosting and you’d never know it was gluten-free – and the three-layer mocha cake was spot on, with two coffee cakes sandwiching a lovely rich chocolate bake.

The Riverside Garden Centre cafe is a popular place. With indoor and outdoor seating, a varied menu that caters for all dietary requirements, a family-friendly environment and a regularly changing selection of delicious cakes, it’s worth paying them a visit…


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