The Garden Cafe is a relatively new addition to the Johnstown Garden Centre just outside Naas. It's fresh, vibrant and serves good food in a picturesque setting. Retail therapy is on offer as well, and from an accessibility point of view, for older relatives, or people who are confined to wheelchairs, it is an excellent served spot.
Johnstown Garden Centre is a favourite of my green fingered wife, so a trip with herself and our daughter ticked plenty of boxes.
It is easily found on either direction on the M7, just on the Dublin side of Naas. There is a large car park, and the Garden Cafe is to the rear of the complex, through what is the retail element with lots of household items and some eye catching displays.
The garden centre proper is out back, but the cafe is a bright and airy space that feeds out through a conservatory onto the decking and patio display areas, which is a lovely setting on a summer’s day to enjoy the weather and surroundings over lunch.
The food is served buffet style with a selection of salads and warm offerings. There are also options such as the Caesar salad, which is ordered at the counter and then prepared fresh and served at the table.
Dishes included marinated salmon, a fine looking barbecue chicken, homemade lasagne and a potato salad that was very well made and piled in what can only be described as fussy; little cubes of potato were carefully placed and even the ladling by staff failed to diminish its appeal.
Broccoli and feta and Moroccan cous cous salads vied with a traditional braised steak and a couple of homemade quiches. For a light snack, there were two soups on over, and there are sandwiches and Panini as well.
The coleslaw contained red cabbage, the grated carrot was raised through the addition of raisins and mandarin segments; there is some no small effort involved here and it pays off in flavour.
We really enjoyed the barbecue chicken with three salads, while a well made chicken pie was also a winner. Desserts were fabulous, with an array of delicious cakes and trifles which finished off a lovely lunch.
Afterwards we took a trip around the garden centre which saw us leave with plants for our own garden, and some nice presses for friends.
The Garden Cafe is not just a restaurant; it's a day out with family and friends, with some retail therapy in a lovely setting included. This is well made, honest food at reasonable prices; great for a weekend family lunch.
**There is good Wi Fi, so handy for a business meeting or keeping teenagers glued to iPhones.