Last Saturday, I spent a wonderful afternoon in the beautiful village of Hale, sampling the scrumptious new menu at The Garden. The Garden specialises in fresh, organic, and seasonal produce and has a fabulous selection with something for everyone. Being gluten free, I really struggle to find anywhere up North, (especially outside the city centre) to get some good wheat free options that don't taste like cardboard. Luckily for me, The Garden has a wonderful menu with a wide range of gluten free goodies, including some incredible pancakes which I will tell you more about later. It also has great variations of healthy vegan options, which again, can be a real struggle to find up here.
I took my lovely hubby along with me, as I'm on a very boring medical exclusion diet right now, and I knew that Mus would devour anything and everything. He's Turkish, so grew up with a Mediterranean diet and would happily choose a salad over a pizza (I know!?) so I knew he would really appreciate the all of the different flavour combinations that I wouldn't be able to enjoy. Hale itself is beautiful, and only a 30 minute drive from where we live. The Garden looks truly inviting with fairy lights and neutral colour schemes, but as soon as you walk through the door, your senses go wild! So many flavours and colours and hustle and bustle. It was full when we arrived (always a good sign) and I loved having a little nosey at what people had ordered.
We started off with drinks, I had a delicious soya hot chocolate and Mus had tea. You can get everything you could think of as the drinks menu is a dream. We found out a little bit more behind the origins of The Garden. It's run by two friends, and has proved so popular, that their juices and a selection of their food is now available exclusively at Selfridges in the Trafford Centre. They have a great holistic aspect behind their menu, and their ethos is definitely to nourish your body but enjoy food too. With this is mind, Mus chose the Gentle Lentil salad bowl and he enjoyed it so much he actually says it's THE nicest salad he's ever had! Which if you knew him, would know that that really is a massive compliment. He has salad every day, sometimes twice a day, and would never say anything is better than his mum's cooking, so believe me, it's good!
Me being me, I obviously chose the macha pancakes. I chose the cacao spread and banana, but you can also have fresh fruit and cashew cream. They were incredible! As mentioned earlier, I really struggle eating out, and finding an enjoyable gluten free option. The pancakes are full of goodness and have just natural ingredients, so it was practically one of my five a day...I couldn't finish them all as you get a huge plate, but I will definitely prepare myself for next time!
The cafe itself has a warm and friendly atmosphere. It's clearly very popular with the locals, but I know a few people who have travelled from the other side of Manchester just to try it, as the recommendations are nothing but 5 *! It was a lovely afternoon and the food was scrumptious. I'm actually taking my vegan friend nearer Christmas, so keep an eye out for more #foodporn pictures over on my instagram!
Thank you to the lovely Grace and everyone at The garden, Hale. I can't wait to visit again!
You can view the full menu here