The Redwood, Crowders Garden Centre

Most garden centres now have ample eateries where soup and sandwiches are available. However, Crowders Garden Centre also has the added bonus of a fine dining experience. Just on the outskirts of Horncastle, The Redwood offers a simple, yet delicious menu within an ambient setting. It is a world away from the bustling garden centre just on the other side of the doors.
We arrived early on in service and the restaurant had already started to fill with diners eager to sample the offerings. Me and my guest made ourselves known to the waitress and were quickly seated. While we perused the menu, which offered two or three course options, we were able to take in the setting. From the vivid colours of the furniture and blinds, to the rustic bar area, The Redwood offers charm in a comfortable setting.

While the menu had some tempting choices for starters including roasted butternut squash and sweet potato soup with crumbled goats’ cheese and red onion marmalade, mango and crab meat cocktail with a lime mayonnaise dressing and shredded confit duck with a rocket, orange and roasted walnut salad, we opted to start with a main course.

I chose the beer-battered fish with triple-cooked chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. The fish was cooked beautifully and came away in flakes when the fork touched it. The batter was delicate yet contained all the flavour you would hope for. I have never understood why chefs choose to triple cook chips; however, after sampling the delights on my plate I will certainly be looking for them on future outings. The mushy peas worked wonderfully with the fish and the tartare sauce was a nice accompaniment. My guest opted for the slow braised blade of beef on a fondant potato, served with red cabbage and a red wine jus. The beef was tender and cooked perfectly and melted in your mouth, working well with the red wine jus. The cabbage had been cooked so that it still had a crunch and retained its flavour. Other options on the menu included chicken breast wrapped in pancetta with butternut squash mash in a Stilton sauce, pan fried trout with new potatoes, chicory and vine tomatoes; or, for a vegetarian option, there is a filo tart of beetroot, red onion, cherry tomato and parmesan cheese.

While we sat and let our main courses settle, we enjoyed a nice glass of wine from the extensive wine menu. Although The Redwood may be in the grounds of a garden centre it offers all you would want from any restaurant.

For dessert I chose the coffee cheesecake. The flavours in the cheesecake were delicate and the biscuit added a crunchy base. My guest chose the raspberry, lime and meringue ice cream which they described as an explosion of flavours.

The Redwood opens for lunch seven days a week between 12 noon and 2pm and Friday and Saturdays it is open from 12 noon until 9pm.

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