When I started this series I honestly thought we could do one a week. Even with duplicates it’s been about half that. Still, not everything goes to plan. Next year I will do better.
This morning we went to McDonald’s, did some errands then, as I said, went to the garden centre. The centre in question is Brookfields, our local centre. When we first started going it was a modest gravel car park and some large greenhouses. Now it’s a monster of a place with car parks and overspill car parks and fish and pets and a massive gift section. There are still plants and there’s a small seed and tool section, but it’s mostly a gargantuan gift emporium with lots of glitz and very little soul.
The vastly expanded cafe section is now known as Arthur’s Eatery, because stupid twee names seem to be the in thing, though it’s still recognisably the same old shoddy cafe, just with more seats.
I went to find a table while Julia went for tea and cake. I found one, cleared it myself, as the staff weren’t keeping up, sat down and looked at a dirty, creased and faded label on the table, wondering why any reputable food establishment with pretentions of cleanliness would allow such a thing on the table. Turns out it was a sticker saying the table was reserved for dogs owners, so I moved. I suppose that when you think of the number of germs spread by the average dog, a species known for its indiscriminate licking habits, the dirt on the sticker is insignificant.
The next table needed clearing too, and was covered in crumbs, brown lumps and cup rings. I decided to move to a cleaner table. Cleaner, but not clean. It was sticky, which always makes me think they are being wiped down badly. This, in turn, always makes me wonder what else is being done badly.
When Julia found me she had a cheese scone for herself and a plate of mini scones for me. The three mini scones were cheese, which was nice, mince pie flavour, which tasted of Christmas spice, and Chocolate and Orange, which explained the brown sticky lumps on the previous table.
It was pleasant enough and at £8 was more reasonably priced than it used to be – price being one of the reasons we stopped using it. However, there was nothing there to justify a return visit any time soon.
I thought the cup of tea provided was a bit small, and didn’t really need the free biscuit.
Cheese scones were full of flavour, the others were less successful, particularly the orange and chocolate one. I don’t honestly see the need for novelty scones.
Staff and cleanliness could both be improved.