Garden Centres are somewhere I picture my parents or grandparents visiting on a Sunday afternoon, perusing the flower options on offer and stopping for a teacake and cup of tea at the end. Well, this idicyllic image in my mind was completely dispelled when I discovered the Perrywood Garden Centre, near Tipree, and their wide-ranging gluten free menu.
When I say wide ranging, I mean that they offered everything that a person on a gluten free diet desires but so struggles to get when eating out. From sandwiches to fish and chips, all available without a grain of gluten! This was definitely going to become one of my new favourite haunts.
Whilst a garden centre wouldn’t be somewhere I would necessarily think to frequent, on arrival at Perrywood’s I was impressed by the size. On entering you are greeted by a vast hall offering clothing, gifts and food produce. They even had a large range of candles and bath bombs which occupied me for a good 10 minutes or so!
The restaurant is bright, airy and offers seating in a conservatory style area as well as the main restaurant. It was very busy for the duration of our visit which shows just how popular it is, and how delicious the food is too.
We settled on sampling the gluten free fish and chips, which was served with mushy peas and tartare sauce. Gluten free batter is hard to perfect as it’s typically missing the most delicious components! However when this arrived at our table, freshly cooked and golden brown I knew we were in for a treat.
Moist fish, crispy batter and deliciously hot chips this was an absolute treat and definitely much better than even some non-gluten free options I have enjoyed. It was a definite 10/10 from me.
We had additionally ordered 2 slices of gluten free lemon merigune cake, which I am sure you will agree looked devine and moist too – again something often lacking from gluten free options. So we opted to take these home and enjoy later in the day. To confirm they were as good as they looked and I was half tempted to visit the next day for more!
I suppose this reinstates the idea of don’t judge a book by its cover, as Perrywood’s proved itself to be somewhere I would be more than happy to return to – despite my originaly judgement. If you suffer a gluten intolerance, are looking for somewhere new in Essex for lunch or dinner, or are vegetarian (they have an individual menu for this too!) then Perrywood’s is definitely worth a try.0