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6 garden centres with tea shops in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 10:17 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:24 28 August 2018

(c) zeno Aras, Unsplash (CC BY 2.0)

(c) zeno Aras, Unsplash (CC BY 2.0)


Make a day of your trip to the garden centre with tea and cake. We pick six garden centres in Suffolk with cosy tea rooms to enjoy

1. Marlows, Bury St Edmunds

At Marlows, gardeners can enjoy delicious homemade sultana scones with jam and clotted cream and a choice of tea or coffee in the Scandinavian-themed café, The Kitchen. If you’re feeling a little more luxurious, you could always replace the hot drink with a mini bottle of Prosecco for £6.25.

Still feeling hungry? There’s a menu of sandwiches featuring firm favourites such as coronation chicken; prawn Marie Rose; and tuna and cucumber to choose from. Little ones can tuck into a children’s picnic from the under 12’s menu.

There’s a lot to enjoy in the garden centre including a nursery brimming with beautiful bedding plants, shrubs, trees and planters. The staff here have plenty of horticultural knowledge so you’re good hands.

2. Sturmer Nurseries, Haverhill

Leave landscaping at the door for an hour while you unwind with a hot cup of tea or a latte. The cosy onsite tearoom at Sturmer Nurseries sells freshly baked scones and cakes all year round and there are plenty of gluten free options available too. All of the cakes are homemade and even the milk in your tea is organic.

After your cream tea feast there is plenty for the green-fingered to explore. From plants and garden care accessories, to an extensive range of wildlife products and garden ornaments, Sturmer has your gardening needs covered.

Don’t forget to visit the gift shop before you leave where you can purchase cream tea vouchers and lots of knick-knacks.

3. Darsham Nurseries, Ipswich

The tastefully decorated café at Darsham Nurseries is the perfect summer location for a spot of afternoon tea. Diners can enjoy tea and scones in the light and airy dining room or out on the sunny terrace. There’s always a plethora of baked goods on the menu. Think cinnamon buns, croissants, fondant fancies, fig loaves and more; the only difficulty is choosing what to eat.

Darsham Nurseries have a team of horticulturists and landscape designers that offer a range of services to suit your gardening needs. The garden centre also plays host to a range of events throughout the year, such as themed dinner parties, gardening master classes and art exhibitions.

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4. The Place for Plants, East Bergholt

Nestled in the Stour Valley on the Suffolk/Essex border, you’ll find The Place for Plants. Here, we have yet another garden centre that hosts some brilliant events throughout the year, especially in the summer and autumn. From garden open days to horticultural tips and advice sessions, there’s plenty to see and do so check the events section of the website regularly for details.

The garden centre also has a recently opened café which serves cream teas and cake in the summer (ring ahead to avoid disappointment). You can relax with some afternoon tea, following a guided tour of the gardens and centre.

The gardens at The Place for Plants alone are worth the trip. Home to some spectacular flowering trees and shrubs and a wild flower meadow, the garden is open between March and September. Admission is priced at £6 and children can visit for free.

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5. Garnetts Gardens, Woodbridge

At Garnetts you’ll find a myriad of gardening supplies, plants, freshly cut flowers, composts, garden furniture and more.

If you’re planning on holding a BBQ in your backyard this summer, the garden centre’s farmshop stocks lots of local produce perfect for al fresco dining. Meat is sourced from Cratfield, Sutton Hoo and the Wild Meat Company, all within a 14 mile radius or less. There are chutneys, meat pies and other sundries on sale too.

Garnetts is another garden centre to recently open its café doors to the hungry public. The tearoom has an array of yummy cakes and sandwiches to enjoy with your tea. Coffee fans can also enjoy a freshly made barista-style coffee from the professional coffee machine.

6. Swann’s Nursery, Woodbridge

Swann’s has been running for over 40 years and it’s a well established institution on the gardening scene in Suffolk. The nursery is open seven days a week and there’s 35 acres of garden heaven to explore.

A host of horticultural experts are on hand to answer any budding questions you might have about landscape design and gardening tips.

The onsite Wild Blackberry Café has lots of outdoor seating for you to enjoy cake and tea whilst soaking up the summer sun. Want to enjoy a cup of tea whilst you explore the garden centre? You can get one to take away.

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