OUR meal cost under £50 – but the views from the restaurant were priceless.
The Olive Tree Tea Room and Restaurant at Totties Garden Centre in Holmfirth was opened after a 15-month planning battle – and it was well worth the wait.
We dropped in for lunch on a beautiful sunny day and sat by one of the windows to admire the miles of panoramic Holme Valley scenery stretched out before our eyes.
The restaurant has three levels with seating available inside and outside a conservatory on the top floor – which doubles as a luxury ice-cream parlour – and then a number of tables, chairs and settees below overlooking a veranda where customers can also sit.
Many of the visitors are undoubtedly people who call at the garden centre to stock up on plants and fancy a bite to eat at the same time.
But Sunday lunch is also available, along with a number of ‘specials’ every day and it is the venue for celebration parties such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries.
Fresh produce sourced locally or straight from the Totties garden is used in the recipes.
Two of us had carrot and coriander soup as a starter (£3.25). It had a fairly thick texture with a deliciously strong flavour and was served with half a brown teacake and butter.
For the main course we all chose from the specials board. Husband Peter went for lasagne, chips and salad (£7.25) and my mum and I both opted for plaice goujons with chips and salad (£7.75).
All three were very generous portions.
We were given a spare plate to share our food with two-year-old daughter Natasha who had her own Happy Monkey strawberry and banana smoothie (£1). A separate children’s menu was available.
The salad was second to none. I often leave lettuce at the side of my plate, rarely seeing it as very appetising, but this looked as though it had been plucked from the garden that day because it was so lush in appearance and the tomato slices were rich and succulent.
We all had a dessert. I went for Victoria sandwich, Peter had carrot and pineapple cake and mum opted for a coffee and walnut gateau (£2.50).
Again, the portions were large and we could easily have had one between two, but the cakes were moist and fresh and the perfect end to our meal.
I had a latte (£2) which was served with a small biscuit at the end of the lunch and two of us had refreshing orange, mango and pineapple smoothies (£1.70) with our meal. Another choice was dandelion and burdock (£1.95).
There is a wine list and other alcoholic drinks are available from a fully licensed bar.
Among the other specials were gammon, egg, chips and peas; sea bass and salad; shepherd’s pie and chips and hot pot.
If we had fancied something lighter we could also have gone for paninis ranging in price from £3.95 to £4.65, hot and cold sandwiches (£3.25 to £4.50), salads including Greek and chicken Caesar (£5.95 to £6.95) or jacket potatoes (£4.95).
Extras including chips (£1.80), potato wedges (£1.75) and onion rings (£1.75) are available separately.
The restaurant was almost full when we there, even though it was midweek when eating out venues are often quieter. It has obviously already built up a reputation and all the staff offered polite and friendly service.
The garden centre, which has free parking, is wonderful for children. After we had finished eating we were able to take Natasha to see a menagerie of animals including Oliver the New Zealand Kune Kune pig, rabbits, goats and a pheasant.
There is also an enclosed area in front of the veranda where youngsters are able to play.
The restaurant – opened in August last year – has a new and modern atmosphere with candelabras and palm trees.
The furniture consists of smart, light-coloured wooden tables and matching chairs. I couldn’t help thinking one of the tables would look great in our dining room – and I would love to take home the spectacular view too!
Tel: 01484 680227
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, 10am to 5pmFriday to Saturday, 10am to 9pmSunday, 10am to 4pmAlso open until midnight upon request for parties and functions
Children: Very much so
Disabled access: Yes
The bill: £46.80 for three
Would you go back?: Already been