Herb – a noun, any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicines, or perfumes. But for us visiting the National Herb Centre was about to bring a whole new meaning to the word, the website claims it holds something for everyone and we were keen to see if this was true.
Rolling fields and ample space is what greets you as you drive up to the National Herb Centre. Nestled in the countryside the centre overlooks three counties, located just outside Warmington Village. 11 miles from Warwick and 5 from Banbury, it’s an ideal location for a day trip out of town – one that takes little time before you arrive into a whole world of wonder.
The centre houses the Bistro Cafe, a lovely little shop, an extensive range of herbs, shrubs, trees, roses and everything you would expect form a traditional garden centre but with a twist… you can also explore nature trails and 6 specially design herb gardens both of which you can see nature at its finest.
Families of all shapes and sizes are welcomed and catered for with a natural play area including a labyrinth and purpose-built play-frame for the children. Even the family dog is welcomed on a lead.
The Bistro Café was the object of this visit and straight away we felt a warm welcome as Jason greeted us. Helpful instructions of how the bistro worked were to be found on a well-positioned blackboard. A mirror towards the bar highlighted special offers and an extensive selection of teas were on offer by the service counter for us to peruse without rush before getting seated.
The open and light main dining area has a delicate country feel to it, already busy with customers from all walks of life it was a lovely atmosphere to sit in. Breakfast is served until 12pm and mains from 12pm onwards. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and a selection of snack and cakes are also available throughout the day.
We started with tea whilst we looked over the menus. We’d been tempted by the extent of the options available on entering and had fun choosing from the Teapig range. We chose Yerber Mate, Chilli Chi, Summer Boast and Mint Chocolate Chip. Varying in colour and exciting aroma, each tea was blended to perfection no wonder they are excellent sellers.
Choosing to sample from both breakfast and lunch menus. We munched our way through a traditional full English breakfast, the vegetable full breakfast (including poached eggs) and, a bacon and fried egg bap. As well as the cheddar and chive quiche with a handpicked side salad grown at the centre. Homemade herb centre beef burger dressed with caramelised onion and triple cooked chips. Last but by no means least we enjoyed the home-baked ham, glazed with honey and brown sugar. A combination of deliciously bad food!
Words can’t fully explain how delicious our mains were. Well cooked, presented superbly and delivered timely. It was an experience we urge you to have. The Bistro got busier the longer we stayed which Jason told us is common even on a Monday. Another helpful lady was Joy, who was kind enough to show us some of the amazing cakes they were making in preparation for the event that day, telling us that, from the traditional Victoria sponge to the chocolate brownie, all delectable delights are mixed, baked and iced on the premises daily and available from opening to closing with or without tea.
Having enjoyed the food we were pleased to learn that a lot of the herbs used are directly from the centre. So there is little to stop you for picking up fresh, herbs to try before you leave, its then up to you to decide what truly scrumptious food you recreate at home.
We enjoyed wandering around the centre after we had been filled, taking it all in stopping by to admire the beautiful wind spinners. The shop, herb gardens and nature trail are, just as described online, something for everyone. If you are looking for the perfect day out consider a trip through the terrace of herbs and on to the nature trails to enjoy nature at its finest. With activities in the summer months for children and an exhibition space on site you can often be spoilt for choice in activity. As one online review says – ‘It’s a hidden treasure’.
Contact number: 01295 690 999