Flitting about London is a bona fide passion for me – I love any excuse to discover a new suburb, turn a new corner or a unveil a new story, so a few weeks ago when I was meeting someone near Pinner – a suburb of North West London – instead of going into a S*******s or C***a, I quickly Googled for somewhere a little more interesting and discovered ‘the Gardeners Cafe’ at Eastcote House and Gardens.
Eastcote House Gardens is a beautifully tranquil award-winning green space, with Grade II listed buildings, including a historic Walled Garden, wildflower meadows, a Topiary garden and a newly planted Jubilee Orchard, linked by a footbridge over the River Pinn to Long Meadow, an ancient water meadow.
Standing at the heart of Eastcote for more than 500 years, it was so much nicer than a faceless chain with bland lattes.
It’s pretty, no?
I always visit these kinds of places, and my vision turns a little bit sepia. I’m transported to a world of yesteryear, where ladies wear hooped dresses and gentlemen lay their coats over puddles.
They would have walked through the walled garden now kept by volunteers; full of neatly trimmed flowers, topiary hedges and an orchard around the back.
It would have started as a sheltered area where herbs and flowers were grown, somewhere that the family of the house could find peace and quiet. From research done by locals, the walls are listed as 17th century, although the presence of Tudor bricks suggests a rather earlier history.
But now instead of a sprawling family home, there is a sweet little cafe that’s really popular with local dog walkers.
They were super friendly (and slightly bemused by my laptop-wielding meeting) as we chatted over coffee – discussing taking over the world obviously.
Eastcote House stood in these gardens from around 1507 until it was demolished in 1964, the residence of the Hawtrey Deane family, but now there are just a few outbuildings, stables, a dovecote and the walled garden.
Now it’s a peaceful place for locals.
I can’t help but feel that ha-ha’s were named by a sadist…
I did have to giggle at the end of our meeting, after we took a walk through Eastcote House Gardens, the person I was meeting with turned to me and smiled. “This is bloggable, isn’t it Emma?” Talk about caught red-handed…
Do you find yourself seeking out trusted favourites or something a little more unique? (Click here for a few more centrally located coffee shops…)