We were visiting friends last weekend and after a walk we made our way to Beales Barn in muddy wellies for some lunch. Arriving here was like walking into the garden of my dreams; a scene of total abundance and colour, nothing too neat; wild flowers dotted everywhere, rows of huge, green cabbages, bushy stems of purple kale, pumpkins ripening and apple trees unloading their fruit.
It was a cool-ish, grey day so we opted for the warmth on offer inside the barn. That said, I was tempted by the gorgeous veranda dotted with potted plants and strung with festoon lights.
Inside, the walls are lined with gardening paraphernalia, colourful old trowels and hoes, shelves of local jams and honey, buckets of freshly cut dahlias from the garden and baskets of freshly plucked red peppers, chillis and pumpkins.
The concept is from plot to plate and the garden supplies the kitchen year-round. It’s a small place run with much love. The team appeared to be a group of good friends, and I spied a shelf of my favourite recipe books marked up with post-it notes.
On our visit there was a beetroot salad, red pepper and goat’s cheese quiche and salmon and spinach filo pie on the menu. On Sunday’s they serve a ‘big breakfast’ and our little ones devoured scrambled eggs and sausages.
Everyone was happy. And the grown-ups even happier because they also serve Monmouth coffee and the most wonderful cakes. I couldn’t leave without a slice of the rose geranium cake with cardamom cream – divine!
Images by Rebecca Gaunt