As we were lunching among hardy perennials, spring bulbs and fruit trees in the unique café set amidst Nicholson’s Nursery at North Aston, it seemed only right to try anything unusually herbivorous.

Which is why, on setting eyes on the delicious cakes on offer at The Yurt Café we were mesmerised by a parsley and mint variety. Yes, you heard that right, and with a green sponge to match it was certainly one to try later.

combined with twinkly lights, a woodburner, tasteful crockery and enough lush plants to make Dr Livingstone feel at home, it is the perfect place for a long overdue catch up

In the meantime we were there to sample new Creative Chef Enrico Ramaglia’s cooking. Previously of Worton’s Organic Cafe in Cassington, another of my favourite haunts, he is keen to serve his well-heeled clientele with a new menu at the smart garden centre eatery.

And yes we did have soup, salad, tart and some cake, but that’s what we wanted. It seemed fitting and appropriate somehow.

Because let’s face it cafes have certainly come a long way from the formica-topped tables, milky tea, full English breakfasts and white bread chip butties of yesteryear.

So it is always a delight to find a true independent and unique offering like this, while browsing amongst the lovely plants and homewear, even if I did make a mental note to invest in some more tweed afterwards!

Virgin ‘yurters’ always love it on arrival, because the structure of the building inside the Mongolian style tent is beautiful and cosy but spacious. When combined with twinkly lights, a woodburner, tasteful crockery and enough lush plants to make Dr Livingstone feel at home, it is the perfect place for a long overdue catch up.

Always busy, we nabbed the only spare table before tucking into the soup of the day which was cauliflower with a drizzle of oil and lemon and served with delicious home-made salty focaccia. For mains we opted for the leek and thyme tart with dressed leaves and a raspberry vinaigrette (£11), as well as the chargrilled artichoke salad with goats cheese (a steep £13.50).

Luckily, we also left enough room for the now famous parsley and mint cake (made by fellow Yurt chef Dan Stephens), which definitely had more than a hint of a Mojito, and we were powerless to resist the chocolate, raspberry and pomegranate concoction which was a dense, sticky triumph.

I popped back for coffee and toast the next morning (the breakfast menu is really moreish) and it was still buzzing – this time we settled in the comfy seating by the woodburner – much to the envy of several ‘yurters’ who jealously eyed the coveted spot.

They know their audience well here at The Yurt and thanks to Enrico, that looks set to continue.

The Yurt At Nicholsons, North Aston

Sarah Edwards

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