GRIFFIN’S GARDEN CENTRE
Picture this. The sun shining on a terrasse. Dinners enjoying themselves at the tables. It overlooks the water. Here comes a motor boat with a water-skier going zigzag behind it.
You are not on the Med. Not dreaming. You are at lunch in the Spinning Wheel, the lovely restaurant attached to the stunning Griffin’s Garden Centre in Dripsey. I was there yesterday.
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When we arrived at the centre to see the newly installed display gardens, designed by Margaret Griffin, we were greeted with some free nibbles. Loved my piece of tart with Ardsallagh Cheese.
First mission though was to take in those new gardens. They are just fantastic, something for everyone here. Most are set to a fairly small scale, some smaller than others, and so will suit the majority of people. The ideas though will suit everyone interested in livening up their space. I loved the use of colour (eg the bright red lamp, the pink wall, the white flowered corner and also the artefacts such as mirrors).
Well worth a visit for the display gardens alone. And particularly so this coming Friday when Dermot O’Neill will be along to officially open them, starting at 11.00am. It is just over twenty minutes from the western side of town.
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I’m a regular (if infrequent) visitor here and usually call to the onsite Spinning Wheel restaurant which is right on the bank of the River Lee. This place is light and airy, loads of glass and lots of colour too, right down to the serving trays. It is open all day with lunch served from 12.30pm.
You can have light bites, tea and scones for examples, toasted sandwiches or something more substantial. Never shy at the table, I went for the award winning Jack McCarthy Black pudding, wrapped in bacon and served with a mix of summer berries and, of course, a side plate, this of carrots and haricots verts. A lovely meal in a lovely place for ten euro.
You may also but food items to take away here, such as cakes and scones and various preserves, including jams and relishes.
We got down to some serious business after lunch and grabbed a trolley, bought some plants, got some advice (the staff here are very friendly and helpful) and headed back to the car. But not before a look at the indoor shop, so well stocked you’d need a fair bit of time to browse through.
All in all, quite a visit on a sunny day. But don't worry too much about the weather. Quite a bit of the centre is under cover and you always have the shop and Spinning Wheel. If you can't make it on Friday, put it on your list of things to do.