I once interviewed the new owner of an established, respected and very popular garden, who told me he was planning on closing the garden’s award-winning teashop. For a moment my journalistic integrity got the better of me, and I told him he was mad. Tea and cake help bring people to a garden. They also attract people who aren’t interested in gardens, but who like tea and cake.
Which is probably why the number of tables and chairs dotted around the Walled Garden at Mells has increased since I was last there. It was quietly busy on a gloriously sunny Good Friday, but it still felt like a garden first and foremost. You’d be hard pushed to find a nicer spot for tea, cake or wood-fired pizza than this south-facing terrace overlooking rolling Somerset countryside.