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The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.secretgardenkent.co.uk
  • Phone: 0123 350 1586
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Sunday: 10am - 12pm Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 12:00PM - 02:30PM, Afternoon Tea: 2:30PM - 5PM Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 06:30PM - 09:00PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: British, Afternoon Tea
  • Executive Chef: Mark Tanner
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Our Chefs can create catering for any occasion please ask for details.
  • Private Party Facilities: Glass House, Seats 24 guests. Private Gardens attached. The Glass house is a unique Victorian room that offers outside-in. Suitable for weddings, parties etc..
  • Private Party Contact: Stephanie Wanstall 0123 350 1586
  • Entertainment: Our web site will give details of all offers and events through out the year. Please book to avoid disapointment.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Cookery School Opened June 2011. Learn Italian, French, Bread Making, Foraging, Indian, Quick & Easy Dinner Parties, Or come for one of our Demo & Dine Evenings.

Getting there

  • Parking: Private Car Park
  • Parking Details: 100 cars in a gravel car park with 24 hour security.
A word from The Secret Garden
We are an award winning restaurant set in an elegant converted 19th century Coach Building. We use seasonal fresh produce sourced from Kent and our own Victorian kitchen Garden. We offer Light Lunches, Afternoon Teas and A La carte Evening meals. Dine Alfresco on our terrace or in our beautiful gardens. Private Dining also available Dine al fresco on the South-facing terrace overlooking the traquil walled gardens, enjoy the cobbled courtyard and shops, or relax in the warm cosy candelit restaurant. Guests are welcome to explore the kitchen & Flower gardens. We are recognised for our excellent food and warm friendly atmosphere, our menus change daily due to seasonal Produce. All food is Home Made, and if not grown sourced from Local Farmers and Producers. If not coming for Lunch or dinner, how about Afternoon tea or Cream tea. Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambience
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBritish
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBrunch
Diner Reviews
  • "This is a gorgeous place for an afternoon tea or more. The food was lovely the waiting staff were polite and helpful. The cost was also very reasonable. The missed trick was that they were very busy and needed some prompting to provide all the service they were capable of, other than that full marks. We will be going again."
    dined on 19/07/2014
  • "We've been to the Secret Garden a few times now, as a couple and in groups, and always the food is exceptional. Well cooked local produce. Occasionally the service can be a little slow, but if you're not in a hurry this shouldn't be a problem. Staff are friendly and generally efficient. Definitely recommend."
    dined on 11/07/2014
  • "The food here is as good as always - and the soufflé was superb. Very flavoursome when some recent ones have been lacking at times. Unfortunately we were sitting next to a group of very loud ladies (why do they do that?) which is fine - a risk one has to take in a busy restaurant. However the restaurant was only around half full and we felt an alternative table could have been discretely offered to us, especially as the staff recognised the problem. We also had to remind about our drinks order which was a little irritating. Overall good - but not as good as usual :("
    dined on 30/06/2014
  • "As always the food was lovely but unfortunately the service was absolutely awful. For a start we were sat an hour before we even got our drinks, when they came out they got them wrong. They messed up out order as we'd booked for cream teas and they tried to give us afternoon tea which is more expensive (also making us feel like we were to blame for the mix up). When we questioned it they took the food away and took about another half hour or more to bring out the scones By which time we'd drunk our tea. They couldn't even give us the right amount of glasses for people for our water. Needless to say we were very disappointed and will be going somewhere else next time we want cream teas"
    dined on 29/06/2014
  • "Wonderful setting, the staff were attentive and helpful, the food was lovely. A glass of elderflower white wine " summer in a glass" delightful"
    dined on 20/06/2014
  • "We ate here on Father's Day. The restaurant is very nice inside and out. Great for kids with space for them to go exploring safely. Checked the menu online and thought that approx £23 for 3 courses was fine. But on arrival found there was only the Father's Day special of £30.00 for 2 courses. No starter choices, and essentially a buffet with only 5 main courses, one of which was a hog roast and a range of ok but not inspiring salads (all you could eat, that's true). Not exactly value for money. They did include the coffee in the menu but that might have been because it took them half an hour and three requests to give us the bill. Very friendly service but extremely slow. Would try it again but not with those special menu prices."
    dined on 15/06/2014
  • "We have been coming here for a number of years, and are pleased to find unwaveringly good standards of food, service, comfort (especially outside) and surroundings. Without doubt the overwhelming strong point is it's settling in a large walled, quintessentially English Country Manor garden, which when the weather permits is extremely well served with a glass covered roof, and very comfortable quality furniture. And the outlook is to die for! The food is acceptably good, and is worth going to even if you have to eat inside which is very pleasant. Very good, efficient, friendly service."
    dined on 11/06/2014
  • "Took my mother for Sunday lunch which she enjoyed very much. The ambience, surroundings and service were great. Unfortunately we could not book before 2pm by which time roast meat was not in optimal condition. All other elements of the meal were good, fresh vegtables and freshly prepared starters so dont be put off booking. Suggest order freshly cooked meals if your booking is later."
    dined on 08/06/2014
  • "We have been here a number of times and each time the food, service & ambiance is excellent. When the weather permits, there's a lovely garden to sit in, wander around and even enjoy some of the garden games available. Simply perfect!"
    dined on 08/06/2014
  • "Very enjoyable Tuesday lunch. Food was excellent and service very good"
    dined on 03/06/2014
  • "Really good food well presented and with brilliant service, the dishes are well constructed using local products , the cream tea's are a speciality but the sunday luch was good"
    dined on 01/06/2014
  • "The settings were lovely and service was good, although they looked like there had been issues abs a little disorganised. Wind prefer a bit more savoury and less sweet the on the afternoon tea there was too much for us to eat. Definitely go again but order less. Thank you. "
    dined on 26/05/2014
  • "Good food and great service We enjoyed the decor and and strolled in the garden after our meal"
    dined on 17/05/2014
  • "Took my mother for lunch to celebrate what would have been her 40th Wedding anniversary. My lovely dad passed away from a brain tumour in 2006 but I wanted to take my mother out to talk about her memories of her special day back in 1974. We had a wonderful lunch, with very attentive staff. The food was amazing! I could not fault a bite! It was delicious. The setting was beautiful and the atmosphere was idyllic. "
    dined on 10/05/2014
  • "Had been recommended by our daughter. It was our 49th wedding anniversary and I thought an afternoon tea would be a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. I mentioned this when booking. We were made welcome when we arrived. Teas was served - almost too much to eat and half way through we were presented with a Happy Anniversary message written in chocolate. That made us feel very special. Unfortunately the weather was wet but we will visit again to enjoy the gardens and another sumptuous tea!!"
    dined on 08/05/2014
  • "Been here a few times before and just seems to keep getting better. Visited this time as it was our 10th year since we first started dating."
    dined on 03/05/2014
  • "We took a friend for his birthday and earlier in the year took the whole family Excellent food and service every time Very friendly staff "
    dined on 27/04/2014
  • "Afternoon tea for my father's 91st birthday - such a delightful experience from beginning to end. All food delicious and served beautifully on pretty bone china. Tea and coffee topped up at no extra charge and waiter presented candle, cake on a platter with 91st birthday wishes written in chocolate. Dad was thrilled with the place and the specialness. "
    dined on 26/04/2014
  • "The food was superb with attentive service and a great atmosphere. This restaurant is highly recommended and a great location too."
    dined on 22/04/2014
  • "we started with a nice bottle of wine and then afternoon tea - staff very polite and helpful - one of our parties was disabled and excellent facilities - only comment was that because it is a small room it was very very noisy as people were finishing their sunday lunches - a shame afternoon tea could not be in a separate room from the lunch diners as had the ambience of smelly dinners! if the weather had been better we would have sat outside which would have been much nicer. Would go again but only if the weather was good enough to be separate from diners."
    dined on 20/04/2014
  • "Had a wonderful after tea a few weeks ago in glorious sunshine, sitting outside and then on Sunday had a great Sunday lunch (3 course meal). The food was exceptional and could not fault either visit in any way. thank you."
    dined on 20/04/2014
  • "The Secret Garden does some of the tastiest locally sourced food in Kent, all of which is beautifully presented and outstanding value for money. The staff are attentive, friendly and knowledgeable, and the setting is beautiful - you walk through a large courtyard (which used to be a stable block) before you enter the restaurant, which has been decorated in a lovely shabby chic style with stunning views over the orchard. Their glass conservatory is also amazing for private parties - ask to see it! They're also becoming famous for their amazing afternoon teas. I have eaten here many times and will continue to do so. In my opinion The Secret Garden is one of the best restaurants in the Ashford area."
    dined on 17/04/2014
  • "Since we last went to "The Secret Garden" the only thing that's changed is the decor, the food & service is still very good. My wife and I went there for Sunday Lunch to celebrate her birthday. Having wet her appetite with the Tipple of the Day - a white wine and elderflower spritzer, she had the baked scallops, followed by the fish and the highlight for her was the lime souffle with chocolate ice cream. After a "posh" scotch egg to start, for me you can't beat the roast pork with roast parsnips, roast potatoes and crackling, accompanied by a rainbow selection of fresh vegetables. The staff were attentive, without making you feel rushed and the presentation of a small cupcake with candle was a lovely touch. "
    dined on 06/04/2014
  • "Great restaurant. I was just a little bit cold in there but we warmed up after a couple of glasses of wine. Delicious food and despite not being veggies we both had all the vegeterian options! Definitely fit for foodies! Would recommend to anyone looking for a classy yet laid back restaurant for a lunch or evening meal!"
    dined on 04/04/2014
  • "Had a lovely cream tea here. Had 2 scones each and they were huge so pretty good value! Nice quaint china tea pots and cups made the experience feel more unique! Service could have been a little better, had to wait a while to be able to ask for the bill, even though it was quite quiet."
    dined on 31/03/2014
  • "You will get a very nice meal, in very pleasant surroundings and receive good service, don't follow your sat sat nav, if travelling from the M20 Ashford turn off, go about a quarter of a mile past the turn of over the motorway, it is on a small business estate, I am sure you will have no trouble finding it. It is well worth it."
    dined on 30/03/2014
  • "First time my wife and I have eaten at the Secret Garden it is tucked away in Mersham and I can see why people could easly drive by this fantastic restaurant, therefore if possible get a cab as its off the main road. The staff are polite and could'nt do enough to make you welcome, the food is the best that Ashford can offer. Fantastic evening *****"
    dined on 29/03/2014
  • "Outstanding! Service very friendly, efficient and good advisors of food, knowing well what it is served! Not only that, they know how to sell without overselling food! Food full of flavour and beautifully presented! Kids love the outside area to run around and the food, of course! As always a fantastic experience! Best sandwich ever! If a sandwich could be appealing, this was not any ordinary one! I would certainly recommend it! Thank you to the Secret Garden that gives me hope to find places like this to enjoy a meal out!"
    dined on 29/03/2014
  • "Had lunch there on a weekend. The weather was perfect. Restaurant had a wonderful setting in the Kent countryside. Beautiful walled garden to the back of the restaurant. Food was lovely and well-presented. Service was a little slow, but that's probably because I'm more used to a city pace of life."
    dined on 29/03/2014
  • "Invited two friend to join us for afternoon tea and as usual the food and service was wonderful. Too many cakes left but boxes were provided to take home the left overs. Great afternoon."
    dined on 27/03/2014
  • "I took my mother here for an early Mothers Day afternoon tea. I had never heard of The Secret Garden before but very much enjoyed the afternoon. The food was lovely and the service was brilliant. Will certainly be coming back in the near future to try out the evening menues."
    dined on 25/03/2014
  • "At just under £17 per head,the afternoon tea is great value. There's a good choice of sandwiches and cakes plus the scones are big (and there are plain ones too)."
    dined on 22/03/2014
  • "Ive had two afternoon teas and found them rather ordinary/boring. Would have been great to see some homemade cake on the tray. The jam marshmallow was tasteless and fairy cakes were bland. My suggestion for something more appetising would be slices of victoria sponge, cup cakes, butterfly cakes, choc chip shortbread, coffee walnut cake, custard tarts."
    dined on 15/03/2014
  • "Not been here for quite a while, don't like it as much, food is too fussy, this type of food where small amounts are served needs to be delicious, this is not, its average.they need to go back to how it used to be normally portions well cooked. Won't be going back."
    dined on 28/02/2014
  • "We are regulars at the Secret Garden Restaurant and once again we had a very positive experience for evening dinner. We were looked after by our waiter James, who is friendly, helpful and makes sure everything is perfect for our experience. The manager is also very courteous and attentive. The food never disappoints us and is one of the better eating experiences in the area. Well worth a visit if you haven't been before. We can't wait for the warmer dry weather so we can sit outside again on their fabulous terrace, you overlook their walled garden where they grow a lot of their own produce which they use in their dishes. Most of their produce is sourced locally too which is always good to know. Afternoon tea is also exceptional."
    dined on 22/02/2014
  • "It was perfect (as usual). We do go to Secret Garden quite often and we are never disappointed with anything. Food is delicious, staff are friendly and professional. I do recommend it for anything from little lunch with friends to some special/romantic occasion."
    dined on 14/02/2014
  • "Great Venue, Great Service and a really pleasant afternoon......highly recommended."
    dined on 06/02/2014
  • "Main dishes were very good but felt that it was the extras that were a bit of a con, £3:00 for a small cup of olives, extra for a small pieces of bread, a supplement for a cheese board where the cheese was unremarkable and not enough crackers to go with the cheese. We would have felt a little better if there were small touches such as you get in other smart restaurants; e.g. a small chef's treat to start with, petit fours with the coffee, but nothing like that forthcoming, not even a mint. No wonder that the place was practically empty on a Saturday evening."
    dined on 01/02/2014
  • "A lovely place to sneak away with close friends where you can comfortably dine and talk without any discordant background noise."
    dined on 31/01/2014
  • "The food was well prepared from locally sources food and the service warm and friendly, however the leaving do that was across the restaurant were very noisy with half an hour of loud speeches. I would have preferred to be seated away from them or for such a raucous occasion to be held in a more private setting. Still, a small mar on an otherwise excellent experience."
    dined on 29/01/2014