M1, Junction 15A; 7 minutes
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
You’re met at Bell’s Plantation by the tinkle of a fountain, a flourish of lilies and glistening goldfish in the raised pond. Once a plant nursery, today it’s a complex devoted to outdoor life, with a poultry centre, brewery shop, garden centre and farm shop.
Exposed brick walls, solid wood floors, comfy sofas, covered glasshouse seating, roaring fires and lovely modern loos (important) make the café a cosy stop in the winter. Come summer, visitors spill out onto the lawn to enjoy a full menu of homemade and seasonal food at parasol-shaded tables. Breakfasts are hearty and specials change daily, perhaps fish cakes with a poached egg or pasta bake with homegrown tomatoes.
The chickens that owner Ash and Sheena have kept since the beginning continue to be popular with small visitors, while older guests can browse through calming aisles of seedlings or indulge in a quick massage the on-site beauty parlour to knead out the road knots.