Insole Court, Fairwater Road, Llandaff, Cardiff. 029 2116 7920 / www.insolecourt.org
Food **** Atmosphere ***
Insole Court is now open to the public and in the safe hands of The Insole Court Trust. After years of campaigning and the local community pledging to save the historic mansion and gardens, the whole of the building has been invigorated and been given a new lease of life. The Potting Shed Café is one of these ventures, run independently on the estate by Celyn Baker. Priding itself on having cooked, made and baked all dishes on the premises in their teeny kitchen, it’s a quintessential local artisan café: no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.
The menu is a varied assortment of brunch items served until 12pm: toast and butter, stacked bacon and chilli jam sandwich, free-range poached eggs on toast, avocado with roasted tomatoes on toast. Afternoon tea (if booked in advance) starts at £16 for a selection of sandwiches and, obviously, tea; a fabulous chocoholics’ afternoon tea (£18) includes hot chocolate, cream and mallows among many other choccy-based delights. I avoided that and went for roasted squash and red pepper tagine with cous cous, coriander, toasted almonds and pomegranate – a delicious, fresh, tangy and super-healthy perfect lunchtime meal.
The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, with lots of families and children popping in before or after yoga sessions. In an enviable spot, in front of the manor house facing the gardens, and with upcoming events including the Autumn Concert and Buffet on Fri 17 Nov, The Potting Shed will continue to please its customers and delight ones who have yet to find it.
words ANTONIA LEVAY