Sutton Green Road, Sutton Green, Guildford GU4 7QD
Innovative salads, freshly baked cakes and savouries using some local ingredients dominate the menu at this new kitchen at Elm Farm Nursery!
The Upside: A great addition at Elm Farm Nursery for delicious home cooked food in a delightful setting.
The downside: Elm Kitchen Café is not open on Mondays.
The flipside: The food here is all home-made with an admirable ‘no deep fryer’ policy meaning that nuggets and chips are permanently off the menu.
Elm Nursery in Sutton Green is one of my favourite places. Run by a lovely family this is a low key welcoming and friendly venue. Famed locally for Mum Rita’s bedding plants and amazing filled hanging baskets it was crying out for a café. The café was supposed to open last year but electrical supply issues and other difficulties led to a few months delay. This was a frustrating for Jacqui Street who is at the helm. Already making pies for the Olive Tree pub down the road and for Joes farm shop (on site) Jacqui’s cooking skills were a known quantity.
Softly opening in late April they have steadily been growing a local following. Home-made quiche, meaty sausage rolls (a treat with a high meat to pastry ratio), Scotch eggs and interesting salads are complimented by home made soup, freshly made sandwiches (from £4) and English breakfasts (from £6).
Jacqui sticks to local suppliers when she can; Ray Rowley butchers supply free range bacon and pork for breakfasts, sausage meat for the sausage rolls and Scotch eggs (both £3 each). Free-range eggs also come from Rowley’s as even though there are lots of chickens at Elm Farm their eggs are sold in the farm shop. Bread comes from Christmas Bakery one of the few traditional bakers in the area supplying the farm too.
The menu has plenty of choice, ambitious considering small kitchen. I went with my kids on a warm day so I opted for a grilled halloumi salad from the specials menu. This was a delicious of mix freshly grilled cheese, avocado, peppers, tomatoes, couscous and chick-peas on salad leaves. Topped with roasted pine kernels it had immediate kerb appeal. I loved the fact that when Jacqui bought it to the table she bought a little jug of dressing too.
Too many times since writing ‘Eat Surrey” I have been expected to munch my way through a plate of dry leaves (read my article here on this). My daughter opted for freshly made roasted tomato and basil soup with half a prawn and avocado sandwich. They are flexible here because they can be and it was the perfect sized portion. Essential here as we also ordered a home-made sausage roll. Heavy on sausage and light on pastry and warmed through we ended up having two (£3 each). My son chose a chicken, chorizo and roasted red pepper sandwich, which came with a salad garnish and a portion of crisps (£5). It was freshly prepared super stuffed and the addition of soft roasted peppers was inspired. To finish we had coffee (from Nature) and tea. Sadly no room left for a slice of home-made cake. Having sampled these in the past I can verify that they taste every bit as good as they look (from £2.20)
The café is situated next to a small animals feeding area for kids with chickens, ducks, geese, guinea pigs, rabbits & pigs. In the field next door say hello to Llamas (Luna and Saffron), miniature ponies and goats. My daughter (20) and my son (15) spent ages with the animals proving what a hit they are regardless of age. The café itself has been built at the end of a new grassed off picnic area. Visitors can bring their own picnic and use the seating provided outside right next to the pens of chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and rabbits. Perfect for young children who can be contained within the area that is safe for them to play around in a lovely setting and easy for parents to keep an eye on. Entry into the animal enclosure for children to feed the animals and get a closer look is just £1. Feed is available from the farm shop.
Kids parties are popular here and Jacqui can provide a top notch kids menu with plenty of healthy choices and a lovely birthday cake too. Pop in for a chat to get more details.
Elm Kitchen is a great addition to a growing portfolio of new independent cafés in Surrey. Go and give it a try you wont be disappointed!
I would like to thank my work experience student Xavier Brunton from George Abbot School for taking the images and laying them out for this post.