Sara’s Tea Garden Old Leigh Review

April 5, 2016 by Rich - Foodie Reviewer

Sara’s Tea Garden Old Leigh

It doesn't take much to confuse me. Lets take the recent Easter bank holiday weekend for example; I tell ya, I was all over the place. I just lose track as to what day of the week it actually is. Thursday feels like Friday, Friday feels like Saturday and so on. I found myself wondering where the Sunday papers were on Saturday! By the time we get to Monday, well, I haven't got a clue. What's even more confusing is the week approaching this long weekend. I'm a firm believer Thursday is the new Friday. I spend a lot of the week in London, and you've just got to wander around the bars and pubs on a Thursday evening. They're full of revellers enjoying early weekend drinkies. So if Thursday is the new Friday, what happens over the Easter weekend? Thursday really is the last working day of the week, so Wednesday then gets promoted to the new Friday status. Jeez I'm getting confused just writing this.

I took full advantage of this though. After a few post work bevvies I found myself in a curry house that very Wednesday night. There I was tucking in to poppadoms and a 'as hot as you dare' greasy curry! This is totally out of character; I'm a guy who normally eats clean during the week. So, I really was getting in to the spirit of this long weekend! The Easter weekend, for me consists of gardening and getting stuck in to those jobs I’ve been putting off all year; BORING! But more importantly eating and drinking. During The long weekend just passed I indulged in everything from takeaway pizzas, to a glorious formal dinner party with some very good friends; wonderful! Well, I can't remember exactly what morning it was; after all, I was totally oblivious to precise days of the week. All I do know is, Lou and I had indulged maybe a little too much on the Easter booze! We hadn't been shopping either, the cupboard was bare, we had no breakfast materials in the house; disaster! What do we do? We needed no better excuse; lets pop out for a bit of brekkie!

Sara’s Tea Garden has long been on my foodie hit list, so after a couple of paracetamol and some re-hydration, we wandered down to Old Leigh. Sara’s occupies a little corner along the cobbled paths of old Leigh, directly opposite the Peterboat. It's a lovely quant little spot, as soon as you walk through the gate it's got a real English country garden vibe about the place. Outside, it has plenty of seating with blankets to keep your legs warm in the colder months, but also an area inside. As it was rather too nippy to sit outside we wandered in and found a nice little table for two. The place was packed with families all tucking in to some great looking breakfasts.

I was in need of some strong coffee. So with no hesitations I ordered a strong black one! Lou on the other hand, clearly influenced by the quant English country garden feel, got involved with some earl grey tea no less! How ‘la di da’!

So what do we eat? Of course it had to be brekkie. All the classics as you’d expect on a breakfast menu can be found, but with additions such as pancakes with berry compote and maple syrup. Or how about avocado, egg and pancetta with tomatoes and toast? They all sounded great. Let me just add here, the menu has a doggie section. Yep, your canine companion is welcome to dine with you. Why don’t more restaurants cater for our four legged friends? I know the Sandbar is doggie friendly, and surprisingly, just last Sunday Lou and I enjoyed a bottle of champers in the sun outside the Oyster Creek Kitchen. These guys were quite happy for dogs to make the most their front lawn (and I don’t mean relieving themselves!). At Sara’s, whilst you’re tucking into a full English, your pooch can enjoy a doggie sausage, or what about a home baked dog biscuit. Also, If you email them a picture of your dog, the good people at Sara’s will judge their ‘dog of the month’ and upload it to their website. If you’re the lucky winner, both you and your dog will receive prizes; fantastic!!

Anyway, back to the human food. Tough decision here, I could’ve ordered any one of the wonderful sounding breakfast delights! I settled on the good old classic ‘Full English’. This consisted of bacon, sausage, toast, beans, tomato and egg. I opted for a poached egg, but could’ve had fried or scrambled. Well, it was all good; the egg was poached to perfection with yummy runny yolk. The bacon? A thick piece of back, with a crispy rind, naughty but nice! A good amount of beans and a classic breakfast sausage. I was starving, so it was heads down whilst I demolished the lot, in what seemed like seconds! Lou went for the veggie breakfast. I was shocked; a VEGGIE breakfast was she mad! But, when it arrived at the table, I was actually a little jealous! No cardboard, fake meat sausages here chaps, just a good breakfast, which didn’t need any meat. Hash browns, scrambled egg, mushrooms, tomato, beans and avocado, it looked a picture. Lou ate the lot, she loved it! I’ve always said it; good veggie food should be grub, which just doesn’t need meat. You shouldn’t have to add vegetarian sausages or bacon; full marks chef. Yep, both brekkies hit the spot; I was back in the land of the living! How much? We got change out of £20 for a ‘Class A’ breakfast in beautiful surroundings. So we left Sara’s quite content. What’s even better, by this time it was nearly beer o’clock! Say what you like, hair of the dog after a good brekkie is the ultimate in hangover cures!

I love Sara’s Tea Garden, it is quintessentially English. It’s the sort of place American tourists would flock to for a true taste of proper England. I was in two minds whether to write this review, I wanted to keep this beautiful corner all to myself. But, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t share my foodie experiences with the masses. So if you haven’t been and you find yourself wandering the cobbled streets of Old Leigh pop in to Sara’s, I’ll lay my reputation on line, you wont be disappointed. Remember, its not just breakfasts, pop in for lunch too, or just tea and cake (and the cakes look epic). I’m definitely going back for some of that.


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