Over the years we’ve spent a lot of time at Bannold building merchants, wandering around their display gardens, choosing various stone and building materials for our own garden projects.
Having seen inside some of their on-site sheds, we were aware that their owner, Michael Attle, was keen on restoring engines. However, recently we discovered that for their latest display piece, they’ve combined Michael’s interests and actually built a full blown railway station at the end of the yard. Not only that, but there are also 3 lovingly restored Pullman carriages standing at the platform in which they now serve afternoon teas and light lunches.
Welcome to Carriages of Cambridge!
So this was where we decided to have our Gardeners’ Christmas lunch.
The attention to detail is delightful. I almost wished I’d dressed up in period costume. Luckily there were no murders aboard!
There’s not all that much information about this project on the Bannold website, but if you are interested in finding out more about the restoration journey for the carriages, then I would direct you to this post by Barrie on the RailwayBlogger’s website. He has some insider information on their provenance.
Yet another building project recently finished in the yard is a Kitchen Garden.
This garden comes complete with two restored Victorian greenhouses (manufactured by Messenger & Co Ltd) and a Marshall portable steam boiler (~1887) which heats the greenhouses during winter. The garden is planted up and now supplies lovely fresh salad, fruit and vegetables to the new restaurant.
I adore kitchen gardens. I love poking around them, collecting ideas. I was particularly taken by the lovely form of a row of claytonia/winter purslane growing in one of their raised beds (2nd from left, with spade-like leaves). I’ve never grown it before, but now I think that I will give it a try. Sadly, it wasn’t used in our afternoon tea.
But we didn’t go short … here is what we were served:
Along with tea, plenty of tea. Yum!