Old Dairy Tearooms at Great Comp Garden get a makeover and a new menu for visitors to enjoy

Great Comp Gardens, the visitor attraction in St Mary’s Platt near Sevenoaks, has appointed a new tearoom manager who has initiated a new menu and overseen a redecoration project.

William Dyson (curator) welcomes new tearoom manager Joe Lane

The Old Dairy Tearooms is now being run and managed by Joe Lane from Northfleet.  The 29-year-old, who originally trained at The Cricketers Inn in Meopham, has introduced a vibrant and different menu to the tearooms. The newly renovated tearooms also now boasts a fabulous new coffee machine.

Joe says: “Visitors can enjoy homemade soups (made daily), avocado toast, baked camembert, freshly made sandwiches as well as a full range of delicious cakes including vegan and gluten free offerings.”

The garden’s dedicated volunteer workforce rolled up their sleeves and assisted with the painting and renovation of the Old Dairy Tearooms at the 17th century manor house.

Joe Lane using the new coffee machine

As the name suggests, the tearooms were once the stables and dairy onsite at the house which has existed for the last 300 years  and has been home to 19 registered owners including the notable Frances Heron Maxwell, a prominent WI member in Kent who also served as the West Kent  Women’s War Agricultural Committee during the second world war and pioneered the Women’s Cricket game in England.

The garden is curated by William Dyson who is famed for his collection of salvias and so it is unsurprising that these magnificent plants from Mexico and South America proliferate in the colourful borders come the summer.  In the spring the garden is home to over 80 flowering magnolia trees (in 52 different varieties) and a host of azaleas and rhododendrons.

Curator William Dyson said “It’s great to see the tearooms looking so wonderful and to get a chance to taste the new menu and fantastic cakes.  I think the former members would approve, especially Frances Heron Maxwell who must have shared a fair amount of tea and cake with Kent WI ladies in years gone by.” Great Comp Garden and Old Dairy Tearooms opened to the public on the 1st March.  At present, entry to the tearoom is included in the entry price to the garden.  The Great Comp Charitable Trust, who run and maintain the garden,  hope in the future to be able to open the tearoom to non-garden visitors too.”

Staff enjoy the new roaring fire at the tearooms

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