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The tiny tea room/gift shop sells all kinds of gardening ephemera from dibbers to jars of chutney. hand thrown mugs and T-shirts, garden twine and toys, etc etc. They were also selling punnets of cherries for £3.50 for 500g - they are cheaper from the road side vans at £2.50 for half a kg.
Anyway, on the window ledge outside there is a tea making contraption - please follow the instructions carefully - it's complicated. Put your beaker in the machine - Select your sachet of Earl Gray tea (yuk!) or coffee or chocolate or whatever. Press the button which matches your selection - put your £1 in the slot and the drawer will open - insert your sachet nozzel up - (that's up towards the sky)- close drawer - wait - your beverage will be ready in a moment. Only it's not ready - you still have to fiddle about with silly little pots of UHT milk and straws of sugar and plastic stirrer sticks - and there's no space to do it and others are waiting in the queue behind you!!!! It was complicated enough for me - but two elderly ladies were having real problems and had to get the shop assistant to help them.
It's not really a tea room - it's a self service beverage machine.
Anyway there are a few picnic benches (from HomeBase - one of the labels had dropped off) with sun umbrellas where you can carry your paper cup of something or other and enjoy the birds wittering in the sunshine and sheep bleating in the field behind.
Oh one good thing... the assistant was listening to Ray LaMontagne on the radio.
What to buy: Don't buy Earl Gray - your average discerning Brit doesn't drink this.
Try one of the locally made icecreams - they are quite nice at £1.20 for a (tiny) pot.
The evil tea machine is in that window over on the right of the picture!!
What to pay: Everything is too expensive here.
Updated Jan 9, 2008
Address: Great Dixter
It is possible to visit the garden nursery without buying a ticket to the house and garden. There are masses of plants available at very reasonable prices.
They are open
April-Oct Daily (inc Sundays) 9.00-12.30 and 1.30-5.00
Oct-April Weekdays 9.00-12.30 and 1.30-5.30
What to buy: Plants that are in season, but clematis is a speciality here.
What to pay: £4 upwards
Written Jul 31, 2006
Address: Great Dixter
Phone: 01797 253 107