Restaurant review: The Olive Grove – It is what sunny afternoons are Med for

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook
Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook
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So the sun is shining, palm trees are swaying in the breeze, I have a cold beer in hand and I can see the meze I’ve ordered heading our way.

No, I haven’t been lucky enough to whisk myself away to a sunswept Mediterranean island, I’ve driven 20 minutes down the A605 to Polebrook.

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

I am actually sitting in the well appointed cafe at the Olive Grove Nurseries, an Italian-style garden centre selling palms, olive trees, Mediterranean plants and the like.

It has a very summery colour scheme in the indoor section, and a lovely under-cover outdoor dining area and patio benefiting from, as you might expect, a nice line in garden furniture.

The menu is pretty straight forward, simple and obviously inkeeping with the theme of the place - very Mediterannean with plenty of nice salads, meze and pizza from the wood burning oven.

For starters we ordered a mini meze and a trio of pate and terrine.

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

Despite being descrived as mini, the meze was pretty filling; nice soft pitta bread, slices of salty, grilled halloumi and two super little deep fried falafel that benefitted from the soft, cool houmous.

The pates and terrines certainly packed a punch when it came to flavour. The first, a vegetable offering, was crumbly and had a sweet tomato taste, the second was a strong fishy taste - mackerel and salmon perhaps - and the third meaty offering was quite coarse and extremely livery - a little too much for my liking.

It came with four great wedges of toast and a wonderfully fruity chutney - a great contrast to the strong flavours on the plate.

More grilled halloumi followed with Donna’s salad - lots of fresh-tasting green leaves, sharp peppery rocket, juicy sundried tomatoes, olives, cucumber and tiny gherkins. A lovely light lunch with a chilled glass of pinot.

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

I couldn’t resist the sight and smells coming from the pizza kitchen and went for the special of the day - a duck and goose pizza.

I like my pizza with a thin , crispy base, and simply love that slightly toasted taste from wood fired ovens.

To be honest the thin slices of meat took a back seat, with the spicy margherita sauce, finely chopped mixed peppers and sprinkling of herbs taking centre stage.

A couple of scoops of refreshing rich, chocolate ice cream with chocolates sauce and sprinkles sent us on our way dreaming of more summer lunches in the sun.

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

Brad’s rating: 7

Venue: The Olive Grove Nurseries, Oundle Road, Polebrook, Peterborough

Opening times 10am to 5pm.

Contact 01832 275660 or visit www.olivegrovenurseries.co.uk

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook

Brad Barnes dines at the Olive Grove cafe in Polebrook