The Eden Project has really embraced the world of nature and brought it into the fore. The knowledge of the staff and shear size of the place is very impressive. Setting an agenda of dependence on nature it gently illustrates that we all rely on it so we had better understand it, treat it with respect and learn to adapt to new ways of living.
The Bakery is a relatively new creation overseen by Head Chef Tony Henshaw who explained to me “It’s quite new and we are still working on how we can improve it, but so far it’s been really popular”. The very large room is taken up with the cooking and presentation area and large benches and stools. The idea is you go and choose your food and drink then take it back to the bench area and when you have finished go to the till and tell them what you have eaten. A certain amount of honesty is expected and it is working, which is great to see.
The food itself is definitely of the hearty variety – just what’s needed after a morning traveling around the site. We had Beef, Beer and Chocolate Stew with a large hunk of bread, which was tasty and good value at £4.50 for a large bowl. Their take on the classic Tuscan Bruschetta was Bacon, Cheese and Mushroom these were laid on large trays and you just help yourself. The cakes we had afterwards would have kept a small army going for the afternoon, I had an excellent Victoria Sponge which was moist, light and loaded with jam and butter icing, again good value at £2.80. It’s also worth mentioning that, as you would expect The Bakery does indeed bake bread, which you can buy to take home. A very nice Rosemary and Sea Salt loaf took my eye and for a couple of pounds it does seem a fair price for something freshly baked. To wash all this down, they have an array of freshly pressed juices from Apple to Elderflower and many more besides.
The long benches and stools add a communal spirit to the whole proceedings. It’s hard not to end up talking to your neighbour about your visit and swapping stories of what the children liked the most. And I guess that communal is a good way to describe The Bakery as that is the whole essence of The Eden Project in a nutshell.
The Eden Project is a fun, educational and interesting place to visit in the west-country, well worth a detour. With it’s constantly changing programme of events I would allow a day to get to see all you want and if you are interested in gardening there is a splendid shop selling allsorts of unusual and quality specimens. Oh yes, and you can go ice-skating as well – pretty hard to beat on a half term trip to Cornwall!
To find out more visit www.edenproject.com