Lily’s Garden Cafe near the bus station on Smithfield Road Shrewsbury is without doubt the best cafe in Shrewsbury. Lily and her family were kind enough to allow me to take some photographs of her fantastic cafe garden which sits right on the bank of the River Severn. I’ve put a little slide show together but the garden has to be seen…
From the outside looking across from the bus station you might think all you are going to get at Lily’s is a gingham table cloth and a mug of tea. That is not the case. Lily’s is a whole lot more. That’s what makes Lily’s such a joy to find for the first time. As you enter the garden, ducking down under a tunnel of shrubbery you suddenly find yourself in an extraordinary place full of golden sculptures, children’s toys, Chinese lanterns, railway engine lights and a pond made of mirrors and astro-turf. It would be impossible for anyone to enter the garden and not be touched by the creations put together by Lily the owner of the cafe. Inspired by Monty Don, Lily has taken things to a more artistic level. The garden plants, the installations and sculptures and lighting are all very personal to Lily and it is her personal touch that has created the magic.
Lily was well know in Shrewsbury for the window display in her pub which she used to run across the road from the cafe and many of the toys and exhibits in the garden came from the displays she put in the window of her pub.
Lily also shared with me a secret about the cafe garden – It used to explode on a regular basis!
If you want the full story then you’ll have to drop by for some rather excellent food and a cup of tea. The fruit cake made with cider is highly recommended. I’m sure Lily will be happy to explain about her exploding garden.
The food is great. Proper tea, not tea bags and as you might expect a very warm welcome.
Shrewsbury is most famous for Charles Darwin and was once the administrative centre of Wales! Lily’s garden cafe is destined to become part of Shrewsbury’s cultural heritage. Don’t just read about it on the internet or in the tourist information office. Head down to Smithfield Road and enjoy one of the jewels in Shrewsbury’s crown.
I’m not in the habit of reviewing cafes but I’ve made an exception here because Lily’s Garden Cafe made me very happy.
It is also the cafe most frequented by the dazzlingly brilliant Richard Schreiber and The G Plan Unit. They are the team that meet at Lily’s! If that’s not an endorsement then I don’t know what is.
2011 – UPDATE – see also the link below: