The River Gardens
Scarborough Evening News "The Cafe Tasters" Brilliant Review
  With a weather forecast of sunshine and showers, we enjoyed a glorious drive to Ruswarp on the outskirts of Whitby. Then from Ruswarp’s St Bartholomews Church we turned sharp left on the B1410, as-signed to Sleights and Pickering. Where were we going? To the River Gardens- the home of Perry's Plants.
  My friend and her husband used to spend holidays here when they could book a chalet for a week and go fishing in the River Esk.

How things change! The chalets have gone – all but one, which is now a charming café/tearoom which won the Yorkshire Moors and Coast Tourism Award of the Year 2009-2010.

Set in three acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, the Victorian tea gardens and licensed café on the banks of the River Esk can’t be missed as you approach sleights.

Perry’s Plants sells a tremendous selection of rare and special plants for all your needs. There’s an 18 hole putting green, an ample free car park and riverbank walk when you visit River Gardens Café. Serving cooked meals and home baking all day every day from 10am to 5pm, it’s renowned for good food.

Well behaved children are welcome, and dogs on leads too, but we chose to go on a weekday whilst peace and calm prevailed.

Having spent quite a while perusing plants, as we approached the café, Michael’s immediate attention was drawn to a board announcing fresh Whitby crab! On the reverse side, I spotted homemade cherry pie. We need look no further for other items on the menus.

Entering the timber chalet was a unique experience. Warned of its sloping, wooden flooring, we chose a table by the window overlooking the River Esk.

Others overlooked the gardens and putting green. I enquired about crab sandwiches, and the waitress apologised for the delay of crabs, but suggested we wait about 10 minutes for their arrival. However, in less than five minutes she kindly returned and took our order.

The interior was attractive in its simplicity and basic practicality.

Plain wooden floors, well-cleaned wooden tables and un-cushioned wooden chairs were in keeping with the wooden walls and ceiling.

Dried flower heads and honesty hung from the above, and a herb (artificial) be-decked each table. Curtains were appropriately designed with a variety of vegetables.

The smiling waitresses were all polite and efficient, and attentive to each customer’s requirements. Our meals were delivered to our tables with the appropriate cutlery, and sachets of sauces were available.

Our eyes sparkled with delight as we savoured the scrumptious crab sandwiches. We’d ordered brown bread for choice, and this was really fresh and wholesome filled with a generous quantity of crab. Served with a salad garnish and crisps, the meal was most attractive and colourful.

The salad comprised lettuce, and one slice each of tomato, cucumber, orange and onion. It was all gorgeous and cost £5.

Next followed a good helping of homemade cherry pie with light, crumbly pastry and cherries (complete with stones) to lend a faint hint of almond. We had a choice of cream or ice cream to accompany it, and the fresh cream completed a perfect dessert for £2.95

From the selection of teas coffees, we ordered a latte, which comprises espresso coffee combined with steamed milk, topped with a small amount of foamed milk (ie one third espresso and two thirds milk), £1.60.

Again, it was perfection – hot, foaming and delicious. Brought on a tray with sugar basin and milk jug to accompany it, what more could one ask?

Meals may be taken inside or out where you could enjoy a glass of wine or cool beer whilst watching the river flow by.

There’s a great choice of food at this excellent café. Sandwiches £3.30-£3.50, salads £5.35, quiche £5.35, ham or prawns £6.95, light bites £2.35, soup £3, quiche, chips and salad £5.50, scampi, chips and salad £7 and Radford’s steak pie, chips and gravy £6.50.

Afternoon tea compromised assorted sandwiches, a scone with jam and cream, a homemade cake and pot of tea for £7.75.

The toilets were situated outside at the end of the cafe, and were adequate and functional – no frills!

Open March to October 10am to 5pm daily.
Quality of food, 5/5;
Value for money, 5/5;
Service, 5/5;
Sitting, 5/5.
Maureen and Michael Robinson
River Gardens Cafe
Our Reviews

» May 2011

Scarborough Evening News "The Cafe Tasters" Brilliant Review.

Maureen and Michael Robinson

May 2008 Review

» June 2008

"Dear Jackie, We had an enjoyable evening with the golf but must say how much we enjoyed the supper.."

June 2008 Review

» May 2008

"To, Jackie & the staff at Perry's Garden 'spot', On behalf of the members of The Rotary Club of.."

May 2008 Review
Sleights, Whitby, YO21 1RR © 2009 The River Gardens. All rights reserved