“ Address: Castel / Guernsey / GY5 7SS „
Le Friquet Garden Centre is the largest garden centre in Guernsey. I visit here quite a few times a year however you will never see me gardening. Most people visit for the cafe and restaurant or gift shop. The building is unique and is a doughnut shape. You can walk around in a complete circle indoors and the centre of the circle (or the hole in the doughnut) is outdoors. To walk the whole circle takes quite a long time before you are back where you started. When entering the building you will see a large water feature. This is a nice focus on arrival. It always captures the attention of children as you cannot touch the water, it is behind glass. The tills are in front of the door so it doesn't matter which way around you go. Unfortunately for the staff they have said it is cold by the doors in the winter as there are always people entering. I usually go right when inside and this has a large area of indoor plants and gifts. Some plants I have bought here are Orchids as there are some beautiful ones to choose from. The gifts include a wide choice of bath sets, photo frames, kitchen equipment, jewellery, chocolates, candles, something for anyone. I have bought Christmas presents here and they are reasonable prices. Further around are clothes and shoes. I have never bought any clothes here as I prefer high street brands but I have bought some nice slippers. Although you would expect outdoor clothing brands this is not the case. There are casual clothes as well but not well known brands. After the clothes area is the cafe and restaurant. This has a large area of seating and a childrens play area, both indoors and out. I have never taken a child here but children are always telling me about how much fun they had at my work. This shows how great it is if they remember a few days later to tell me. They get very excited when they've seen there friends here. The food is a selection of delicious cakes, fruit, biscuits and meals which I have not tried here. I like to have a tea and cake before continuing to shop. All the food is homemade. Unfortunately the prices are quite expensive for food. Along the side of the cafe and restaurant is a indoor path which is great as it means if you don't want to stop for food and drink you don't have to force your way through all the tables to get to the otherside. On the otherside is a wide range of books and toys. These are mostly cooking, gardening or childrens books. I like looking at these though. My cousin who is six always buys a Mr Men or Little Miss book when he visits which he enjoys as he can start to build his own collection and he uses his own money which makes it feel more of an accomplishment. The toys are not branded but there is a nice selection which you probably wouldn't get on the high street. A lot of them are related to books like the Gruffalo. The next area is not my favorite because it really smells. I nearly run through the fish and pet area. There are nice displays of fish and rabbits and parrots, etc. Children love to look at these and it's cheaper than going to the aquarium. The last area before you are back at the tills is gardening equipment including wellies and gloves, and children and adults gardening things I don't know the names of. Outside in the centre is a huge selection of outdoor plants, gates, fences and other things that belong outside. There are doors all the way round to get outside and there is an outdoor climbing frame for children and seats for the cafe in the summer (or at least when it's not raining or snowing!) There is a large car park outside which is free to use. The opening hours are: 8:30am - 6.00pm Monday to Thursday, 8:30am - 8.00pm Friday to Saturday 10:00am - 5.00pm Sunday This is a fantastic place to visit even if you don't like gardening. I particularly love it at Christmas when all the trees and decorations are out.