Arderne Gardens. You may not know the name. I certainly didn’t, even though I have probably driven past them a few hundred times and was an Ikey for what seems like a hundred years. Do yourself a favour though, get to know them, you won’t regret it.
A wedding picture favourite, the garden, just off Claremont Main Road, makes for a perfect day visit. Even if all you want is just a leisurely stroll through some picturesque surroundings, then this is the place to be. I made the trip down on a quiet Sunday morning just to see what all the fuss was about.
I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. The gardens are well-looked after and offer sunny grass patches, khoi-filled waterponds, Asian-inspired bridges and crossings and enough plant and birdlife to give any naturalist a tingle in their checklist-filling spine. That may be a lot of hyphenation to be throwing around in one paragraph, but sometimes only hyphens can truly explain something that your eyes have no singular words for. This is what Arderne Gardens really is.
As we sauntered through shady patches of overhanging palms, spatterings of leafless winter growth, newly-bloomed buds of spring flowers, expertly hopping over puddles from what may have been an early morning drizzle, we slowly unveiled what felt like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden. Every turn held something new for the eye to behold, importantly, something unspoilt!
We spent a good bit of time just lazily walking around and when we had had our fill we decided to satisfy yet more of our needs – this time with some delicious food!
A quick map search revealed a number of restaurants in the area, from take-out joints to 5-star cuisine. We closed our eyes, imagined what our stomachs were truly asking for and then put our fingers on a final destination, A Tavola, Italian dining at its finest.
As you walk in, you can’t but help the Pavlovian drool that comes with the appetizing smells that hit you square in the nostrils. That is only the start of your experience, the food you’re about to taste will explode your senses in the best possible way.
We feasted on a tomato-based octopus dish and some home-made Italian meatballs, two meals that can only be described as delectable. I would go into more detail but there is really no better way for you to know what these taste like than to experience them for yourself. Best get on that then!