BANGKOK'S GARDEN CAFES
Central Bangkok of course has plenty of restaurants that have a garden, where it is possible to sit and enjoy the food. These tend to be old houses in the back sois, converted into restaurants, and usually very effectively so
But how about those hidden little venues where the garden is itself an attraction, with plenty of space for the kids to run around, and where the cafe is both an easy stop for coffee or for a full lunch or dinner?
This month we set out in the car to track down a selection of garden cafes. These are all outside the city centre, but easy enough to reach via the main highways. We were especially looking for attractive daytime venues, and each of our visits was made for lunch. It is worth pointing out, however, that each of the cafes we went to is open for evening business.
We were surprised that so many of these establishments exist, and that despite being hidden away they are so popular. Many of the customers tend to be regulars, and weekends especially see good business. We were surprised too at the scope of the menu that each offered, with the choice being way beyond our original expectations.
There is also the inventiveness of the venues. We found one that is the gatehouse of a luxury moo baan, and another that had been a garments factory. One had been a furniture showroom, another was perched on the side of a pond, and another was a cottage with a homely atmosphere and a lush and leafy garden.
All this within easy driving distance from the city centre madness.