What’s in the bottom drawer?

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A beautiful café set in a picture-perfect garden is a haven amidst the chaotic commuter buses in Harare.

This beautiful family-run café is the perfect spot for a ladies luncheon in an English-inspired garden with heavenly homemade food. Two sisters, Bridget Hoard and Sarah Macmillan, set it up together in 1995, and have run it ever since with the help of kind and friendly staff. It started as a bridal registry on Seagrave Road, hence the name ‘The Bottom Drawer’. In the year 2000, they moved to Maasdorp Avenue, close to the centre of Harare, and opened the restaurant, and continued to sell gifts such as Maxwell Williams’s fine porcelain and unique local crafts

The ‘bottom drawer’ is used to describe the clothes, sheets, etc. that a young woman traditionally collects for use after she is married.

Bridget and Sarah like to support the local industry and have a buyer who selects fresh produce like potatoes, onions and tomatoes from Mbare. Their mother takes care of the beautifully laid out vegetable garden at the back of the café, where they grow an array of lettuces and herbs for the restaurant.

Sarah has been the driving force behind the landscaping of the garden. With the help of two gardeners, they have been inspired by the English country garden design and have used a variety of beautiful perennial flowers, lavenders, floribunda roses and bushes. The tables and chairs for the café are set outside, under the shade of umbrellas and trees. As the garden has plenty of trees to provide shade and not an extensive amount of lawn, it is a cool setting far from the maddening crowd.

We all might have our own taste in garden styles, but what I love about this garden is that it has a bit of inspiration for everyone. There is a beautiful selection of plants that thrives in the shade under the trees; there are pretty plants to depict the English garden, interesting water wise bushes and beautiful flowers on each table.

It is definitely worth popping in to The Bottom Drawer on 14 Maasdorp Avenue, Belgravia and having a cappuccino, high tea or luncheon while enjoying the lush surroundings.

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Click on pictures below to view in gallery

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