Please take time to read the FAQ’s below before you visit our coffee shops.

Due to further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, we are opening up some of our coffee shops once more from April 12th. To make sure we are able to operate safely and within the current guidelines, the services offered by our coffee shops will be as below.

What might have changed since my last visit?

From April 12th, the following Otter Garden Centre coffee shops will be open as follows:

  • Ottery and Plymouth coffee shops will be open for takeaway only
  • Lymington, Taunton and Jack’s Patch coffee shops will be open for both takeaway and outdoor seating service
  • Unfortunately, at this time our Wincanton and Torbay coffee shops will remain closed. We hope to be able to re-open these in May subject to further government updates.

What are the opening times?

From April 12th our opening times will be as follows:

  • Ottery St Mary (takeaway only): Monday to Saturday – 9am to 4pm, Sunday – 10:30am to 4pm
  • Plymouth (takeaway only): Monday to Saturday – 9am to 5pm, Sunday – 10:30am to 4pm
  • Lymington, Jack’s Patch and Taunton (takeaway and outdoor seating): Monday to Saturday – 9am to 5pm, Sunday – 10:30am to 4pm
  • Wincanton and Torbay: Temporarily closed – please keep an eye on our website for any update on the reopening at these branches.

Will you have your usual delicious home-cooked cakes and meals?

At this time we will be offering a limited menu, this will include hot drinks options, with a selection of cold drinks to choose from, cakes and light meals. When you arrive the choice of menu will be displayed for that day. Our food menu will vary from branch to branch.

We are pleased to confirm that both the Otter traditional cream tea and savoury cream tea are available to order in all our branches.

All meals are prepared in our kitchens where the requirement for 2m social distancing means we are operating with a smaller number of kitchen team members, please bear with us if your order takes longer than normal to prepare.

What safety measures will you have in place?  

The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority. We are adhering to the latest government safety guidelines whilst aiming to offer that wonderful Otter experience we know you love.

This means that your visit will feel somewhat different.

  • We have a 2m social distancing rule across all our garden centre departments including our coffees shops and expect all our customers to respect and adhere to this.
  • The number of customers at the coffee shops counter area will be limited, so you may need to queue.
  • We encourage all customers to wash their hands prior to arrival. Hand sanitiser is available for all customers at the entrance and exit to our coffee shops.
  • All our team members have undertaken safety training in advance of opening and will be wearing PPE.
  • Strict hygiene protocols are in place including full cleaning and sanitising of tables and chairs between customers.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

On arrival, customers are required to approach the tills to order and pay for their food and drink, this may involve queuing if we are busy. Unless customers are exempt, face covering are compulsory inside our coffee shops. We thank all customers for their understanding and co-operation.

What will happen when I arrive?

  • You may find the entrance to the coffee shops has changed, please look out for signs when you arrive or ask any of our team members.
  • To help ensure the safety of all our customers, at our Ottery St Mary garden centre the entrance is no longer through the shop. The entrance to our coffee shop at Ottery St Mary is now located via a new signposted entrance. Please ask a team member if you need any help when you arrive.
  • For our coffee shops offering outdoor seating service, the numbers of people who can sit in these outside areas has been reduced to ensure we can sit customers safely with tables spaced well apart.
  • Please be aware that at some of our garden centres you may need to queue outside where there is no covering
  • When you arrive, you will be asked to go directly to the till points to order. You will see screens have been put into place to ensure you can safely order and pay for your drinks with minimal contact with our team
  • Condiments will be offered to you when you order.
  • With all these changes in place, if your meal takes a little longer than normal, please be patient with us. Our team are doing our up most to adapt to this new way of working, whilst keeping everyone safe.

Test & Trace

All visitors are now required to check in via the app or by providing their details before ordering. Previously only one member of a group needed to provide details, this has now changed and all members of a group must provide details. 

NHS Test and Trace QR codes are on display at our garden centres, please scan the code on arrival using the NHS COVID-19 app or provide our till operator with your contact details, in line with the latest guidelines.

If we take your contact details, this data will be held securely for 21 days and will not be used for any other purpose. The NHS Test and Trace program is a key part of the country’s ongoing COVID-19 response. If the NHS can rapidly detect people who have recently come into close contact with a new COVID-19 case, swift action can be taken to minimise transmission of the virus. You can read further information on how NHS Test and Trace works by clicking here.

How will I pay for my food and drink order?

We can only accept payment by card or contactless payment in our coffee shops, we are very sorry that we are not able to accept cash.

Takeaway service

  • We will be offering takeaway service at Ottery St Mary, Plymouth, Lymington, Taunton and Jack’s Patch from April 12th. The menu will be limited and will include hot and cold drinks, cakes and light meals.
  • If you choose takeaway, please note that under government guidelines you will not be able to consume the food or drink on the garden centre premises.

Will the seating be different?

  • At this time no seating inside is available.
  • From April 12th, we will be offering outdoor seated service at our Lymington, Taunton and Jack’s Patch coffee shops only.
  • We are sorry we cannot offer outdoor seating areas at Ottery St Mary and Plymouth at this time.
  • Please note that due to the requirement to keep our outside tables spaced apart, the number of tables may be limited. If you chose to visit our coffee shops during this time, please be aware that we will be unable to offer indoor service if the weather deteriorates, or it starts to rain, for example.
  • During busy periods you might have to wait until we have a table available. This may require you to queue when you arrive.
  • We are following the government guidelines for outdoor gatherings which changed on March 29th.  A maximum of 6 persons from any household can sit at one outside table, or two households can sit together at one outside table.
  • You will notice a reduced number of tables as all tables are now spaced out to allow for social distancing of 2m
  • You may also find a one-way system in place to reach your table. We ask all customers to follow any signs.
  • Children must be supervised at all times and stay seated at the table.
  • We are happy for customers to seat children in their buggies where space allows. We can offer highchairs, subject to availability, however as these are more difficult to sanitise between customers, we prefer for children to remain in buggies, if this is possible. If you require a highchair please speak to one of our team members when you arrive. We can offer cleaning materials to use prior to using highchairs.

Can I book for an outside table? 

We are sorry that we are not able to take table bookings, please just turn up.

How long can I stay?

At this time, we will not be placing a time limit on your stay. However please be mindful of the fact that others might be queuing for a table. Once you have finished your food/drinks, we kindly ask that you make your way back into store to continue with your shopping or your day.

Will water be available?

If required, please ask the till operator for a water when ordering.

Will the toilets be open?

Our toilets are open, although we ask you to only use these if essential. Please note that our toilet facilities are not all located close to our coffee shops and may involve a walk outside. If the toilet facilities are busy you may need to queue.

Can I visit the shop after visiting the coffee shop?

We encourage all our customers to extend your visit by browsing our garden centre. Please note that according to government guidelines when you enter the retail area, you will be asked to shop alone where possible, or with 2 people per group. Unless customers are exempt, face coverings are compulsory throughout our garden centres, and must be worn in our retail shopping areas. Our 2m social distancing rule applies throughout our garden centre, including the retail area and our car parks. To read the Covid-19 guidelines for shopping safely at all Otter Garden Centres please CLICK HERE.

Other questions?

If you have any other questions regarding your visit to our coffee shops, please contact us by sending us a message, or calling us, contact details can be found by clicking here.

If you have any concerns during your visit please don’t hesitate to ask to speak to a team member. We want to make your visit both enjoyable and safe.

The guidance above is subject to change, to review this page for any changes prior to any visit you make to us, thank you.