What is the one thing on this planet with the most wonderful smell, you ask? It's the flower of the cape jasmine (G. jasminoides), an evergreen bush native to China which we commonly call the gardenia. It's in the madder family (Rubiaceae) and has white or yellow flowers.

They grow in the South in America and will withstand the winter, if it's not too harsh.

Mine just bloomed today, and that first sniff of the first flower of the year is just heavenly. It's so good, you have to take it in small doses for fear of ruining the majesty of the moment. No artificial attempt to reproduce the purity of this scent has ever been successful.

What is the thing on this planet with the most wonderful smell, you ask? That's right, it's the smell of a kebab shop on the way home from a drunken night out.

To fulfill this task, there is no other place like the Gardenia take away, or as it's affectionately known, "Gardies".

Gardenia Take Away
2 Rose Crescent

But labour not under the impression that Gardies is a mere kebab house. Oh no, Gardies is a complete drunken munchies solution station.
There are four aspects of Gardies that deserve mention:

  1. Interior decor: Three walls are non-descript, vomit-coloured tiles, but the 4th and final wall, on the left as you walk in, is the Gardies Hall of Fame. On this wall are myriad badly-taken photos of various random Gardies clients. Waste away the time spent waiting for your kebab by looking for familiar faces, or your own, from last night!
  2. Motorised floor: Successive years of Cambridge University students have struggled to comprehend how this engineering masterpiece works. From the outside, Gardies looks as solid as a rock, yet place one foot inside the doorway, and some switch triggers, making the entire room spin uncontrollably. Best of all, only you notice this!
  3. The food: Although the variety isn't huge, they understand the drunken mind so well as I can guarantee they will have what you want. Namely, grease and spice. Burgers, chips and kebabs are the standard choices, although there are many different meats, toppings and accompaniments. Try the squid kebab if you want to be a real man!
  4. The staff: As David Brent says, the most important part of a business is the staff, and Gardies doesn't disappoint. Not only is the food authentic Greek cuisine, the staff are imported from Athens fresh, weekly. Enjoy their broken English revel in their slimy (and annoyingly successful) attempts to chat up your bird and marvel at their ability to totally misunderstand your order (or was it you slurring?)

One word of warning: although I'm sure this writeup has left you gagging for a trip to Gardies, make sure you never, ever set foot in the place sober. Not only does the motorised floor cease to work, for some reason, the food tastes like deep-fried belly button lint, and looks worse, but if your are ever in Cambridge, and drunk, drunk beyond all comprehension, give Gardies a try!

Garde"ni*a (?), n. [NL.] Bot.

A genus of plants, some species of which produce beautiful and fragrant flowers; Cape jasmine; -- so called in honor of Dr. Alexander Garden.


© Webster 1913.

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