There can’t be many better table-top views than the one I had today as I tucked into my very tasty roast dinner.
On a November weekend I would usually expect to be cosied up munching on my Yorkshire pud by a warming pub fire if I was off out for a family Sunday Lunch.
But as a birthday treat I was sunning myself in the conservatory of the cafe at Alnwick Garden looking out on to blue sky, autumn leaves and cascading fountains.
We’ve visited a number of times before, but to be honest we usually bring a picnic and perhaps grab a coffee rather than eat in the cafe.
So I felt I was being a bit flash, going the whole hog so to speak and getting a pork roast dinner. I don’t often write about food, but not only was it delicious, I think at £8.95 it was pretty good value considering you are at one of Northumberland’s most popular attractions.
I won’t bang on about it, but juicy pork, crisp crackling, fresh tasting veg, red cabbage with raisins and light and fluffy Yorkshires. The only down sides were that I hardly got a look-in at my Yorkshire puds as the girls snaffled them and then that I was so stuffed, I felt like a lie down rather than heading out round the garden.
My children – five and four – had a jacket potato, beans and cheese, which at £4.95 was also not bad value really as they were enormous and one could have done the both of them.
With two children, not too keen on sitting still or quietly for more than 30 seconds, it also had the advantage of being a carvery so there was no waiting for food and the open conservatory meant I didn’t get that cabin-fever feeling I sometimes get when I fear they are about to blow and I need to plan my emergency exit route.
Anyway enough of the food. As usual Alnwick Garden is a beautiful place to explore at any time of the year. There were still late flowering roses and the immaculately trained crab apples amongst stunning autumn leaves. Despite visiting so many times my kids still love the water features and we always leave in damp clothes whether winter or summer.
No visit would be complete without a visit to the Treehouse, which still brings out the wanna-be Ewok in me every time we go. I am not sure how many times they would walk round the wooden rope bridges if I let them, quite possible for several hours. You can also climb up to the top of the Treehouse and get a great view across the fields. There’s the restaurant (where you want to book in advance) and small cosy cafe called The Potting Shed, a good spot for your pudding, if you still had room from lunch.
A lovely birthday.
Entry for a family is £16.72 or an annual family pass costs £45