WHEN I heard Arrow Farm Shop had opened a café I knew a visit was in order.
The Steetley shop has always been a hot spot for local foodies, so I was keen to see what their café would be serving up.
Pulling into the gravel car park you can’t fail to notice that you are on a farm. This isn’t the organic aisle in Waitrose, this is the real deal- local produce served locally.
To get to the café shoppers have to walk through the entrance of the farm shop. This is a treat in itself and there was plenty to look at with all the Christmas fare that is now on display.
I challenge anyone popping along to the café not to be distracted by the delightful array of farm shop goods. And savvy owners have also arranged the café so the glass-fronted cake cooler is clearly on display for shoppers to see.
Like moths to the flame we were drawn into the café by filled cream teas, home-made coffee and walnut cake, and carrot cake.
A polite waitress quickly recommended a table by the window, which looked out onto the farm and across the fields.
Feasting our eyes on the menu we were spoilt for choice. I would quite like to have stayed all day and had three meals. Heavier main meals were tempting, the Arrow Farm pie of the day looked good at £7.25, or Arrow Farm burger for £7.95 which comes of a ciabatta bun, or beer battered fish and chips for £7.95
Looking at the café itself with its high ceilings, low hanging lighting, comfy leather chairs and attentive staff, my expectations for the food were sky high.
After some deliberation I opted for a bacon brie and apple panini for £5.95. This came with the option of traditional or province bread. I coupled the order with an olive appetiser and handcut chunky sea salted chips £2.50. It turned out I didn’t need to either because the panini, which came in good time, was plenty. It came with a beautifully dressed side salad that included rocket, cherry tomatoes and yellow pepper.
The café itself wasn’t busy for a Friday lunchtime. I can only assume this local gem has yet to be discovered by many. The staff were attentive in a manner you might expect from a place that has only been open two weeks and is keen to impress.
My colleague Claire ordered a steak sandwich on granary which came with a red onion marmalade and side salad. She was even asked how she wanted the steak cooked. And the food could not be faulted.
To drink, I ordered a tea for one. This came first and I was so delighted with my teapot dressed in woolly green cosy that I captured it on camera. For £1.95 the pot even came with a taste of shortbread.
The shortbread was buttery and sweet and as good as my Grandma’s recipe. All aspects of Arrow Farm’s café were right on target. I shall be returning.
Star rating HHHHH