We hadn’t planned to have lunch at The Café in Sherwood Forest.
But the staff at our first choice – another Robin Hood-themed eaterie further down Edwinstowe village – looked so disinterested on that the day of our visit that we decided to take our custom elsewhere.
And thank goodness we did as we were treated to some tasty food, friendly service and warm atmosphere.
The Café is based at the Sherwood Forest Craft Centre, just a stone’s throw from the forest, and boasts an attractive airy indoor courtyard area.
This was packed when we arrived with people of all ages enjoying the afternoon sun, but we managed to find a seat inside the equally inviting café.
The large blackboard menu features a traditional variety of dishes from breakfast items, jacket potatoes and toasties to more ample meals such as chicken curry, cheesey chips and beans, burgers and chilli con carne.
But there are still plenty of treats on offer, from unusual soft drinks to savoury cream teas, not to mention the home-made Punjana tea loaf that was proving popular with the tea and cake brigade.
I opted for a cheese and onion toastie on brown (£3.60) which came with a big serving of side salad.
Sandwiches weren’t listed on the menu, but a request from my folks for a cheese sarnie (£2.50) was no problem for the super-friendly team of waitresses.
Despite the rush, we didn’t have to wait long at all for our food to arrive, which was brought to our table with a smile.
My toastie was cooked to perfection – packed with the right mix of ingredients and not oozing with grease.
My parents enjoyed their sandwiches, which were washed down with a gourmet bag of salt and vinegar handcooked crips.
And as it was one of those beautiful spring afternoons, we decided to round off the proceedings with a cream tea.
The scones came in a choice of fruit or plain and were deliciousy moreish, piled with the very best clotted cream and strawberry jam.
There was also an equally varied range of other sweet treats on offer, from slabs of cheesecake to doorstop home-made sponges.
Looking back to our first choice, it wasn’t hard to see why the place was dead as a dodo when we arrived during the lunch rush-hour.
They could have been serving food fit enough for a queen but when the staff just looked straight through you, no wonder the masses had headed for the craft centre.
Nothing was too much trouble, the atmopshere was excellent and the food was tasty, comforting and reasonably-priced which makes The Café perfect for a visit at any time of the day.
by Chantal Spittles
Star rating HHHH