Restaurant Review: Clumber Park cafe

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Barkers’ restaurant at Clumber Park might not have lasted long, but the park cafe has stood the test of time.

Located near all the visitor facilities down by the lake, the Clumber Park cafe enjoys a much higher footfall than Barkers’ did.

The cafe has been refurbished and the decor has more than a nod to Barkers’.

It is a lot more stylish than your average cafe, with dark wood , posh lighting, and patterned wallpaper.

A bit William Morris.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to dress as opulently to make use of the cafe.

Muddy walking boots and rain coats are the order of the day, and rightly so, because enjoying the great outdoors is what Clumber Park is all about.

The cafe has a canteen style service, you grab a tray and then go and pluck what food and drink you fancy on your way to the till.

The drawback is that it can take a while to actually get served.

The exception is hot meals which you order at the till and which is brought to your table by uniformed waiting staff. Another touch of elegance.

The menu is not extensive by any means, but there is enough there to cover most people’s tastes.

Mains include pies (steak and ale, chicken and mushroom) priced at £7.95; game casserole (£7.95); chicken salad (£6.95); red onion and goats cheese tart (£6.95); hot pork sandwich (£4.50); and sausage sandwich (£4.50).

The cafe also offers jackets potatoes with a range of fillings from £4.95, and soup and a roll for £4.50.

Little people aren’t forgotten either, there is a children’s menu featuring the likes of sausage, chips, and beans (£4.50); mini salad (£4.50); and half a jacket potato (£2.95).

In additional to all this there are a range of snacks available, tantalising cakes, and hot and cold drinks.

For my main I opted for the game casserole, while my companion plumped for the chicken pie.

Once we had placed our orders we make our way over to the part of the dining room that looks out over the lake. A very pleasant environment to enjoy lunch to say the least.

To be able to sit in comfort having a bite to eat and a drink while watching the swans, geese, and scenery outside is wonderful.

The cafe was busy with a vibrant mix of people - young mothers with babies; families, walkers, and friends enjoying a good chinwag over a spot of lunch.

We didn’t have to wait too long for our food and when it came it was nicely presented.

My game casserole came with roasted vegetables, it was a very colourful dish.

The veggies were the best part of the dish and the casserole sauce was also very tasty.

If I had one gripe it was that there wasn’t actually that much meat in the casserole.

All in all though it was a satisfying offering.

Over on the other side of the table the chicken pie was met with thumbs up.

The mains were not massive in size by any stretch of the imagination but they are filling enough, and leave just enough room for a nice slab of cake.

I treated myself to the carrot cake which was delicious and moist, and my companion was very happy with her chocolate cake.

If you’re visiting Clumber for the day then the cafe is well worth a visit.

It offers a good range of food and drink, from snacks and light bites to full blown hot meals, at an affordable price.

It has definitely benefited from the refurb which has lent it a touch of elegance, without the hang-ups.

Ben Green