In The Garden

Beneath chunky industrial lanterns we’re playing the Farrow & Ball game – hmmm, just which shade is on the walls. A hint of sage, a touch of grey. Mizzle, Dimity, Pigeon ? (some of you will know what I’m talking about).

Whatever the answer, the result is a cocoon of calm colour that adds a tick to the calming space, especially coupled with pale wood chairs and modern bench seating.

Wynyard Hall has created an impressive building with its Farm Shop & Café with a smart build that blends well into the old garden walls.

Farm shops have become destinations in themselves and this one nods to the Cotswolds feel of the likes of Daylesford with an expensive and stylish fit-out.

Even a bacon sandwich breakfast feels like an occasion.

The café adjoins the walled garden with its showcase rose garden. In summer it will be the perfect place to take tea – outside seating areas are sheltered and serene.

Sunday lunch on a dull January day in the café still manages to feel bright thanks to the light-filled space though and we were impressed with the café’s home-prepared offerings.

There is a daily hot dish (£8) and on this occasion it was was beef and mushroom pie – hearty and packed with good chunks of meat and loads of mushrooms. It came with an array of fresh heritage vegetables.

I was impressed with a butternut squash and onion marmalade quiche (£8). It was served warm and had a really good texture – the flavour was rich, creamy and sweet – countered by the selection of very fresh salads to choose from alongside. Juicy onion marmalade was served on top of the quiche slice rather than as an ingredient in the mix.

Home-made cakes make their mark and there’s a generous menu of hot drinks. It all feels nicely indulgent and the menu changes seasonally – winter favourites have included flavoursome soups such as cinnamon and roasted pumpkin or cauliflower and roasted butternut squash sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds, all served with crusty bread.

They have some nice breakfast options – hearty porridge and the like – so it’s a good spot for a big walk then a well-earned breakfast – a new hobby we suspect for the residents of Wynyard.

Once you’ve eaten, it’s time to explore the gardens – for which there is a £5 charge for adults – on our frosty visit there was one maverick bloom baring its petals while delicate showcase trees remained cosseted in their winter padded overcoats. They should be unwrapped by now… or getting close.

In the shop we perused nice gifts for the home – this is one of those places you would always find a gift in an emergency!

I went home with fresh farm eggs and some cooking chorizo sausages made by Paul Craddock just up the road at Dropswell Farm Shop. Tasty.