Alan: Good Morning Sunday, What a beautiful morning to get up and about… Oh look it’s 6:45am… The perfect time to capture the day!
Catherine (post Ladies Day): Urghhh! Be quiet… I’m stopping in bed all day… will you top up my water!
It was a sunny Sunday morning and as we were still child free, I didn’t want to waste the morning by lounging around. I knew that from Catherine’s previous day’s exertion that she wouldn’t be very spritely. So it was time to top up on some geocaching!
Five and a half hours later I get a phone call, requesting a cooked chicken and something nice for pudding!
Willow Farm Sunday Lunch
We’ve discussed this one before in the house about the cost versus effort when it comes to home cooking or going to a carvery. It didn’t take me long to make my decision.
Willow Farm is located in the outskirts of Cramlington / Anitsford, not far from the Apex business village and other business parks. It’s certainly a drive to pub as it seems tucked away from residential areas. The Pub has a full menu as well as the Carvery with 3 choices of plate size. We went for Standard as we’re Standard kind of people, but we were surprised to see a lot of small plates being served up too. £7.95 for a Sunday Lunch is a good deal in my book.
The Carvery has been altered in the past year. One of the notable changes we’ve spotted was the counter now offers a double serving of veg! What I mean by this is if you miss the carrots and spuds on the walk by, you don’t need to worry there is a second set of them 5 feet further down the counter.
The meat on offer was Pork, Turkey, Gammon and Beef. The chief carver was very friendly and struck up a conversation with nearly everyone, which was nice. He even offered a dad a Yorkshire pudding for his 1 year old daughter in the queue to occupy her.
The Veg selection was brilliant, we’ve been to cheaper carveries which offer budget veg and more expensive ones, that offer less choice too. Here there was everything you could want… and sprouts! The roast potatoes had a slight peppery kick to them , which made them more interesting than standard. brocoli was cooked with a light crunch, the roast parsnips were sweet and the garden peas seemed fresh.
It’s a shame not to pile up your plate with food. I tried to add enough veg to turn my standard plate into a Large one. The trick here is to put as much as you can in your Yorkshire Pudding! Not too much gravy and a dollop of Cranberry Jelly (I would have this on everything!).
Needless to say it hit the spot and Catherine’s hang over started to clear away.
Willow Farm Deserts / Cakeaway
The first time we came to Willow Farm it was on the back of hearing about the deserts. At the Tills you are met with two display counters one with ice cream and one with cakes. Catherine wanted White Chocolate Ice Cream, which I thought was a cop-out as the Cakes are where it’s at.
The only problem was I couldn’t get in to photograph them. It was as though they were the crown jewels or something. Everyone was crowding around the counter to get a look in. There was one guy relaying the contents via mobile phone to someone who may or may not have been in the pub.
I squeezed in and took a photo of this Strawberry and Raspberry Cheesecake. Just to put some scale on it these cakes are the size of a large dinner plate and about 8 inches tall.
The thing was I wanted a Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake and a girl had her nose pressed up against the screen at this point.
The slice was huge. While Catherine ate her ice cream she resisted a nibble of cheesecake, which was perfect. Until I got half way through it.
The portion was so big on the back of my Sunday Carvery that I was full. There wasn’t any more desert space in my desert belly.
We returned home to drop Catherine off while I walked off the feast over Beamish way.
Willow Farm is a large pub and has plenty of seating. We turned up around 1:15pm, got a seat and food served quickly, but by 2:00pm there was a huge queue. There may have seemed to be lots of empty tables, but that’s because everyone was queuing at the carvery.
We love it here for both the mains and the deserts.