Elveden Cafe, A tasty diversion
PUBLISHED: 10:30 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 20 February 2013
Don't whizz past it, says your food detective but call into a fab estate eaterie where local produce rules-ok?
A tasty diversion
Reviewed: Elveden Caf, London Road, Elveden, 01842 898068
Dont whizz past it, says your food detective but call into a fab estate eaterie where local produce rules ok?
Ahh, the A11. Its hard not to feel hard-hearted about it, especially around Elveden. Many of us have been caught up in a traffic jam at some point but now theres a rather delicious place to stop off and re-evaluate life, delays and more.
Lord Iveagh runs the glorious Elveden Estate and is doing all sorts of good things to make it all work in the 21st century not an easy task!
One of his recent enterprises is a courtyard development with shops and a rather good caf just off the A11.The caf is mainly a daytime affair and is very hot on the use of local delicacies from the estate, particularly pork, venison and free range chickens and plenty of decent veggies.
Set in what appears to be an old barn, theres a real contemporary feel inside, with exposed rafters, polished wooden floors and lots of marble. Theres a lively feel its a real fun place where lots of different groups, from older couples to young families, all enjoy themselves without having to spend a fortune.
We turned up one Sunday lunch, early, as we planned to go cycling and walking in nearby Thetford Forest afterwards. And what a crowd we were grandparents, parents and a couple of kids all with widely different tastes. I wouldnt have liked the look of us if Id been the waitress!
You cant book, which is a bit of a bore, but we luckily got a table straightaway so our noses were quickly inside the menu which is interesting, if not too ambitious. And certainly none of those over-hyped descriptions which can be so tiresome.
Theres a good wine list and plenty of local beers on offer but we didnt indulge it being the middle of the day. But look out for plenty of decent elderflower presss and the like.
The breakfast options sound rather good Eggs Benedict are wonderful and how about smoked kippers? And there are some good sandwiches and soups for quick lunches and snacks.
None of that for me, you understand. Sunday lunch saw me tackling the roast pork, which was jolly succulent. The dish included plenty of crispy greens, roasties, apple sauce and a big, fat Yorkshire pudding! Others went for very meaty lasagnes with chunks of garlic bread and a summery risotto with yet more crunchy greens. The children had their own menu that included favourites such as sausage and mash and pasta and tomato sauce with oregano. Most posh. My two went for fish fingers and chips fab chunky fish again indicating that theres a real emphasis on quality here.
As wed skipped starters, we were certainly not missing out on puds. Lemon tart and lemon meringue pie were favourites and were good and sharp, too. Another chockie choice, some sort of gooey chocolate brownie, also brought a smile to the face.
There was plenty of staff and they were all very friendly but it was all a bit slow just as well that we had the Sunday papers to enjoy. The slight delay, of course, gave me the chance to look around those shops, too!
You have to walk through a foodie shop to reach the caf. Theres a fantastic choice of jams, chutneys, pastas, sauces, cheeses, chocolate and more. Again, much is made on the estate or produced locally. Its a real emporium!
What we ate
Roast pork with all the trimmings for two courses (including lemon meringue pie) 14.50
Elveden home-made lasagne 9.95
Summer vegetable risotto 9.25
Fresh fish fingers and chips 4.95
Lemon tart 5.50
Chocolate brownie 5.50
Elderflower press 1.80
Hot chocolate 2.30
Value for money 9/10
Food and drink 8/10