There were nine of us meeting, we wanted an easy lunch, plenty of time to chat and some time in the countryside Our ages ranged from 17 months to 86 years with varying degrees of mobility and food tastes. We needed somewhere that catere for all and allowed us to sit, chat, socialise after the meal without being hurried on, as well as somewhere where the three kids would not be bored.
The Brewers Fayre at Woodhorn Grange near Ashington in South East Northumberland seemed a suitable venue because of its facilities for the grand children, the beautiful surroundings (it s in a Country Park) and the fact it was all ground floor, so those with mobility issues could move around ok.
We arrived mid day after turning off the A189 into the spacious free car park. This Brewers Fayre is in lovely surroundings. It stands in the Queen Elizabeth ll Country Park which offers acres and acres of open spaces, walks, and a 40 acre lake which is home to swans, ducks and an abundance of fish.
The large windows of the restaurant facilitate lake views whilst enjoying a meal. Tables and chairs outside allows outside dining . Ann outdoor children’s play area with climbing frames allows children to let of steam outdoors, whilst the indoor Kids Zone allows active play indoors.
We had reserved a table, even though reservations are not essential. We were attended to as soon as we entered the restaurant (even though it was apparent they were very busy) and we were shown to our table. The restaurant is all ground floor.
The Menu offered a good choice of starters, main course and desserts. The main courses were divided into Pasta, Classic, Grill, Fish, Burger sections. Each section offering a good choice. There was a lovely children’s menu with plenty to choose from for the little ones.
We made our selections fairly quickly. Ordering food here means going to the bar, placing the order and pre paying. Along with my Son in Law I went to place the orders. Looking at how busy it was I expected to have a bit of a wait to be served, so it was a pleasant surprise to be served quickly.
We ordered soft drinks, taking advantage of their offer of a one off payment, then as many refills as you wish. For those wanting something stronger there is a fully stocked bar.
The main courses were brought to our table (non of us wanted a starter). We all had something different. I chose Sweet Potato and Feta Lasagne which was nicely presented. A side salad and two good size slices of garlic bread accompanied the lasagne. The lasagne was very tasty and filing, the salad, good, crispy , fresh and varied. Others in our party chose dishes such as a large Yorkshire Pudding filled with Sausage and accompanied by mashed potato. Mexican chilli beef, Fish and Chips, simple but good. The grandchildren loved their meals too.
My dessert of Winter Berry Cheescake was both delicious and a generous portion. It had a nice thick biscuit base and the vanilla cheesecake was topped with a good serving of berry compote. Others in my party enjoyed warm chocolate brownies, Sticky Toffee pudding and ice cream sundae.
Service for the meal was slow, not too bad for the main course, but for the dessert I had to find a member of staff and tell them we were still waiting. A second reminder had to be given for one of our party who was still waiting for his dessert a while after the rest of us had been served ours.
After our meal we enjoyed a leisurely chat and at no time were hurried on to vacate our table.
We really welcomed the indoor kids zone where our 17 month old twin grandsons enjoyed the soft play area and their slightly older sister was well catered for too.
Disabled W.C’s were clearly signposted as were baby changing areas.
All in all this venue proved a good choice for our group of mixed abilities, mixed ages and differing tastes. It was set in a lovely location and we will certainly use it again. The food was good, it could never be described as fine dining, but it was tasty pub food. The restaurant was clean and tidy and if at times the service was slow, the staff made up for this by being friendly and helpful.
The Queen Elizabeth ll Country Park has many interesting trails and walks which lead off from the lake. All are clearly signposted and rated for difficulty level. There is a hard surfaced path which runs throughout the park (as well as grassy paths), making it accessible for wheelchair users. There are seats and tables throughout the park facilitating a place to rest. The park has a population of red squirrels and abundance of birds, mammals, flora and fauna. It is popular for fishing, walking and cycling as well as a lovely place to sit and enjoy the view. A narrow gauge railway links the park with Woodhorn Mining Museum which stands near the park entrance. This museum too is disabled friendly and it offers an interesting insight into this areas mining history.
The Brewers Fayre and the Queen Elizabeth ll Country Park are within easy reach of the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne, The Northumbrian Coast and Countryside wich has such attractions as Cragside House Rothbury, the market town of Alnwick and The Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle, Howick Hall and Gardens, Chillingham Castle, Warkworth Village and Castle, Bamburgh village and Castle. The market town of Morpeth is also within easy driving reach.
For those wanting to stay in the area. There is a Premier Inn next door to the Brewers Fayre and Woodhorn.