Spalding area's Trish Burgess takes 5 in the new Ayscoughfee Hall Cafe
At the beginning of September, Dougie and I popped into Ayscoughfee Hall gardens and headed to the cafe. It was a hot day so we thought we'd just buy an ice-cream.
We hadn't realised Ayscoughfee Hall Cafe was under new management: Ellie Clay and Sarah Hall had taken over the reins since the beginning of July. After drooling over the menu for a few minutes, we decided we could have ice cream anytime.
Instead, Dougie ordered tiger prawns with cherry tomatoes and I chose a delicious salad with seriously good dressing. This was posh nosh at sensible prices.
We'd been planning to return to try out the winter menu when I spotted the cafe had a new website designed by local company, 79DESIGN. Customers can now see the available menus and check out photos of the food.
79DESIGN gave my blog a makeover a few years ago and its director, Simon Lewis, has given me excellent support with the running of my site ever since. Ayscoughfee Hall Cafe's new website is in very good hands.
Chatting to Simon about the new site, we arranged to meet at Ayscoughfee for a cuppa. An ideal opportunity to chat to my website guru and be introduced to the team behind the new-look cafe.
Sitting with Ellie and Sarah in the revamped interior of the cafe, it's clear they are passionate about serving fresh, locally-sourced produce. With bread from Pacey's Bakery and meat from Bennetts Butchers, customers can be reassured that the food is top quality.
Together with talented chef, Paul Boulding, they have created a fabulous breakfast and lunch offering. All the dishes are made from scratch. Paul even makes his own crisps: I checked them out and they were superb. He also, incredibly, has his own baked beans recipe for the breakfast menu.
The cafe operation is quite the family affair. Ellie's mum, Sarah, can be found in the kitchen and the family farm, J.C. Clay of Whaplode, provides the potatoes and onions. Paul's wife, Nicola, is the domestic goddess behind all the sweet treats on offer. There are some tempting Christmas-themed cakes and biscuits available at the moment; ideal accompaniment to the excellent coffee and teas.
The girls explained they are very doggie-friendly: biscuits are available for the discerning pooch in your life. Cyclists are also very welcome as bikes can be securely parked outside.
Sarah and Ellie have plans to increase the size of the cafe in the winter months by adding a gazebo-style 'snug'. In the meantime, if you want to be sure of a table, it might be best to book, especially at weekends.
I can't wait to take Dougie back to try out the winter specials, though I'm tempted to give the new Afternoon Tea a go.
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If I've given you food for thought, you can find opening hours, menus and tasty snaps on the new Ayscoughfee Hall Cafe website: www.ayscoughfeehallcafe.co.uk
You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk