Lunch At The Oakfield Farm Shop Restaurant In Stanley Common
The early bird gets the worm they say, don’t they? Well, this bird was getting the early Christmas worm by getting The Man to take her out for lunch on a cheeky day’s leave that he’d taken from work. Our original plan had been to work up an appetite with a brisk walk either at Chatsworth or Shipley Country Park, but good old Mother Nature had put a spanner in the works and it was blowing a hoolie and slinging it down…so we skipped that bit and went straight to the good bit.
Oakfield Farm is located in Stanley Common and, as well as being a working farm and riding school, has a marvellous farm shop and café located through a gate at its rear. Parking is fairly abundant, though the angled bay markers lead to more than a bit of, shall we say, ‘creative parking’; us Brits like straight lines, not skew-wiff ones!
Inside, the café has lovely high ceilings, and is built in the barn style to fit in with the farm. Each table has a thick wooden top with assorted styles of legs, and is paired with simple, mid-back chairs. Light comes via some rather nifty LED ‘wiggles’ and a triple-bowl, copper-toned floor lamp in one corner. We’d rung ahead to reserve a table, and a lovely young lady ticked us off the sheet and showed us to our table; conveniently located in front of the very well stocked sweet counter.
After giving us a couple of minutes to divest ourselves of our coats, scarves and what-not, another member of the team came over to take our order. I fancied a loose-leaf Moroccan Mint tea (£2.60 for a pot), and His Nibs had a bottle of Birra Moretti (£3) for refreshment, along with the Pie of the Day (Chicken and Ham on this day, £11.50) and a Minted Lamb Kofta Burger (£12.95). The pie comes with a choice of skin-on, hand cut Chips and Mushy Peas or Mash and Seasonal Veg – The Man went for the former – and my burger is served in a Brioche Bun with Lettuce, Tomato, and Red Onion with the same Chips as His Nibs had, and a pot of Coleslaw. Those with larger appetites can add an extra patty for £1.95, Cheddar Cheese for 75p, a slice of Bacon for £1 or Onion Rings for £2.95; I decided to keep it simple and go for it as-was.
Oakfield Farm cooks/makes everything fresh-to-order, so do expect to wait a bit longer at busy times. I have to say though, our food arrived quicker than I thought it would, given that the café was throng with folks picking up their Christmas produce from the farm shop. The Man Birds’ pie was stuffed to the brim with chunks of Ham and Chicken that were bound in a white sauce and housed in a deliciously rich pastry. You can’t beat the taste of home-cooked food, and this was an absolutely fantastic example of a small-batch morsel. The Chips were just as tasty, having an earthy note to them and a hint of sweetness on the palate. I’m firmly of the opinion that a pie meal isn’t complete without a hefty dollop of Mushy Peas on the plate, and the Oakfield Farm team clearly feel the same; these were soft and comforting in the mouth and were perfectly thick in texture.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes miss a simple burger that you can hold between your hands and bite into – the fashion for shoving as much as humanly possible between the halves of a bun is all very well, but it’s jolly impractical IRL! Just because it was ‘normal’ in proportion doesn’t mean this Minted Lamb minx didn’t deliver on the taste front: far from it, it was mighty meaty in the mouth with a superb chew time that left me feeling more than a bit satiated. The classic burger garnish was cool and crisp, though I would have liked more of the Mint Yoghurt if I’m being totally honest; in the absence of a relish, this was the ‘sauce’ aspect and every respectable burger needs a decent amount. Other than this minor complaint, I was smitten with my choice, and the creamy, crunchy Coleslaw made up for the Mint Yoghurt’s wanting.
We ordered more drinks to go with our meals and made the most of the wonderfully relaxing ambience that Oakfield Farm’s Café has. If you haven’t visited this venue before, I can heartily recommend you give it a go – we plan to return to sample the rather scrummy-sounding hot sandwiches in the not-too-distant future. Hot Wings given to this lovely Stanley Common Farm Café. To book a table ring 0115 930 9099 or visit the website www.oakfieldfarm.co.uk where you can check opening times, menus, book a table or shop online from the farm shop deli.
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