Set in an idyllic location looking out over the Holy Island causeway, the Barn at Beal has views to write home about.
Sheep graze on the grass outside and with the last glimpses of summer still in sight, it was the perfect place for lunch on a Sunday.
It is definitely advisable to book if you want to go to the restaurant for Sunday lunch.
We arrived at around 2pm and while we were seated quickly and easily, it was absolutely heaving and the staff seemed rushed off their feet.
Inside the Barn at Beal is a coffee shop counter at one end with a small cafe seating area.
But the majority of the space is taken up with the restaurant.
Big windows give diners stunning views of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve with Holy Island in the background and we were lucky enough to be seated next to one of them.
The Barn has a Sunday lunch menu with starters ranging from £4.95 to £7.95 and mains from £9.95 to £13,95.
Having had a late breakfast, we decided to skip the starters and go straight for the mains – with the dessert menu on my mind.
On its website the Barn states that it uses local food and that was certainly reflected in the menu.
Despite deciding not to have a starter, they were very tempting.
The home-made crab pancakes with cucumber relish (£6.95) would have been top of my list.
Other options included grilled goat’s cheese with roasted vegetables and local bread (£6.95) and Barn pork terrine with chutney and locally-made bread (£6.95).
As I have always been a fish and seafood lover, the cold platter of locally-sourced seafood with granary bread (£13.95) was my choice.
And it was a winner.
The fish tasted so fresh, it was delicious.
I had a selection of juicy king prawns, crab, smoked salmon, marinated herring, smoked mackerel, crayfish and hot smoked salmon.
The cold salmon was superb, it was like it melted in the mouth as I ate it.
But the star of the plate was the crab.
It had that really fresh taste as if it had been caught that morning.
The fish was accompanied by a wedge of lemon, salad and marinated beans which all complemented it nicely.
I was given white bread instead of granary, but that wasn’t a problem.
However there was only one slice, and given the amount of fish on the plate another would have been welcome – fortunately the waiter was very obliging.
My husband opted for the ploughman’s platter (£9.95) and it looked great.
The plate was piled with two thick slices of ham, a thick piece of beef and three big chunks of Northumberland Cheese Company cheese along with a pot of chutney, home-made coleslaw, bread, apple and grapes.
Judging by the quietness as he was eating, I would say it went down well.
He also commented on how fresh everything tasted. The meat was moist and full of flavour and definitely not from a packet.
Other main options included roast Northumbrian strip loin of beef or leg of lamb with home-made Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy (£10.45), Eyemouth scampi and chips (£10.95) and chicken, wild mushroom and bacon penne pasta (£9.95).
For the smallest diner we chose the little farm hands platter of ham, cheese, raisins, grapes, salad and bread (£3.95).
It was brilliant for a toddler and it was nice to see a menu for children with something different on it.
We made sure there was room for pudding and I opted for the salted caramel and walnut Eton mess while the raspberry creme brulee was chosen opposite (both £4.50).
Both were lovely. The Eton mess had nice chunks of chewy meringue with caramel-infused cream and crunchy walnuts – and it was a perfect size.
The creme brulee had a nice hard top with a creamy custard and a thick crumble shortbread biscuit with a pot of raspberry sauce.
All in all it was a great meal in a lovely setting. Perfect for a family day out as well as a special occasion.
The food is lovely and fresh, and judging by the other plates going out, everything is worth a try. We will definitely be going back.
A PERFECT PLACE FOR ANY TIME OF DAY
The Barn at Beal is open every day, with different hours in and out of season.
Not only does it serve food during the day, but on Friday and Saturday nights there is a separate menu which includes mains such as Northumbrian sirloin steak (£18.95) and pan-fried rainbow trout (£14,95). A special Christmas menu is also available.
But it’s not only food. There is a gift shop as well as a play area and more.
SELECTION FROM THE MENU
English and Spanish sausage and bean stew with wedges.............£5.95
Home-made vegetable soup.....£4.95
Hot smoked salmon with a pearl barley salad and bread.....................£6.95
Sauteed mushrooms in a shallot, spinach and herb cream sauce.£5.95
Home-made quiche and salad...£9.95
Beer battered haddock with chips, salad and tartare sauce...........£10.95
The Barn bangers and mash.....£9.95
Woodland mushroom, spinach and garden pea penne pasta .......... £9.95
Sweets (All at £4.50)
Pimms No 1 cheesecake
Hot chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and chocolate ice-cream
Raspberry and vanilla creme brulee with home-made shortbread
Star ratings (out of 10)
Quality of food 8
Vegetarian choice 6
Value for money 7
Use of local produce 8
Children catered for 8
Toilet for disabled Yes
Access for disabled 8
Overall rating 8
Verdict: Brilliant food, in a great location which adds the whole experience.
Contact: 01289 540044 or visit www.barnatbeal.com