MEAL REVIEW: Weavers Court Café, Alnwick

Chicken and stuffing pie with chips (�5.50)
Chicken and stuffing pie with chips (�5.50)

Going out for lunch or dinner, or any meal really, with kids can often be a bit of a challenge for parents.

Some places are totally anti children, others tolerate them but you can tell they aren’t enthralled with you being there.

Trio of pork with mash (�6)

Trio of pork with mash (�6)

But more often than not you are given a warm reception.

And such was the case at the new Weavers Court Café, in fact it was more than warm.

The eaterie, in the fairly new development at Weavers Court wasn’t even on my radar a few weeks ago.

I had no idea that it had opened until I heard about it from a colleague, and by all accounts it had received glowing reports.

Kids' chicken nuggets, chips and beans (�3)

Kids' chicken nuggets, chips and beans (�3)

Not one to shy away from a new venue to which I might be able to take my two youngsters (and husband of course) for a relatively relaxed meal, we decided that a quiet Saturday with nothing planned was the perfect opportunity.

Weavers Court is a state-of-the-art development consisting of apartments specifically designed for people aged 55 and over.

It’s near to Alnwick Cricket Club and next to Fairfields and the residential areas around there.

We arrived dead on midday, my two tend to turn more monstrous after noon, and as we took a table we were greeted with smiles from the only waitress that was in the café.

Sticky toffee pudding and ice cream (�3)

Sticky toffee pudding and ice cream (�3)

They start serving lunch from noon, so we were right on time.

The entrance to the venue is straight across from the main entrance of the complex and is lovely and bright and airy, it reminded me a bit of the halls of residences we had at university.

As we sat down, the lovely waitress brought over a children’s menu and alerted my four-year-old daughter to where the books and colouring-in items were and she was away.

But then we had to make a decision on what to eat – and it was a tough choice.

Chocolate fudge brownie and cream (�3)

Chocolate fudge brownie and cream (�3)

The café does a selection of sandwiches, paninis, salads, baked potatoes with various fillings and bigger meals as well as offering a specials board.

Having not had breakfast, I chose the trio of pork for £6, while Mr M decided on the chicken and stuffing pie at £5.50.

The children had chicken nuggets, chips and beans and fish fingers, chips and beans, at £3 each.

When we arrived, the place was pretty much empty, but it was certainly popular – by around 12.30pm it was almost full.

There wasn’t a long wait for the food, but it was long enough to know it was being cooked fresh and not just re-heated.

Mr M and I were offered a choice of mash or chips with our dishes. I went for mash while he chose chips.

Kids' ice-cream (�1.50)

Kids' ice-cream (�1.50)

My trio of pork was delicious. It consisted of a pork steak, from which the meat just fell away, a huge slice of black pudding and a fat, stumpy sausage.

There was a generous portion of mash, and carrots and peas. It was all smothered in a rich, meaty gravy.

Opposite me, the pie seemed to be doing the trick as well.

It was packed with meat and stuffing and had a nice, crisp pastry top, although the bottom was a bit soggy with all the gravy on top.

I was pleased to see the chicken nuggets were proper chunks of chicken in a crisp batter, rather than reformed meat, and the fish fingers went down well with our 20-month-old son.

In fact, the kids’ portions were very generous.

Having spied the desserts board when we walked in, we didn’t want to miss out. There were a few different puddings on offer, with cream, custard or ice-cream for £3 or £2 for a small portion. I chose the fudge brownie with cream, while Mr M went for sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream.

The kids had ice-cream with chocolate sauce and sprinkles for £1.50 each and it went down very well!

My brownie was served warm with a delicious gooey top and a sprinkling of icing sugar. The sticky toffee pudding was also hot – although it was lacking a bit of sauce.

All in all, a good little find with very reasonable prices and very family friendly. I would certainly recommend it to my friends.

NOT JUST A PLACE FOR OVER 55s

While Weaver’s Court was designed as a residence with apartments for those over 55 it certainly doesn’t constrain itself to those over that age.

While the café is open to the public, and also serves Sunday roasts, there are a host of events that take place at the venue which welcome all the family.

There is a Christmas fair on December 10 and they held events for Children in Need last week.

It’s in a great, extremely welcoming location for all the new developments at that end of Alnwick and is a real gem for families.

SELECTION FROM THE MENU

Breakfast

Full English......£4.95

Bacon butty......£2.30

Dippy eggs and toast......£2.10

Snacks

Chips......£1.60

Cheesy chips......£2.20

Salads

Chicken and bacon......£5

Prawns in Marie Rose......£4.80

Toastie/panini

Bacon brie and cranberry......£4.30

Cheese and onion......£3.90

Wraps......£4.10 – £4.40

Baked potatoes......£4.10 – £4.80

Main courses

Vegetable curry and rice......£5.50

Chicken chilli burger......£7.50

Scampi and chips......£6.50

Kids’ lunch box......£3.20

Kids’ mains......£3

STAR RATINGS (out of 10)

Quality of food......8

Presentation......7

Choice......8

Vegetarian choice......6

Atmosphere......7

Use of local food......7

Service......8

Access for the disabled......10

Toilet for the disabled......Yes

Overall rating......8

Verdict: A great choice of food with friendly staff and very welcoming to families.

Contact: 0191 223 88 88

The previous Northumberland Gazette Eating Out column reviewed Fat Mermaid, Coble Quay, Amble. And if you missed it, here is a link to the Gazette’s top tips of 2014.

Weavers Court Cafe

Weavers Court Cafe