Going Dutch for a good value lunch in Brookmans Park

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 November 2017

The Dutch Cafe and Farm Shop in Brookmans Park 
Picture; Becky Alexander

The Dutch Cafe and Farm Shop in Brookmans Park Picture; Becky Alexander

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Welwyn Hatfield Times food columnist Becky Alexander has enjoyed a trip to the Dutch cafe, farm shop and garden centre in Brookmans Park.

The Dutch Cafe and Farm Shop in Brookmans Park 
Picture; Becky AlexanderThe Dutch Cafe and Farm Shop in Brookmans Park Picture; Becky Alexander

The Dutch cafe, farm shop and garden centre has been a Brookmans Park institution for over 50 years, and it goes from strength to strength, especially with the recent expansion of its farm shop.

We popped in for a late lunch and liked the bright, spacious interior of the cafe, and the smiley welcome of the counter team.

The cafe serves breakfast, lunch, snacks and afternoon tea, and is busy any day that you go in, though service is usually efficient.

They do a great range of breakfasts including a good veggie cooked breakfast, eggs Benjamin, omelettes made with free range eggs, granola and smoothies.

The Dutch Cafe and Farm Shop in Brookmans Park 
Picture; Becky AlexanderThe Dutch Cafe and Farm Shop in Brookmans Park Picture; Becky Alexander

After 11.30am they switch to a lunch menu, which includes homemade soup, salads, sandwiches and Sunday roasts.

I like that they use local suppliers including Simmons Bakery, Bridget B’s Butchers and The Three Brewers – yes they do have a licence so you can have a beer, or a glass of Prosecco with your afternoon tea!

My jacket potato with chilli con carne was generous and delicious, and at £6.95 better value than local pub lunches.

My main reason for visiting was to check out the new and improved farm shop; it is really excellent with a great selection of vegetables, fruit, breads, cheeses, preserves and store-cupboard essentials and treats.

The focus is the new Bridget B’s butchery counter which opened in August and is one of the best I have seen in the local area. Bridget B’s won the Hertfordshire Life Award for Food and Drink Hero and they are well-known for their locally reared meats.

I thought it was good value too; the cooked meats, quiches and pies were lower in cost than local supermarkets and looked much more appealing.

They have planned tasting events for Christmas meats (turkey, sausages, beef etc) on November 11-12.

If you want to pick up an easy dinner, they have frozen meals including Cook.

I spotted lots of local and indie suppliers, including a great range of British gins – great for presents.

There were only two tills in operation so we had to queue to pay, but they were changing the shop layout for their Christmas displays so hopefully this will be slicker soon.

I think the shop is going to be very busy!

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