UPDATE: 12/07/2018 – scroll to bottom of post
I’ve just come back from a very nice late lunch with my favourite sister Gill at Alexandra’s Kitchen , Durleighmarsh Farm. I was told of this place only yesterday by my cycling pal, Jan as she had been at the weekend whilst out walking in the area. I thought we’d check it out straight away.
On the A272 between Petersfield and Rogate the Tea Barn is far enough from the main road to be nice and peaceful, with countryside all around and no noise from traffic, apart from the odd tractor. The Tea Barn looks out onto fields with crops, a tractor in the distance and a pheasant – obviously this scene may change slightly when you are there! All typical countryside scenes.
The Durleighmarsh Tea Barn menu has food for all tastes. Seasonal soups, sandwiches, salads and hot dishes such as sardine fishcakes and fennel & potato gratin both served with a side salad. High tea, cream teas and savoury tea are also available. We both chose butternut & sweet potato soup. This came with a round of fresh granary bread and a large circular slice of butter. The soup was thick, tasty and hot.
It was difficult to chose a cake. There were plenty there and all looked lovely. We decided to share two cakes. One being lemon polenta, which is a favourite of mine and I enjoy it at Tazzina Cafe in West Meon. This was just as good although slightly different with a grainier texture from the polenta and a tangy taste of fresh lemon. Yum.
Well I must say that the scones were superb. Served slightly warm with clotted cream and home-made Durleighmarsh strawberry jam, the scones were fluffy and a little crumbly – although not too much that it was difficult to eat – and they just melted in the mouth! Definitely the best I’ve had in a long while. If you’re interested, I put the jam on first!
The cakes were served on really pretty plates with colourful cockerels on them. These were from the shop just along from the Tea Barn called Gabriella Shaw Ceramics. Certainly worth a look – although on the expensive side – but high quality hand-painted plates and mugs (which can be personalised) with not only cockerels but flowers, horses and even bunny rabbits which I love. Lots of ideas there for weddings, christenings and special occasions.
If you get bored talking to the person you’re sitting with – I didn’t 😉 – there’s a selection of daily newspapers to read. In the background was an eclectic mix of music playing from Austrian accordion music to some sort of fiddle music. Very pleasant though. I had a lovely guest coffee called Sumatra Lintong which was smooth and tasty. There are plenty of different teas and coffees to try. There is seating areas at the front and the rear of the building is enclosed so would be ideal in the summer for the children to run around without escaping.
The farm shop is also just along from the Tea Barn and has a variety of jams, flour, local meats and of course, fresh fruit and vegetables not only from the farm but from far off lands too. These are all labelled to say where they are from. They also do PYO with a calendar of dates starting from around April with rhubarb. “Durleighmarsh Farm grows 12 fruit crops and over 20 different types of vegetables as well as herbs and PYO Flowers in 25 acres!”
There’s plenty of parking spaces or perhaps you would come by foot as my friend did as there are lots of lovely country walks around that area.
Living life, loving cake.
UPDATE: 12/07/2018 –
I visited Alexandra’s Kitchen yesterday, that’s 4 years since my last visit! My friend found a wonderful cycling route to get us there and thankfully we didn’t even have to go onto the awful A272.
We sat out the front so we could keep an eye on our bikes which was a shame because I think they have a garden either at the side or to the rear and we’d sat out at the front which is basically just the car park with cars kicking up the dust as they drove past. Had I of known about the garden then of course, that’s where I would have sat.
Service was good and very friendly. I couldn’t see a menu anywhere but there was a blackboard with a list of different dishes, as before they offer soup, quiches, sandwiches and more. Menus would have been much better rather than all of us standing right by the counter, blocking the doorway trying to read the blackboard.
However, the courgette & fennel soup was to die for. It was so delicious and served with very thick fresh brown bread & butter. My friends had the Sussex Charmer sandwich which they also enjoyed.
They also had a few cakes, the pavlova looked very inviting but I’d already had cake down the road at Compton, d’oh!