The Pavilion at Stansted Park, Rowland’s Castle is always a delight to visit. The beautiful large and elegant Victorian glasshouse (the original fig house) is light and sunny. White table cloths upon the tables, black and white tiled flooring, Lloyd loom chairs and views of the walled gardens. If you’re there for lunch or perhaps just for a cake and a cuppa you won’t be disappointed. There are cakes aplenty, friendly staff and a large lunch menu with daily specials. They also serve afternoon teas, of which I have yet to try. There is an extension, The Vine House which was cleverly built in 2011 to add on to the original glasshouse as the tearooms became more popular. It used to be a long glasshouse housing grapevines. In fact, I prefer this part of the building with it’s lower ceiling and brick walls. It seems a little cosier to me. This also overlooks the walled garden where there are plenty of wooden tables with umbrellas in the summer and lots of room for children to run around.
If you order sandwiches – which I tend to do, always prawn mayonnaise with fresh dill – you can add a cup of their delicious soup for only £1. The bread is always fresh and comes from Westbourne Bakery which I whole-heartedly recommend – in fact I had a roll for lunch at home today from their bakery bought from one of my other favourite places, The Village Shop and Tearoom at Compton – but that’s another story.
This time however, I decided to go for something different – little devil aren’t I? Sometimes I like to live dangerously – I chose this wonderful goats cheese tartlet. It was lovely, the pastry was perfect, not stodgy at all, it was served with three homemade salads of carrot & sultana, cucumber, pineapple & fresh dill, new potato & chive and a dressed garnish.
Inside was light and fluffy with plenty of roasted red peppers and topped with a sprinkling of pine nuts. The salad was fresh and very tasty.
Another favourite of mine when I’m here, lemon meringue tart. It’s delicious and the servings are very generous. Add a little jug of cream and I’m in heaven.
If you have time when you’re there take a look at Stansted House – the Earls of Bessborough lived in the House from 1925 until 1992. It’s very impressive and interesting and definitely worth a visit. Weddings can be held inside the house. Also on site is Stansted House Garden Centre with lots of plants and everything you might need for a beautiful garden. There are plenty of parking spaces. Driftwood Cafe in Emsworth village centre is also part of The Pavillion. They do much the same menu and is a very nice place to visit too – although on a much smaller scale. They have a nice little garden and the tearoom is very close to the sea plus a handy car park.
The Pavilion is a lovely place for me to cycle to. I can burn just enough calories to qualify for a slice of lemon meringue tart – or that’s what I like to believe…
Living life, loving cake.