Review: Marlesford Farm Café
- Credit: Archant
Find home-cooked dishes using locally sourced produce at this roadside eatery.
After an early workout for me, and a morning nap for my daughter, my family and I headed up the A12 for lunch at Marlesford Farm Café one Saturday.
I’d heard good things about the eatery, so I was interested to try it out for myself.
After pulling up in the car park and walking into the café, I found it was a laidback, homely cafe.
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We were able to pick wherever we liked to sit, so we chose a table in a corner by the ‘jam station’ – where shelves were lined with a plethora of local jams and preserves, sauces and condiments.
One of the servers soon came to take our order, but we just asked for some drinks as I was struggling to choose from the large menu.
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There were hot lunches – ham, egg and chips for example, brunches, including vegetarian and vegan options, burgers and salads.
Then my husband Phil spotted the specials board, which made my choice even more difficult.
I was tempted by the specials of the beetroot, butternut squash and goat’s cheese pie and the smoked fish pie.
Our server said the fish pie had flown out the day before, so I settled on that, and Phil chose the Suffolk Piggy burger.
Most of the dishes on the menu can be made smaller for children, so I decided on the bangers and mash for our toddler Jessica. While on the menu it could come with seasonal veg or mushy peas, we were offered baked beans instead, which I gratefully said yes to.
I knew that everything was freshly made at the café, so I started to try to keep our 18-month-old entertained while we waited.
This was, unlike in some other cafes, easy to do. Round the corner from where we were sitting was a box full of well-loved toys and books.
We took a couple of each to the table, which kept her occupied for, well, probably only five minutes, but it was a start.
When I spotted other parents taking their children out into the garden, I followed suit with Jessica.
After a good run around, we came back into play at the table for a while, before Phil took her back out several times.
I should add here that it’s not just children who are welcome at the café, but dogs too. We saw several under or by tables and a bowl of water for them next to the toy box.
Our food arrived about an hour after we’d arrived. I’m not sure how long it took as we didn’t order our food straight away, although Phil had overheard someone else who came in after us being advised that hot food would take 45 minutes.
Home cooked food is worth the wait though. And while I wasn’t overly impressed with the presentation of my dish, the flavours were just right.
Underneath a crunchy, cheesy topped creamy mash, lay king prawns, smoked white fish and a white sauce which had split slightly but still tasted good.
The seasonal vegetables of carrots and cauliflower were cooked al dente and the cabbage still had a bit of bite to it too.
Phil was soon singing the praises of the “flavoursome” pulled pork and bacon which topped his Red Poll beef burger along with bacon and salad. All burgers are hand made here, with very little salt and no additives.
The chips looked really good, so good I had to steal one just to try. They were really crunchy, fluffy inside and not greasy at all.
Jessica had two sausages (I started cutting one up before I remembered to take a photo!) on top of a generous dollop of creamy looking mash with baked beans and what looked like onion gravy.
She ate both of the local Revett’s sausages, lapped up the beans and ate some of the mash as long as it was disguised by beans.
As we were all full from our lunch so we decided not to order desserts – after paying at the counter we dropped into their farm shop next-door and picked up some locally made cakes to have later on instead.
We’ll certainly come back, perhaps for breakfast or brunch, but we’ll make sure it’s another fine day so we can make use of the garden again.
The café offers a variety of cold, hot and alcoholic drinks, including wines, beers and lagers.
I chose elderflower presse and Phil had a Diet Coke. We’d brought water for Jessica.
Friendly and helpful staff were happy to share suggestions on what to choose from the menu.
The facilities are clean and modern. There is a pull-down changing table in the disabled toilet and nappy bags were provided when we visited.
Location and parking
The café is situated just off the A12. There’s plenty of space available in the large shingle car park.
Laid back and relaxed. Family friendly. There were lots of children and dogs there with their families.
Family friendly farm café offering home-cooked dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Meals are worth the wait.