Scrummy cake and lunches available at revamped countryside cafe

Claire Cornier, who reopened Juniper Barn just last week

Claire Cornier, who reopened Juniper Barn just last week - Credit: Juniper Barn

One of the best ways to enjoy an autumnal day out is no doubt going for a brisk walk in the Suffolk countryside, followed by a bite to eat.  

And if you happen to be in the Saxmundham area this season, then you’ve got to check out Juniper Barn.  

This Rendham-based café and store is a one-stop-shop for all things local and delicious.  

Following a refurbishment – which included a new sheltered and heated outdoor area – Claire Cornier reopened Juniper Barn on Friday November 12, and is incredibly excited to roll out a selection of hearty and seasonal dishes with the help of her head chef Julia. 

Juniper Barn's new, revamped outdoor area

Juniper Barn's new, revamped outdoor area - Credit: Juniper Barn

“When I first came to Juniper Barn I couldn't believe my luck.  It’s a place that represents everything that I enjoy. It’s a destination for travel, good food and good times spent with friends and family.," Claire says.

So, what can visitors expect to see on the menu?  

“Juniper Barn has always been known for its breakfast - we’ve got five stars on Tripadvisor, and one comment says that it was ‘the best breakfast in Suffolk’, so we’ve not touched that at all. We want to keep that consistency, with Julia’s expertise,” Claire adds.  

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“We have however made a slight change to the rest of the menu throughout the day, while remaining true to our ethos of creative, artisan and local.” 

Think soups, curries, and stews.  

Soul-soothing dishes – with an emphasis on presentation. Everything is cooked in an open kitchen, allowing communication between kitchen staff and customers.  

And if you fancy something a bit lighter, there’s a range of sharing platters on offer, including meat, veggie, fish, and a ploughmans. All made using local produce, of course.  

Customers can enjoy a range of platters using locally-sourced produce

Customers can enjoy a range of platters using locally-sourced produce - Credit: Juniper Barn

“We’re very fortunate to be in a part of the country that’s got such an amazing food production heritage anyway, so we’re able to serve local produce quite easily. There’s a smoked fish and meat producer in the village where we get our pâté from, and our organic homemade scotch eggs are from a local deli in the next town. We try to ensure our carbon footprint is as low as possible.” 

In addition,  coffee served in the café is roasted just down the road.  

The coffee served is roasted locally in Hadleigh

The coffee served is roasted locally in Hadleigh - Credit: Juniper Barn

However, Juniper Barn is not only committed to being sustainable - as there is a real emphasis on community, with an events programme planned for the near future.  

This will see regular food and shopping events, such as pizza and prosecco evenings, weekly Sunday brunches, and the café itself will exhibit art from a variety of changing artists. 

"There will also be some late-night Thursday evening shopping events hosting a range of outdoor stalls selling original, handmade and other gifts for Christmas. There will be mince pies, mulled wine and possibly carol singing to get everyone in the festive spirit,” explains Claire.  

And eventually, Claire hopes to start sharing food and drink recipes contributed by those from the local community.  

Freshly-baked brownies 

Freshly-baked brownies - Credit: Juniper Barn

“We haven’t kicked it off yet, but we’re looking to start sharing a weekly dish – whether it’s a starter, a main, a dessert, or a drink – and we’re asking for a story behind it. It could be the first meal you cooked for someone, or maybe an amazing curry recipe you discovered when you were travelling.  

“We want people to engage with us and share their recipes – then over the course of a year, those recipes will go into a book, where all the profits will go to a local charity who will decide how to spend the money.” 

Claire, who is clearly passionate about both food and the local community, has high hopes for Juniper Barn and cannot wait for it to thrive and grow.   

Freshly-baked scones

Freshly-baked scones - Credit: Juniper Barn

“We want it to be a place where people share ideas and creativity, and food is a central part of that. Especially over the past 18 months with lockdown, it’s more important than ever for people to feel that sense of community and interaction.” 

To find out more about Juniper Barn, visit juniperbarnsuffolk.co.uk

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