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Dining out at… Elder Street Farm Shop & Deli Café

PUBLISHED: 08:48 03 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:48 03 March 2014

EXG MAR 14 DINING OUT

EXG MAR 14 DINING OUT

Archant

OUR farm shop cafes in Essex are taking on a life of their own it seems. Gone are the days of a pot of tea and a scone; now they are manned by talented chefs and more and more are giving the traditional restaurants a run for their money.

From the outside Elder Street Farm Shop & Deli Café in Wimbish looks like a run of the mill farm shop selling organic and locally-grown produce. But pick up a menu and you’ll see you are in for a surprise.

Established in 2012, it’s built on the foundations of a World War II RAF radio station. The café is lined with chutney’s, beers, wines and jams and has a mix of table sizes – ideal for two for lunch or a group of eight having a get-together.

Although the menu choices are not vast, options include slow-roast Parisian spiced lamb shoulder, bangers and mash using sausages from Great Garnetts and char-grilled minute steak (which was the choice of my dining partner). For me it was to be the Moroccan lamb tagine which was served authentically in the tagine.

A generous portion served with cous cous, salad, warm flat bread and mint yoghurt arrived. The cous cous was a meal in itself flavoured with toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, red onion, chick peas, pumpkin seeds, dried raisins and apricots topped with plenty of lamb in a rich red, Moroccan spiced sauce. My lamb just melted in the mouth and had I not been travelling further afield straight afterwards, it was so good, I would have asked to take the rest home.

The café, which is closed on a Monday, has a rustic ambiance and is a very relaxing place to while away your afternoon, so don’t be surprised to leave with a basket full of home-baked goodies. Despite not being able to manage another mouthful, we couldn’t leave without purchasing a slice of homemade carrot cake and the luscious lemon cake for later.



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