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Monday, 9 December 2013

Packwood House's new Garden Kitchen Cafe

I was very pleased to learn that Packwood House was getting it's own cafe and watched the progress of the build over the last year with anticipation . In past years I have always felt that the one thing missing from Packwood was a cafe. Somewhere to sit, relax and reflect on your day.

With National Trust membership it did not matter too much as I could drive down the road and have a coffee at Baddesley Clinton but if you are having a day out at one place, you don't really want to be getting in the car and driving to another for a drink or a snack. Not an ideal situation but this has all changed now with the opening of their new cafe and I must say, I was quite impressed.

The first thing I noticed about the building is how it was tucked away so that it did not spoil the view or stick out like a sore thumb as my grandmother used to say. The next thing I noticed was the size and the space inside. There is plenty of room for lots of people to sit down and space to move around, which is always a good thing. It doesn't look big from the outside so surprises you when you walk inside for the first time.

Some yummy cakes made at Packwood

Our table all set up for us.

Lots of nice little touches around the Cafe.

My husbands favourite drink when visiting a National Trust property.

The Cafe has a lovely fire against one wall and different types of seating areas. It has all been thought out very well except for one thing I noticed, they have lovely sofa's but some need a lower coffee type table in front of them. The tables are too high for that sort of seating but this is only my opinion, other visitors might like them this way. I guess with high chairs the other side of the table it is hard to find a balance.

The building, layout and all other furniture are perfect for what visitors need. It gives them a choice of where and what to sit on and on warmer days even has an outside seating area. What got my attention most is the attention detail that has gone into this build and design. I loved the signs on the walls, they were very well designed and a lovely touch to the building. 'I want Design' did a beautiful job.

Someone has thought about everything from keeping it low down not to spoil the view to matching the design of the roof to that of Packwood house itself.

I really loved the white and blue tiles in this cafe. They were great and designed again around the house and that of the bathroom within it.

                                          The bathroom inside Packwood house.

The new tiles in the cafe have pictures of a more modern day life at Packwood  painted on them, a really nice touch. My favourite tile has to be the little child walking across the cut tree trunks which remind me of stepping stones.

My favorite tile.

  The tiles are displayed throughout the restaurant all the way into the toilets which also have mobiles hanging from the baby changing room ceiling. Like I said they have thought of everything.

I was very pleased and surprised to receive an invite to the official opening of the new cafe and visitors centre by Dame Helen Ghosh who is the director General of the National Trust. I was also invited for a private tour followed by lunch. During the tour we were taken around the new walkway and approach to the house which opens up the land so much more. The new approach to the house gives you a very different view from that of the old way but it also shows you how much larger the land is than most people think.

                   Dame Helen Ghosh queuing up for a coffee

They do make a nice coffee and  I like the decoration on top.

Dame Helen Ghosh at Packwood House. Pictures taken while being interviewed by Lisa who writes the Blog....Glamour in the County. From the photos taken I am guessing it was a good interview. Look forward to reading about it.


      With Lucy who manages Packwood House on behalf of the National Trust.

I wonder what she was saying here? 

Dame Helen Ghosh with Sarah and  Cat from National Trust Midlands

The day wasn't ideal for a tour as the weather was not being Packwood friendly at all but the view from inside the warm cafe was lovely. All you could see outside was hundreds of leaves swishing around in the air as the wind picked them up and sent them across the field at quite a speed, followed by the heavens opening. Luckily, the opening ceremony was earlier in the morning so was finished before the weather changed.

After the tour of the grounds and house we headed back to the Cafe for a spot of lunch, I wasn't really hungry but did try their spiced pumpkin soup and must say it was really nice. The other food looked and smelt really good too.

The view from the new approach to the house.

A sign showing you where to go depending on what you would like to do or see.

 I enjoyed my day at Packwood House. I saw the new building and the unexpected new approach which I really like too. I was also able to put faces to names and make new friends at the same time. Susan Guy it was lovely to meet you, hope to catch up again soon.

Packwood house well done on your new building. I have waited many years for this and am very pleased with what I have seen, highly recommend.

For a little more about Packwood House itself, here is a link to a blog I wrote a couple of months back.

Also Autumn at Packwood with the beautiful changing colours of the leaves.

For  more lovely photos of Packwood Houses new Garden Kitchen Cafe, here is a link to Susan Guy's blog.

Hope you enjoyed my blog again. Packwood's Christmas Fair to follow very soon.

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