Deborah and Kevin Steward's latest venture is Abbey Cafe in north Creake
Fresh from receiving the Royal Warrant for catering and event management services to the Queen, Deborah and Kevin Steward's latest venture is Abbey Cafe, built around the old forge at Creake Abbey Studios.
Fresh from receiving the Royal Warrant for catering and event management services to the Queen, Deborah and Kevin Steward’s latest venture is Abbey Caf�, built around the old forge at Creake Abbey Studios.
Pictures: Matthew Usher
Why did you decide to open Abbey Caf�? We successfully ran The Stables Restaurant at Houghton Hall for five years, but took a break in 2008 and started looking for the ideal location for a caf�. When we saw Abbey Caf� we knew it would be perfect: great location and plenty of parking, so we redecorated and opened on January 1.
How would you describe its character?It’s got 17 seats and has a cosy, welcoming feel. It’s decorated in a country style and the old forge, which the caf� is built around, is still a major feature.
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Do you have a signature drink? Our own home-made elderflower and lemongrass, lime and ginger cordials and presses.
Where do you source your tea and coffee from? We sell a range of fair trade, organic and speciality teas and coffees, specially blended by a local merchant in King’s Lynn.
What’s the flavour of your menu? Simple, home-made food that allows the quality of the ingredients to speak for themselves.
Which local ingredients can people find on it? We use meat from HV Graves butchers at Briston, Mrs Temple’s Cheese from Wighton, bread from H&J Moore bakers at Fakenham, summer fruits from Sharrington and our own home-smoked trout, as well as our own chutneys, jams and relishes.
How much should someone expect to pay for breakfast, lunch or dinner? We open at 11am, so there are toasted teacakes and home-made cinnamon butter at �2.50 for morning tea; Mrs Temple’s three-cheese platter with salad and rolls for �7.95 for lunch; and home-made scones with preserves and clotted cream at �2.75 for afternoon tea.
Have any of your cakes generated a following? Our banana and rum cake and gluten-free lemon cake have built quite a reputation.
What’s your top dish recommendation for April? Home-smoked trout, asparagus and warm potato salad with lemon mustard dressing, as the trout and asparagus will just be coming into season and at their finest.
Do you serve alcoholic beverages? We’re fully licensed and stock a range of Fox’s Brewery ales and wines.
Can people eat alfresco? They can eat at the Abbey Studios’ courtyard picnic tables or at the picturesque duck pond.
Where might someone go after a stop at your caf�? There are a number of studios to browse for jewellery, d�cor, antiques, clothing, garden accessories and objets d’art in the converted barns adjacent to the magnificent ruins of Creake Abbey. There is also a farmers’ market on the first Saturday of each month, when around 30 stallholders sell local produce in the old Norfolk barn.
Deborah Steward at Abbey Caf�, Creake Abbey Studios, North Creake, Fakenham, NR21 9LF, www.deborahsteward.comOpen: 11am to 5pm (Tuesday to Sunday).