Abbey Parks, East Heckington
I always enjoy the spring months. Not only do we have lighter evenings and warmer days, but our dining out diary gets filled with lovely light bite destinations to visit.
The first spring visit for this year took me to Abbey Parks in East Heckington, to visit Ros and her daughter Sophie and sample some of their well-known menu. Lincolnshire Life has a long history with the farm shop. Over the years they’ve been a Finalist and Gold Citation winner in our annual Taste of Excellence Awards, which goes to show how well they are doing.
My visit this time was on a Monday lunchtime. Usually I find Mondays are quite quiet, however this was not the case and all the tables were filled with customers choosing from the large variety of options on the menu. The farm shop itself was built around fifteen years ago. Prior to this Ros owned an acre of land growing asparagus which was bought by high end London restaurants, as well as being sold from the garage next to the shop. So popular was the asparagus that Ros made the decision to build the farm shop. Since the original shop was built they have had a few extensions, one which now hosts their garden room, an extra restaurant with access to the garden, and more recently the new Boston Sausage deli which opened almost two years ago.
Inside the shop you’d be forgiven for believing it was originally an old barn. They have managed to create the ambience of a rustic farmhouse, using quirky, one-off pieces that add to the charm. Over the carefully placed beams you will find old cartwheels, ladders and even bales of hay, which look like they could have been there for much longer than the building. The wood burning stoves also add to the charm of the building.
My guest and I were looking forward to our lunch after our arrival, both talking about what we might like on the way. The drive from Lincoln is quite quick and only took us about thirty minutes. Sophie told us they get a lot of passing trade from Norfolk along the A17, although they also have a supporting group of regulars.
Once I had managed to choose a drink – the café sells a wide variety of soft drinks including six or seven varieties from Belvoir Fruit Farm which are a personal favourite of mine – we took our seats by the roaring fire. Even though it wasn’t a cold day, it was quite nice keeping warm over lunch. Sophie recommended a couple of options for us, a Ploughman’s and their burger, both of which worked well for us.
Whilst we were waiting for our meals to arrive Sophie told us about the history and beginning of the farm shop and we took the opportunity to meet Ros. Speaking with them both it is clear to see the passion that they bring to the business. They told us all about their plans for the summer, which includes a new outdoor ice cream parlour and pizza oven where they will be selling stone baked pizzas.
Aside from the café they also have a farm shop where they stock not only Lincolnshire products but unique pieces including food and drink gifts and quirky home buys.
It didn’t take long for our food to arrive and we both tucked into them with gusto. The burger was perfect, homemade and full of flavour. It was quite crumbly but I liked this and it was topped with bacon and cheese in a lightly toasted bun. It was served with a portion of chips, which came in a small frying basket, side salad and coleslaw. The Ploughman’s had three varieties of cheese, home cooked ham, pork pie and a side salad with grapes. Both dishes were presented perfectly and didn’t last long on our plates.
For those looking for something different, the menu has choices from all-day breakfasts, to sandwiches and paninis plus larger main meals, as well as their specials board options.
Whether you are looking for a cosy lunch for two, or somewhere to take the family, Abbey Parks is the perfect destination.