Roots is a family run farm and social hub. It has a real community feel to it with cycles parked by the farm shop door, a farm cat lounging in the courtyard and neighbours placing their Christmas orders at the butcher's counter. Parking is FREE. The cafe is open from 10am-4pm on a Sunday (9am-4pm ever other day) and no hot food is served after 3pm. You can't book a table and there will probably be a queue but we arrived during a peak period and only waited 10 minutes.
What I really like about Roots is that all of the meat used in their cafe comes from their own butchery. You can't get more local than that can you? As well as that, the cafe supports 17 local suppliers and tries to serve only local food where possible. The staff are friendly and the scones and cakes on the counter looked wonderful - definitely a reason to return.
Steve and I ordered the beef roast dinner. Priced at £6.95 this is cheaper than our local Hungry Horse Pub and even cheaper than a Crown Carvery Sunday lunch which is probably where most people would assume is one of the cheapest. Talk about incredible value! Our beef was incredibly tender, the Yorkshires perfectly cooked and the gravy up there with the best - it reminded me of the gravy my grandma used to make. Definitely 'proper'. The portions are on the small side when compared with other Sunday lunches we've eaten in the past and I would have liked to have been offered some mustard but that's being picky. For £6.95 it's very hard to complain and we were left feeling very satisfied.
The children's menu is for under 5's here which counts us out so Heidi went for the waffles with syrup, Jack a sausage sandwich and Harry a Ham sandwich. These were all adult portions and I couldn't believe it when our bill was only £38 for the 5 of us, especially considering this included a round of premium/organic drinks.
Roots Farm Shop is smaller than our local Moorhouse Farm Shop but there are still lots of treats to be discovered. The knowledgeable butcher really stood out for us and I loved reading the various signs around the shop comparing their prices to Tesco's finest (Roots are cheaper btw). You'll also find local and seasonal fruit and veg, lots of Yorkshire producers, artisan cheeses and lots of other Yorkshire delights. We picked up some hand carved ham, a loaf of bread and some cupcakes that we spotted on the half price shelf. I LOVE a homemade cake and these ones were up there with the best. I have no idea why they were on the half price shelf as they were super soft and tasted as if they'd only just been baked.
As a special Christmas treat you'll also find a pop up Christmas shop in one of the outbuildings at Roots. Don't you just love the styling!
Inside is an Aladdin's cave of Christmas decorations and gifts - often handmade and local. It's the perfect place to browse. Heidi spotted at least 500 things that she said were 'adorable' and we could have spent a fortune.
You can also go and meet the farm cows in their cowshed which always pleases the kids. Jack also takes it one step too far though and asked loudly which one we were going to kill and eat for lunch! It's important to us that the kids know where their food comes from and understand the food chain so I guess we should be proud really.
It turns out my friend was right - we LOVED Roots Farm Shop & Cafe. I just wish it was closer! If you're travelling up to the North East via the A19 at any point, I'd highly recommend popping in for lunch, coffee and cake or even just a browse.
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