Sunday Lunch at The Coach House Otterburn (with kids)

*This is a collaboration with The Coach House Otterburn

We celebrated Father's Day a week early this year as Steve is sadly working on the official day (plus I'm heading off to Genoa with the kids for the weekend so we won't actually be in the country). We spent Saturday strawberry picking at Brocksbushes (watch our video here), eating ice cream at Wheelbirks and watching the football. Steve is the chef in our house and does 95% of the cooking so we thought it would be nice to head out somewhere a little special for Sunday lunch in Northumberland after a leisurely lie in. 

Sunday Lunch at The Coach House Otterburn (with kids)

The Coach House in Otterburn invited us along to try their family Sunday lunch and let you all know what it's like. Otterburn really is in the middle of nowhere. I googled some places to visit in the immediate vicinity and couldn't come up with anything. It's definitely the kind of place you visit if you fancy a proper Sunday run out in the country. You can, of course, pair a visit with a stop off en-route as we did during our trip to Kielder earlier in the year. We also passed Wallington Hall, Belsay Hall, Kirkley Hall and Bolam Lake en-route which would be perfect stop offs if you're travelling along to A696.

The Coach House is located opposite Otterburn Hall which is now sadly in a state of disrepair - I really hope somebody buys this stunning building and returns it to its former glory. The Coach House is a couple of miles out of Otterburn itself (the staff will happily arrange taxis if needed) and if you visit on a less muddy day than what we did, there are gorgeous woodland and lakeside walks with waterfalls and wildlife to explore nearby. You're in the middle of a deer park too - perfect for a little stroll after lunch. As well as a dining room and bar, the Coach House is home to 14 gorgeous bedrooms. Some are pet-friendly and I think would make a lovely place to escape for a night or two.

The Coach House is a Grade II listed building and feels very elegant and grand. Dining here is a real experience and Heidi was in love with the plush velvet chairs and asked if we could bring one home. Despite its grandeur, we felt super welcome as a family and this was mainly due to our wonderful host Gemma and the restaurant staff. Sometimes when I visit fancier restaurants with the kids I can't properly relax as I'm always on edge that they're going to knock over a wine glass or start misbehaving but I just didn't feel that here. Gemma chatted with the kids about Star Wars and strawberry picking and little touches such as serving the kids' drinks in jam jars were appreciated. A lovely soundtrack played in the background so it was never too quiet and most importantly, service was very prompt which prevented the kids from getting bored and acting up.

When I visit restaurants for blog purposes, I pay more attention to how the staff interact with other diners than myself as I'm aware they may provide us with preferential treatment due to the fact that they know we're bloggers. I can hand on heart say that Gemma and her team welcomed every single guest in the same style as she greeted us, it's clear they are very proud of their business and strive to provide the very best level of service to everyone who visits. From chatting to a family about their weekend stay in the nearby lodges and recommending places to visit, or fussing over a pair of twin babies who were dining with their parents, then spending time chatting with an elderly lady at the bar and ensuring she was comfortable with extra cushions and able to easily reach the table to discussing wedding plans with another table who had popped in for lunch after visiting a nearby wedding fair, everyone received the same warm and friendly service as we did.

Drinks were very reasonably priced - a large Sauvignon Blanc was under £6 as were the cocktails. I'd expect somewhere of this standard to charge a lot more and was pleasantly surprised.

I love it when a restaurant serves bread on arrival. More places should do this! It stops the kids from asking when they're food's going to arrive (I swear they expect it to appear within 30 seconds of ordering) and it's a good excuse to eat some proper bread and butter. Steve always laughs that I measure how thoughtful a restaurant is by how spreadable their butter is - I hate it when you dine somewhere and the butter is rock solid and tears the bread apart! I'm pleased to report that it was perfectly spreadable and plentiful at the Coach House so extra brownie points to them.

The children's menu featured potato wedges with BBQ sauce or homemade soup to start - my three went with wedges and thoroughly enjoyed them.

I went with the Northumberland Goats' Cheese with honey and salad. Oh my word! I am definitely going to recreate this dish at home. It was absolutely beautiful. Steve nearly always orders Pate when he spots it on a menu and again, this version was a solid example of how to do starters well. Both dishes were beautifully presented and I loved the little details such as using different styles of plate for each dish.

Seriously, if you love cheese, you need to try this dish.......

Onto our mains, and I have to say, life is far too short for a rubbish Sunday dinner. It's the one meal that I will never buy from a generic chain restaurant as I really feel that an independent restaurant or pub who sources their ingredients locally is always going to provide the very best tasting experience. Why people will still pay through the nose for a mass-produced & microwaved Sunday lunch at a chain pub I will never know.

I'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent here. The Coach House charge £14.95 for a 2 course Sunday lunch and I know some people are going to look at this and think that £15 is too expensive for a 2 course Sunday lunch. I price checked this with our local Beefeater pub who charge £14 for the exact same thing. I would 1000% much rather spend my extra £1 at a local, independent place who is serving up proper homemade lunches with local ingredients like the Coach House. Every single time. 

I ordered the rib of Northumbrian roast beef which was tender and falling apart and Steve ordered the belly pork with perfect crackling and black pudding. Every single element of our lunch was spot on from the meaty gravy to the creamy mash, crispy roast potatoes and honey roasted carrots. We honestly could not fault it at all. It was all piping hot too.

Jack ordered the sausage and mash which he loved. I am surprised he wasn't tempted with the child's lamb dish if I'm honest as that's his favourite but he was happy with his choice. Personally, I'd have liked this dish to be served with some kind of veg as standard and found it a little weird that it wasn't. I'm sure if we'd have asked, they'd have brought us out some peas but we weren't too bothered about it - it's just something we noticed.

Heidi and Harry both ordered Gnocchi which is a dish I don't think they've ever had before (we're spaghetti or fuscilli lovers at home). It's quite tricky trying to explain what it is to kids so in the end, we described it as fluffy pasta balls. Served with homemade tomato sauce, they really enjoyed it and the portions were really good too. I'm pleased I can add Gnocchi to our meal rotation at home now.

Our mains were pretty substantial and I wasn't sure we could squeeze in dessert if I'm honest. The kids were adamant they were ordering one though so in the end, Steve and I opted to share one. Heidi and Jack loved their fancy ice creams served in cocktail glasses and Harry was over the moon to see Sticky Toffee Pudding on the kids' menu. It's his absolute fave and I like that the Coach House offers an alternative to ice cream for children.

Steve and I shared a slice of raspberry and lime cheesecake and it was so worth the extra calories. Honestly up there with the best cheesecake I've ever tasted. We should have ordered one each as we ended up bickering over who had eaten the most and was going to enjoy the last bite.

There was no rush when we'd finished and we spent a good 10 minutes letting our desserts settle and finishing our drinks. We sent our compliments to the chef and found out it was Gemma's husband/part owner in the kitchen that day. Kudos to them both - I honestly think they're a cracking team and have perfected every element of their service.

During our journey to Otterburn, the heavens opened and we passed through a hail storm on a scale that I've never witnessed before. It was so bad that we had to pull over onto the side of the road until it passed as we physically couldn't see the road in front of us. Scary times! It soon passed but the ground was left rather wet with localised puddles and flooding. As we were dressed for summer (we didn't even have our jackets with us), we decided against a woodland walk to the nearby lake after lunch as we thought the ground was probably still a little too wet and we really weren't dressed appropriately - next time though. There is a picnic table and some grass to the front of the Coach House and an enclosed terrace with tables to the rear should you need to pop out with a little one between courses (I've been there so many times).

Sunday lunch at Children's Menu at The Coach House, Otterburn

A huge thanks to Gemma and Paul for inviting us to spend the afternoon with them. If you're looking for somewhere new to try for Sunday lunch, I can highly recommend you give the Coach House a try.

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Sunday Lunch at The Coach House Otterburn (with kids)



  1. Looks delicious! I love going out for Sunday lunch whereas my husband hates it and says its never as nice as homemade! I think I'll persuade him to try here though. x

  2. YES!!! OMG one of my BIGGEST annoyances is in a restaurant is when they give you rock hard butter and it rips the bread! GRRRRRRRR! Also glad that we're not the only couple who argue over cheesecake!

    Wow, The food at The Coach House looks beautiful, definitely adding it to our Sunday Lunch list! I love that they have some woodland for a post lunch walk as well!

    I'm off to check out their website and drool over their menu!


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