Fri. May 24th, 2024

You need to try this Rougham Estate cafe…

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Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham

Recently, the Rougham Estate near Bury St Edmunds has introduced a series of walking routes around the estate.

In total, the estate has around 18 miles of footpaths and cycling routes to enjoy – and with five new routes to choose from, there’s plenty to explore.

We decided to try out the Downs Wood walk and footpath: a 30-minute/1.2-mile walk that proved to be beautiful!

First, though, we needed sustenance – and the estate’s Roots Café gave us the chance to explore more of what the place had to offer.

Since it opened in October 2023, the pictures I’d seen on the Rougham Estate Instagram feed suggested that Roots would impress. With its menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, a dedicated kids’ menu and options to suit all appetites, we had high expectations.

The decor certainly lived up to those expectations. From the stained glass windows and tree trunk-based glass coffee table as you go in to the tables enclosed in their own wooden shed-like structures, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into the design of the Roots Café.

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Interior 1

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Shop

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Interior 2

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Interior 3

There’s a large courtyard area and a garden outside to enjoy, too – but while sunny, it wasn’t quite warm enough for that!

I did, however, order an iced latte with amaretto syrup (£4.50) to make it feel more summery, and it didn’t disappoint.

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Iced Coffee

There is a kids’ menu on offer at Roots. The child, however, was having none of it. He’d spotted the halloumi fries served with Stokes chilli jam (£5.75) – his ever-so-slightly Cypriot heritage clearly shining through!

It was a great choice. We were impressed with the portion size, the coating was lovely and crisp, and the cheese itself deliciously salty. Chilli jam and halloumi is a great pairing and the Stokes one was rich, sweet and sticky – absolutely delicious.

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Halloumi Fries

As soon as I saw the Roots rarebit (£9.95) on the menu, nothing else could compete. Would I like to add black treacle bacon (£2.95), asked the lovely guy who served us? Silly question!

It was definitely the right decision. The two generous slices of toasted sourdough had plenty of flavour in themselves, but slathered with the rarebit sauce they were incredible. The sauce itself was generous on the cheese front, and spiked with a local golden ale to give it a delicious twang. If I were to be picky, I’d say the rarebit topping could have stretched closer to the edges of the bread, but I’m glad I added the bacon, which was delicious.

I was impressed with the side salad, too, with radishes and slices of plum included – a lot more exciting than most cafe side salads.

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Roots Rarebit

Across the table, another cheese-filled lunch: the macaroni and cheese, which came in at £11.95. Would he like bacon added? It wasn’t on the menu, but again, a silly question!

The steaming hot dish was packed full of pasta, a generous coating of gooey melted cheese and two thick slices of salty bacon topping it off. It was proclaimed to be delicious – and two thick chunks of garlic bread were equally beautiful.

Roots Cafe, Rougham - Mac and Cheese

And so, bellies full, we set off for our walk, making the most of the temporary sunshine. Whether you stop for food and drinks before or after a wander round the Rougham Estate, it’s a day out I’d highly recommend.

Rougham Estate Walk


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