“ Address: Queen Elizabeth II Country Park / Ashington NE63 9AT / Northumberland „
Woodhorn Grange is a bar and restaurant situated inside Queen Elizabeth II Country Park to the north of Ashington in Northumberland.
You often find a Brewers Fayre restaurant adjacent to a Premier Inn and here is no different. Although there have always been hotel rooms above this restaurant, it was not actually a Premier Inn until a few years back. We had stayed here on a couple of occasions as well as visiting the restaurant a number of times too, as we live close to the Northumberland coast and countryside, but recently spent our first night here since it became a Premier Inn and also ate in the restaurant.
The restaurant is often busy, as the country park is a popular place to visit with its huge lake and walks formed on reclaimed land where the colliery once stood. Actual colliery buildings and a museum are also adjacent to the country park and so all this combined with the Premier Inn building an extension with more hotel rooms, means a lot of custom for the restaurant, with many holidaymakers travelling around Northumberland making this place an overnight stop off. It is an ideal base to visit many places in Northumberland.
Inside the restaurant is fairly large, although when you enter it gives the appearance of not being all that spacious inside as you reach the bar area. However, as you round a corner there is another large dining area, with some of it raised, leading down to a bay window area which provides views of the lake from the windows. The tables around the bay window area is the place to be in my opinion, as you can look out through the large windows over to the lake whilst you dine.
There is also an outside play area for children as well as an indoor 'play zone' and so there is plenty to keep the kids amused, making Woodhorn Grange overall a popular place for families.
Inside, the dark wooden tables and mixed chairs blend with dark wood panelling in the bar area creating a cosy feel, whilst the main dining area I mentioned is more light and airy because of the large windows. There is also an outdoor seating area where you can eat, drink and keep an eye on your children playing in the play area, or look out over to the lake.
It is very clean both inside and out and there are plenty of toilets which are also clean and checked regularly.
On the day of our last visit, we were also staying the night at the Premier Inn and were asked on checking in if we would like to reserve a table. We declined as we were just going to go in straight away as it was tea-time and we were hungry.
It was a Sunday and still very busy, although it did become quieter not long after we arrived as families began to leave and go home after spending the afternoon there.
I don't know if they were short-staffed or not, but there was quite a queue at the bar and there was only one person serving and taking food orders and so I had to wait a few minutes to be served. Also it seemed to be taking a while for empty tables to be cleared.
Despite it still being fairly busy, we found a table beside the window with a lovely view and sat down expecting to wait a quite a while for our food to arrive, but just ten minutes later our food was brought to the table by a friendly staff member and we were asked if we would like any sauces.
I had ordered a burger with bacon and cheese and this came served with chips and coleslaw which appeared to be homemade and delicious. The burger was a tasty home-made style too, cooked how I has asked it to be and served on a lightly toasted bun with mixed leaves and the cheese and bacon. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, the portion size was adequate with a fair amount of chips which were tasty too. My partner ordered gammon steak and you can choose if you want eggs, pineapple or both with this. He opted for one of each and thoroughly enjoyed his meal too. The gammon steak looked thick and juicy and he said it was very nice.
We had ordered a side of onion rings and when this arrived they came served in a black cone-shaped holder with a napkin placed inside containing 16 onion rings! Used to only receiving 5 or 6 at the most when ordering a portion of onion rings when eating out, we were amazed at the value here as it was only £1.99 for 16 onion rings. Indeed overall I thought the menu offered very good value for money with the gammon costing £6.99 and my burger £6.99 also with an added 79p for the cheese and bacon topping. Our meals, the side order and an alcoholic drink each came to £22.45.
We didn't bother with starters or desserts and were full after our meals and all those onion rings!
As well as the main menu, the restaurant also has a themed 'all you can eat' buffet night every evening, consisting of Curry, Chinese, Mexican, Pie, Chicken and Chip Shop buffets with a carvery on Sundays. These buffets are set up next to the main bar and you can help yourself to as much as you like at a price of just £5.99 for adults and £4.49 for children.
There is also a two main meals for ten pounds offer during the week until 6pm.
Although it is tradtional pub grub you will find being served here, the quality and portion sizes are good and it is a place I like to visit. There isn't a lot of choice for vegetarians, but you will find the usual lasagne, curry and quiche options being the only dishes on the main menu.
I mentioned we were too full for desserts but they did look very nice. I saw a couple tucking into an Ultimate Sharing Sundae which is described on the menu as " Chocolate fudge cake, profiteroles and chocolate crunch, layered with vanilla and chocolate flavour ice creams and chocolate flavour fudge sauce. Topped with a whip of cream and two chocolate flakes." Priced at £4.99 it did seem to be very good value and looked delicious. I have made a promise to myself to return and have one of these.
I was pleased to see they serve Costa Coffee at Woodhorn Grange and better still you pay just £2.50 and can have unlimted refills. I love a Costa Latte and could quite happily have consumed a few of these. It took some doing to drag me away from this!
Overall I cannot fault the food and drinks we had here and it was also nice to sit outside with a drink watching the sun go down too. Although they could have maybe done with one or two more staff on duty to ensure there are no long queues and tables are cleared quickly, it did not spoil our visit and we will return.
Queen Elizabeth II Country Park
Tel: 01670 862332