Is anyone else a little bit tired of the same old service stations they stop at when they are traveling? I certainly am. I love having such a stunning county such as Northumberland so close to the city of Newcastle and I often love driving up the coast and seeing what I can find. Unfortunately there isn’t much choice when it comes to service stops on the A1 travelling north.
This summer however, I ventured out and found a hidden gem I just had to blog about. The Rocking Horse café in Rock is situated just off the A1 about 10 minutes north of Alnwick. The café is set in the very heart of one of Northumberland’s farms and takes up a beautiful view of the landscape. We were just after a coffee and maybe a sweet treat to pick us up before we hit the road again. The waitress allowed our little puppy inside the café as she explained that it is a dog friendly place. We sat down and had a quick glance at the menu before ordering two cappuccinos and a latte.
The thing I love about the Rocking Horse café was that they support other local businesses such as Pilgrim Coffee on Holy Island at Lindisfarne. By supporting and trading the Pilgrim Coffee, the owners of this splendid country café help showcase the little batches of coffee beans giving their customers a real experience of the taste as well as offering the opportunity to buy some of the beans. We totally took this opportunity to purchase some for ourselves in the flavour of Daily Bread.
We also ordered two of their cherry scones which were served with jam and either clotted cream or butter. We decided to stay a bit healthy as we had already had a summer of indulgence and stick to just jam and butter. We also asked for a slice of the Victoria sponge cake which looked homemade. What was served was more of a slab than a slice at the size we received. I really loved the homely feel that I experienced on my visit here. I honestly felt as if I was in a friends home, I could very easily relax and just drink my coffee over great conversation. I loved this aspect!
One of the owners came into the café when we were mid scone and coffee and said hello. He was really friendly as he told us a bit of the history and development of the café and the farm. He was more than happy to talk about their recent fame in the local newspapers and told us that they had been delighted at the feedback they had already gotten on Trip Advisor.
My only disappointment I had with the Rocking Horse café was that the owners had dogs which normally I don’t mind at all, especially when we were allowed our puppy to sit with us. However, I would have preferred the dogs to have been a little bit more well behaved than them trying to eat the scones and drink our coffee. This didn’t bother us too much though as the owner was straight over to send the dogs back outside. Andrew, the owner, was so enthusiastic about his newly developed business and wanted to show off his plans. He invited us out the back where there are picnic tables overlooking the spectacular view. The plans we were told about from Andrew were to build a barbeque area for customers to enjoy for an event or maybe a regular basis. Next door to the café is an antique shop also owned by the Rocking Horse café and open for business too.
This café situated 38miles from Newcastle is a very cosy and welcoming environment which we really enjoyed our rest break from our drive. The coffee was fantastic, so much so that we purchased a bag of the beans and we all agreed that the support of local business was really lovely to see. I will be returning to the Rocking Horse café when I’m heading north and in need of a pick me up. I would recommend you try it out if you are in this part of the country. Do make sure you are a dog lover however as the dogs will come and say hello.