The Cafe at Welland Park
This hidden gem is everything you want in a cafe – good coffee, delicious cakes and interesting food (all homemade), plus welcoming staff, a well-designed interior and covered outside seating. The added bonus is the Art Deco building set on park lawns next to the river, with views of the rose garden and tennis courts.
The Cafe @ Welland Park is run by chef Roy Shortland, who began his food career as a trainee pastry chef and worked his way up to Michelin-starred restaurants and cookery schools. When the opportunity came along to run his own business, Roy snapped it up, and has set about reinvigorating the cafe in the park, which is five minutes’ walk from the town centre or a couple of minutes’ walk from the park car park.
Roy’s aim is to produce simple, seasonal and delicious food suited to a cafe, using excellent locally sourced ingredients. Dairy produce comes from Newlands Dairy Farm; bacon, sausages and Old Nick cheese come from Bates Butcher’s in Market Harborough; and herbs are picked from the herb garden just outside the cafe door. Everything is homemade and cooked in-house.
We had deliciously dense ginger cake with a caramel topping, but were equally tempted by the brownies, shortbread and Eccles cakes. More substantial offerings include soups, homemade sausage rolls, winter casserole and avocado with duck egg. At weekends you can enjoy a Park Poacher – sauté potato, bacon and poached egg with a twist – and children’s lunch bags are available every day.
Extra touches make the whole experience a cut above the average. Chilled water is available on tap inside, while dogs are catered for with water bowls outside. Rugs are provided all year round, providing warmth in winter and picnic blankets in summer.
Open six days a week in the winter and seven days a week in the summer (check Facebook for exact dates and times), The Cafe @ Welland Park is a real asset to Market Harborough. It is well worth making a detour for.