Eating & shopping
Call into the Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre, in the old stable block overlooking Tumbleton Lake, is open from 10am and is where you'll find our licensed tea-rooms and gift shop. The tea-rooms use locally grown and seasonal produce and are open for morning coffee, light snacks and afternoon tea. Take a look around our shop and pick out the perfect gift, from handmade soaps to locally made jewellery - or treat yourself to some Northumbrian food and wine.
Shop 'til you drop
Cragside is open again for the 2015 season, so pop in and treat yourself to some fabulous gifts, books, homeware, gardenware, local food and crafts.
With new stock flying its way onto the shelves and exciting offers to take advantage of, our shop is the perfect place to buy a treat for yourself or a gift. Every penny you spend in our shop helps us look after our special place for ever.
Car park shop
Forgotten something? You can now call into the car park shop in the main car park where you will find gifts, snacks, ice cream, toys and guidebooks. The team will also be happy to help you with becoming a national trust member and giving you information to help you get the best out of your visit.
What's in Season
As we move out of Winter and into early Spring we still have an abundance of vegetables still at their best such as:
- Kale, winter cabbages, cauliflowers & purple sprouting broccoli.
- The root family with carrots, parsnips, beetroot & celeriac.
As good at the produce is in the shops at this time of year, it is the hedgerow that excites us here at Cragside. It's the beginning of the wild garlic season, a herb which grows best in dark, damp woods and thrives near rivers and streams. It is an excellent free ingredient which works well in soups and sauces, but just as well on it's own as a salad leaf. If you are feeling adventurous you could try making pesto by substituting the basil for some washed wild garlic leaves.
Lee's Top Tip
Lee, the Food and Beverage Manager's top tip for food wastage:
"Here at Cragside we are passionate about minimising food waste and try our best to not waste anything. If your fruit bowl is looking a little tired and the fruit is beginning to wither, peel it, chop it and slowly cook it in a pan with a splash of water and drizzle of honey to make a fruity sauce base which can then be used for the following:
- Stirred into plain yoghurt for a healthy version of a flavoured yoghurt.
- Drizzled over ice cream.
- Mixed with chunks of fresh fruit and used as a pancake filling then topped with a spoon of crème fraiche.
- Stirred through muesli or porridge.
- Added to smoothies as a healthy sweetener.
- If you have a large amount, freeze it in food bags in smaller portions, and defrost as needed."
Get out foraging
Along with wild garlic, nettles will start to appear towards the end of March and are a free source of highly nutritious food. Nettles can be used to replace spinach in most dishes and they also make a refreshing cup of tea. Nettle beer is a good use of a large amount.
Try making Potatoes & nettles with Indian Spices (Sag Aloo) or a nettle, bacon and blue cheese tart. If you are feeling really adventurous you could try a nettle & cheese bread to enjoy with a homemade bowl of soup. Happy foraging!
Nettle picking tips
- Be absolutely sure what you are picking when out foraging as some plants can be poisonous.
- Be careful when picking as the sting is extremely irritating.
- Always wear gloves and only use the fresh young tips, never pick old leaves from the bottom of the plant or the flowering part or seeds.
- Pour hot water from the kettle over a bowl of nettles to remove the sting, this will allow easier handling when cooking.
Nettle, bacon & blue cheese tart
Nettles will start to appear at the end of March so get out foraging and make a delicious home made nettle, bacon and blue cheese tart with some of your goods. Remember - be absolutely sure what you…