Great food, eccentric decor, owner-run and housed in a fantastic old barn which is also the home to a reclamation centre and local arts and crafts vendors.
Yew Tree Barn is listed in one or more of the little local activities and attractions leaflets we picked up at the Windermere Tourist Office, just a minute's walk from our rental house. It's described as a venue where one can rummage through reclaimed salvage, invest in lovely restored antiques, watch local craftsmen at work in their studios and browse and buy a large range of hand-made art and crafts from local artists. Not to mention enjoy tea and cake, or perhaps a nice lunch…
The cafe is so called because it's the third Cumbrian venture by Jane and Sam following popular and successful cafes elsewhere in the Lake District.
The couple are committed to providing a personal service, high-quality food cooked from scratch and served in a funky space.
That said, don't visit Hat Trick Cafe if you're looking for fast-food and a quick turnaround. Despite the cafe being almost empty, we did wait a long time for our orders to be taken… though we didn't mind the ensuing wait for our food to be prepared, from scratch.
I could not resist (multiple glasses of) Sam and J's fresh lemonade or limeade (£1.95) which was hugely refreshing and reminded me of home-made nimbu pani from my childhood.
Pete's cappuccino a la crème (£1.95) came with a mountain of whipped cream, which he dived into face first.
Hat Trick's Club Sandwich (£7.50) was generously filled and served with home-made coleslaw and side salad.
The Carolina Gold (£7.50) was also a three-layered sandwich stuffed with bacon, Swiss cheese, avocado, mustard cress and tomato and served with a red coleslaw and side salad.
Martine and I were both dithering so we decided to split two dishes:-
The Rarebit (£7.50) consisted of matured cheddar cheese cooked in beer, mustard, garlic and milk and served on toast with either bacon and mushroom or mushroom, leek and cheese. We went for the latter, and it was good, filling, simple food. Just what we wanted.
We also had a hot filled jacket potato, opting for a sweet potato and a filling of spicy beef chilli (£6.25) which was excellent. I really like the option of choosing either a regular or sweet potato and have made a note to make baked sweet potatoes at home.
Stuffed to the gills we nevertheless ordered puddings and wolfed down the warm chocolate fudge cake (£3.50), some home-made fruit crumble (£3.95) and Jane's little sticky toffee pudding (£3.95).
Prices may seem a touch high, but I found eating out a little expensive throughout the Lake District. Hat Trick's pricing was very reasonable in the context of the region.
Me chatting to Sam behind the beautiful old cash till they have on display
After lunch we enjoyed a friendly chat with Sam and Jane before exploring all the goodies of Yew Tree Barn including a life-size ceramic sheep painted in (presumably a local) sports team's colours, beautiful hand-made silver jewellery (the artist was at work during our visit), some gorgeous reclaimed furniture and fittings (if only we had the space) and a huge range of beautiful crafted items.
South of Lake Windermere, Yew Tree Barn is located in Low Newton, just off the A590. It's not far from Cartmel, famed (by foodlovers) for it's sticky toffee pudding and (by sports and horse fans) for it's racing.
If you're in the area, it's definitely worth a visit!
Hat Trick Cafe, Yew Tree Barn, Low Newton, Cumbria. LA11 6JP