Post Box, Ponteland
Jnr and I decided to drop into Post Box on our way to pick up Him Indoors from the Airport. It was nice watching the programmes he doesn’t like and having the bed to myself while he was away. Seeing his happy face when he walked through Arrivals cheered me up though, even if he is a duvet hogger!
We weren’t sure what to expect from the cafe food-wise as there’s no website at present. They specialise in sandwiches and cakes, and had a limited hot food offering on the day we visited. There was an appealing scone basket, but I wasn’t in the mood for a Cream Tea. It’s a shame there were so few cake options at 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon after the delicious looking Victoria Sponge sold out before we’d had a chance to sample some.
The interior is what I’ve come to expect from a newly opened eatery: wooden floorboards and shabby chic decor. The only Kilner to be seen was the lightbulbs in the window, unusually. The cafe was quiet at first but got busier as the afternoon progressed. We managed to grab a comfy window booth, and as it was a lovely sunny afternoon appreciated how pretty and airy the cafe was. We counted 7 staff altogether, 3 in the kitchen alone. I thought this was surprising considering the limited menu on offer and the number of covers they had.
Bearing in mind the plethora of staff I was expecting swift service, but unfortunately that’s not what we received. They were super apologetic and refunded the charge for our hot chocolate, but we still waited a long time for our food to arrive. Even after this had happened someone came across to ask if we’d ordered, which made them seem a bit clueless IMO.
Jnr ordered a Tuna Mayo stottie, and I had Welsh Rarebit. The portion was considerably bigger than I was expecting, whereas Jnr said he wanted more and was still hungry. He actually asked for another sandwich!
Our friend had a BLT, which the waitress said was her favourite. She agreed it was good and it looked lovely. My Rarebit was no more than ok, if I’m being brutally honest.
After discovering the Victoria Sponge had sold out we tried one of their Crispy Cake Square instead. OMG! We enjoyed it so much I bought some to take away and cleared out their stock!
All in all, I was slightly disappointed by my first trip. I felt the menu was limited, although there is nothing wrong with the food they offer. They may want to keep things simple and do them right, but up against Fratelli’s (which does a reasonable Sunday lunch) they might have to offer something more substantial to compete. I understand from their Facebook page they’ve launched an updated menu since our visit, which is good news.
The service also needs some work. They struggled when it was quiet, so can’t imagine what a flap there is on a busy Saturday. They certainly weren’t understaffed, in my opinion! It’s still early days for the venture, so hopefully there’ll be an improvement as they find their feet. I’m not sure about Afternoon Teas as no-one ordered one while we were there to have a nose. I suspect we’ll pop in again on the strength of those Crispy Cake Squares if we’re in the area again.
Thanks for reading,