The catering team at the Barns Centre are famous for their scrumptious cakes and delicious desserts...and visitors here will all know why!
From as long ago as 1995 the Barns Centre has catered for varied and numerous groups: visiting students and researchers; yoga classes; Buddhist retreats; special interest groups; as well as any number of conferences, workshops and gatherings. From large buffets, to three course meals, BBQs and picnics - and meeting a wide variety of dietary requirements! - the kitchen team never cease to amaze us with their culinary creations and always served with a smile! Here are a few thoughts from our guests:
'A lovely venue with fantastic home-made food – so much nicer than the pre-packed food.'
'...Such wonderful food and lovely welcoming atmosphere.'
'...We particularly valued the warm, friendly, relaxed approach. The food was absolutely delicious!'
'Wonderful!! So kind and welcoming and food was fab!!'
'You always make us so welcome, nothing is too much trouble, the food is good and bountiful...'
'Thank you so much for your care. I especially appreciate that I did not need to feel apprehensive coming to meals as you catered creatively for my needs.'
'Food excellent. Very wholesome.'
'...the staff are very attentive and accommodating. We love your food!!!'
'...it's so peaceful and tranquil and 'clean energy' and the food was just out of this world – very nourishing!! I won't need to eat for a week I think!'
'I thought the chocolate pots couldn't be topped but the meringues with blackberry were phenomenally good. And I also loved the nut loaf. Where's the website with the recipes uploaded?'
There have been many helpers over the past twenty-plus years but our current catering manager is Vicky, a local farmer's wife, who started helping out at the Barns Centre in about 2008. She describes her food as wholesome, home-cooked fare, with ingredients sourced locally – much from her own farm, and their family-run Culls Meadow Farm Shop, just around the corner. She says she enjoys the open and relaxed atmosphere of PETT and likes talking to visiting groups about their interests and experiences. She can't decide whether she prefers cooking her legendary (our words!) coffee and walnut cake, or her fruit-filled cream meringues, but there's one thing she'll say for her love of baking – it's very therapeutic!
“We're all like a family here” says Stephanie. She's known the Barns Centre since she was a child, her mum Maureen having worked here in various roles for over thirty years. She remembers coming here during the school holidays, eating bread and cheese in the kitchen and playing in the old swimming pool with her older sister. For the past fifteen years Steph has helped out with the housekeeping, catering and general running of the Conference Centre. Her own daughter Libby carried on a P.E.T.T. family tradition by doing work experience in the Archive and Study Centre and now it's Steph's young son Leo who runs round the Centre and explores the grounds during the school holidays. A family affair indeed!
To keep the team in cake, we really do need your help - please visit My Donate and show your support!