The Dutch House
The Dutch House is a delightfully inspired café – the owners are a Dutch gardener and a graphic designer – set in the pretty countryside a few miles north of York, near the village of Crayke.
The café is a light, contemporary barn with a counter and kitchen at one end, plus a relaxed dining area, comfortable sofas, and a wood-burning stove to cosy around in winter.
It serves a fine selection of teas, coffees, homemade cakes, breakfasts, light lunches, homemade soups and Dutch specialities such as sweet and savoury pancakes and Poffertjes. If you fancy something different, The Dutch House is perfect, offering food with continental flavours but also a touch of traditional English.
I enjoyed a slice of Dutch apricot tart on soft pastry with almonds on top. It was extremely tasty – a bit different from the run of the mill offerings.
Outside the The Dutch House is a wildlife garden. The oasis contains a collection of native trees, herbaceous borders, a wild flower meadow and a display of sculptures. The gardens themselves are developed and designed by the owner of The Dutch House, Sjaak Kastelijn, former manager of York Museum Gardens. Sjaak has also created his kitchen garden in raised beds.
Across the courtyard is a gallery, Kunsthuis, a small but established venue for showing and selling contemporary art. The gallery features a rich range of work by prolific British and international professionals.
This hidden gem is in a family friendly location, 15 miles north of York and dogs are welcome. It is popular with cyclists and caters for walkers and garden lovers, with an emphasis on a green, sustainable approach.
By Ann Fugler, Yorkshire editor