Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Archive review: Warren Farm, Totland Bay Archive review: Warren Farm, Totland Bay
This is an archive review. Warren Farm Cream Teas is now closed (although the farm shop is still very much open) Matt and Cat...

This is an archive review. Warren Farm Cream Teas is now closed (although the farm shop is still very much open)

Matt and Cat are not morning people, preferring instead to spend their weekends lolling under the duvet for as long as possible.

Pleasant though this is, it can lead to meal synchronisation issues. For when Matt and Cat are eating their breakfast, the rest of the population is gearing up for lunch. By the time M and C are thinking about lunch, it’s mid-afternoon and many places have stopped serving. And so, on a sunny Saturday, this tragedy of mis-timing played itself out yet again.

Their chops flapping in the breeze of the car’s open windows, Matt and Cat headed purposefully to the West Wight. This time they were going to eat their lunch in a timely manner. But, like a pair of babies shown a particularly enticing rattle, their attention was refocused onto the new and mighty cleft in the Military Road. And, like this picturesque highway, M and C’s intentions fell by the wayside.

Along with dozens of other rubberneckers, the duo gawped at this incipient chine from both the cliff edge and the beach below. Fortunately the tide was on its way out and M and C, both first-time visitors to Brook beach, dawdled along taking photos of the newly-revealed geology and skimming flat stones into the sea.

Nowhere else in the developed world would you be served food from a hatch on a willow-pattern plate with a doily and the daintiest butter knives
Cream tea at Warren Farm

The grassy top of the soft cliff was teaming with the larva of one of the Island’s rarest protected invertebrates, the Glanville fritillary. So, on their way back to the car, more dilly-dallying ensued as both Matt and Cat crouched fascinated over these wriggling woolly caterpillers. All of this pointing and looking had finally given Matt his lunchtime appetite so they reluctantly left the cliff and continued their journey westwards.

Matt and Cat’s bill
2 x cream teas £9.60

The last time Matt and Cat had Warren Farm in their sights it was closed and they were compelled to make do with the offerings of the Needles Pleasure Park. This time round they were in luck; the tea shop was open. Parking the wagon next to a pen containing a sleeping pig, they dusted themselves down, ready to eat a light lunch. Alas, once again, they were too late for a baked potato or a sandwich. Fortunately they wouldn’t go hungry as cream teas were still available. All was not lost!

The meal dispensary at Warren Farm had a familiar look about it; prospective diners queued at a small hatch, gave their order and, after a short wait, took away their meal on a tray. Of course! The tea shop had taken the internationally successful model of the drive-in and applied it to the delivery of cream teas!

Taking their laden tray, Matt and Cat found a sunny seat in the nearby tea garden. For less clement days there was a walled patio and, for when the weather was really nasty, there was undercover seating. But like the rest of this busy little cafe’s punters, M&C chose to sit outside at a table facing Headon Warren.

Examination of the tray’s contents showed that the comparison to a drive-in was at an end. Nowhere else in the developed world would you be served food from a hatch on a willow-pattern plate with a doily and the daintiest butter knives. Ramekins of clotted cream and strawberry jam (interestingly no butter) waited patiently to be smeared on the big white scones – two apiece. Tea in a pot, cups and saucers, a jug of milk plus a pot of hot water completed this manna. Topped up at regular intervals, the tea pot was the gift that kept on giving. Piled high with flavoursome jam and cream the scones were so vast and fluffy that Cat, queen of the cream tea, could not finish her second one and Matt had to do his duty.

As there were no planes in the sky, the only sounds to be heard was the occasional chink of china and the indifferent caw of some distant jackdaws. Supping their tea, Matt and Cat gazed across the valley and felt contented.
Warren Farm, Totland Bay

This is an archive review. Warren Farm Cream Teas is now closed (although the farm shop is still very much open)