A RURAL attraction is hoping to bounce back with a new format.
Meldon Park’s Kitchen Garden has decided to open again without its cafe, but it is making more plants available to buy and encouraging families to take a picnic, with plenty of tables and gazebos on the site.
James Cookson, who runs the garden with his wife Emily, said: “Nowadays we all have less money to spend, yet still want entertaining.
“We decided to open without the cafe and encourage visitors to come and bring their own picnic. The cost of entry is via a donation box.
“We are also taking bookings for weddings and other private functions.”
The expanded nursery side of the business also provides a wider range of plants, including perennials and herbaceous plants, herbs and hanging baskets.
Later in the summer, fruit and vegetables will be available.
Mrs Cookson said: “This garden is ideal for what we are doing, in fact it is what it was originally designed for.
“We wanted to make available a wide range of plants for the North East gardener whereby all plants have been hardened off for our own climate.”
The Kitchen Garden was originally built to feed the kitchen in the main house and the wider community.
The house and grounds were constructed for the Cooksons’ ancestor Issac, who used the architect John Dobson.
It is open from Monday to Friday, between 10am and 5pm. Visitors can also arrange a tour of the house and surrounding grounds.
For more information telephone 01670 772341.