The lodge kitchens and eating out at Centre Parcs(16 Posts)
We have our first ever (possibly last) booked at CP in a couple of weeks- Elveden.
We're going to try and cook most our meals as on a budget after Xmas. Was planning on getting an online shop to deliver just before we leave and chucking it in the car. We have an electric coolbox so happy to transport chilled and frozen.
What are the kitchens in the lodges like? Will we have an oven, freezer? We normally camp so are V. used to self catering and can take all the gubbins with us.
If we do eat out what would you recommend? We don't often eat out so any money we part with it has to be worth it!
Kitchen was fine when I stayed at elveden, and I catered all week quite easily. Didn't eat out as all the restaurants are chain crap, not my bag. It was fun though.
Yes oven, freezer etc, well equipped. Ours had a dishwasher. Restaurants there aren't great so self catering will not make you feel you are missing out
Kitchens are very small but excellent for the size. We easily cook for family of 5 in the one-above-basic. (We go for that one because it has a dishwasher).
Gas stove, electric oven, microwave, kettle. Undercounter fridge with smaller freezer compartment. Don't remember whether they have toasters. All basic cooking kit, perhaps a little less than in a holiday cottage, but plenty of dishes. You really don't need to take anything, unless you are particularly partial to your peeler, or some such. You even get 3 dishwasher tabs, sachets of washing up liquid and a sponge.
Parc Market has a very good range of stuff, including free-from. Not unreasonably expensive, but brand-names only, so more than my usual supermarket own-brands shopping. Because of the small fridge, we generally only take non-fridge foods with us, plus 24h of milk, plus a few meals' worth of frozen meat, and buy fresh veg etc from day to day.
Restaurants are bog-standard chains. Unspectacularly fine if you can't be bothered to cook.
Have a nice time.
The only eat-out we recommend is the Pancake House Magic Show. Food is unspectacular buffet, but the whole evening is lots of fun, and the dc (ahem ) love going mad making their own desserts.
We did the pancake house magic show, great entertainment but the food was absolutely dire and I wouldn't do it again, it was also expensive.
Kitchen was fine, we ate out once in Strada but service was slow, kids got bored and tired so eating at home was best. I didn't cook, mostly heated up pizza etc
If you are mostly eating in I would take some equipment with you. The pans are nasty cheap ones, and there is nothing like a big oven dish for cooking pasta bakes or anything. And just be aware that previous guests cleaning standards might not be up to scratch - we were at Whinfell Forest in the New Year and found a pan in the cupboard with lots of food stuck to it (I think it had come out of the dishwasher like that and they couldn't be bothered to start hand washing it). But we've been many times and not had anything like that happen before .
I think the Indian is quite nice- Rajinda Pradesh. I always have moules frites (and a large glass of wine!) at Cafe Rouge on Friday lunchtime when we arrive. Strada is ok as well but we tend to eat pizza on the Friday night and pasta one other meal so prefer to avoid the Italian for eating out.
Kitchens are fine, little basic but ok and there is a small freezer compartment. The smoke alarms are a pain if you do a fried breakfast!
If I was going for longer than 3 nights I might take my slow cooker actually but I'm a slow cooker addict!
We usually barbeque one night but we've always been in spring/ summer before. Don't think we will this time (going to Whinfell in March).
The takeaway isn't great but you could get supermarket takeaway for a lot less.
Thanks for the tips, I did consider taking a slow cooker but have planned meals not needing it now.
I want it to be easy too, so was thinking of things like pizza. Will make a couple of things ahead which can just be heated up.
We tend to eat out a lot (otherwise me cooking every night doesn't feel like a holiday) and recommend Rajinda Pradesh, Hucks and Pancake House, ie all the ones that are CP-specific. The rest, eg Strada, Café Rouge, are all fine though - as you would expect but prices usually a bit higher than the normal ones. Brunch at Café Rouge is one of our usual treats though.
Take a sharp knife. They will have knives, they'll just be blunt.
Mostly, the kitchens are only small enough for 1 to be in there at a time.
Eating out is a bit dire. But they're mostly chains, so you know what you're going to get.
We had food delivered last time we were there which was brilliant as we wanted a mix of Indian and Pizza, and it was all delivered by the same guy at the same time.
I would definitely plan to forgo breakfast and have brunch out on the morning you leave. The cleaners are bang on time at 10am and it can be quite a struggle to get out before they come. Go and get your car as early as possible to avoid the rush. It gets a bit crazy.
There is a mahoosive sainsbury's 10 minutes down the a11 from eleven so you can easily get a good shop done without having to transport it all.
Agree knives are blunt and frying pans are cheap.
We would recommend hucks diner if you are going to gave a meal out. I found the pancake house a huge dissaoimtment and bella pasta took 2 hours at noon to provide 2 pizzas ans a bowl of spaghetti!!!
Aside from that have a ball it is much fun :-)
I've only ever heated up pizza in the oven and I've struggled. The ovens are slow to cook things and small so bear this in mind and allow longer to cook. Equipment is poor quality I think. Maybe it depends on the type of lodge - I've always gone for the cheapest lodge.
Oh yes and the freezer is just a small icebox type within the fridge itself. There is a toaster and it is 2 slot in a 2 bed lodge.
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