Eating out with our toddler can be, shall we say, interesting. Will he eat anything on the menu? Will he sit still for longer than 30 seconds? Will everyone else in the venue hate us if he starts pretending to be a T-Rex? So, we arrived at White Row Café at Beckington, near Frome, armed with a comic we’ve picked up from the farm shop next door, and all our fingers and toes firmly crossed for a successful lunch.

As soon as we walk into the cafe we’re put at ease by the fact that there are several other multi-generational families with small children already there. There’s lots of space (including an outdoor undercover eatery) so if you’d rather not have your meal punctuated by the toddler noise that’s perfectly possible. We’re shown to a spacious table in a corner, and a high chair for our son swiftly appears. While he scribbles away happily we take the few minutes of relative calm to choose our meals. It’s a friendly sort of menu, full of comforting dishes, think soup, sandwiches, omelettes, and jacket spuds, as well as a “Farm Kitchen Favourites” section, with dishes such as pie, faggots, and burgers including a surf and turf special of a lobster burger. There’s also dedicated fish and chips bit on the menu (there’s a chippy on site too which has a reputation as one of the best in the area), and a specials board – so you really are spoilt for choice. The kids’ options are what you’d expect really, a few things with chips, mac and cheese, and beans on toast etc. For our dairy and egg intolerant youngster there’s not oodles of choice – but there are sausages which, fortunately are one of his favourites. Potential crisis number one averted.

The White Row Farm lobster burger is the perfect 'surf & turf' option. (Image: White Row Farm)

There’s a real emphasis on using homegrown and local produce at White Row. The pork and beef is home-reared, the eggs come from their free-range hens and the potatoes and vegetables are home-grown too. The fish is landed by that morning and whizzed up from the coast so is about as fresh as you can get.

I’m very tempted by the lamb, rosemary and garlic pie, and the pesto and cherry tomato linguine with tiger prawns from the specials menu, but in the end I can’t resist the daily special mac and cheese which, on the day of our visit, was barbecue pulled pork. It hit all the right notes, with a rich, oozing cheesy sauce, laden with sweet tangy meat. If I had more restraint I would have asked for salad on the side, but I don’t, so instead I tuck into perfectly crisp, fluffy chips. It’s not a dish for the faint-hearted, but my goodness was it delicious.

My husband opts for the ‘Mongers Mixed Grill’ - a smorgasbord from the ocean which varies from day to day. His selection included huss, salmon, cod, gurnard and a seabream cutlet, all served with more of those wonderful chips, and a rich and decadent crab bisque. Each piece of fish was perfectly cooked – no mean feat when everything needs slightly different treatment. Our boy declared his sausages to be “very tasty, yum yum” as he rubbed his stomach approvingly – which is about as high praise as you can get! We decide to forego pudding (although the white chocolate sponge pudding did sound sublime) as we think we’re pushing our luck with how long we can keep the boy contained. Instead, we decide to go back to the shop next door and have a look around,

Baskets of brightly coloured fresh fruit and vegetables decorate the farm shop. (Image: White Row Farm)

The shop is possibly the perfect farm shop. There are baskets of brightly coloured fruit and veg laid out as you enter which look wonderfully inviting. So much so, that our son decided to put a carrot, an orange, and a shiny apple in the basket declaring 'these come too' and I’m not about to discourage him from getting excited about fruit and veg, so they do indeed come with us. There’s a butchery counter, local bread from Hobbs House Bakery, all manner of jars of preserves, boxes of biscuits, and shelves full of drinks. The deli counter is a joy to behold, with sandwiches, salads, and all sorts of yummy looking savouries and sweet treats. As we’ve skipped pud we decide to treat ourselves to something to enjoy back home. My tip – get the cheesecake – you won’t regret it. We spend some time at the fish counter, looking at the different sea creatures, and the lovely fish mongers hold up various bits and pieces for the boy to look at. He’s particularly thrilled to see the crabs, even if they are “too pinchy.”

Purchases complete we decide to explore outside. And this is where White Row really comes into its own for the kids. There’s a big expanse of grass with a tractor to clamber on and a castle to climb, a sand pit, and an area with ride-on tractors that proved very popular indeed. You can also say hello to the pigs, ponies, chickens and alpacas. The outdoor space is open to all, whether you’re eating in the café, doing some shopping, or just looking for somewhere to take the kids to let off some steam. (The only ask is that you only eat food bought from the White Row, which seems like a perfectly reasonable deal.)

White Row is certainly great for families. But more than that, it’s the perfect destination for anyone looking for great, honest food.

White Row Farm is perfect for families with outdoor space and play areas. White Row Farm is perfect for families with outdoor space and play areas. (Image: White Row Farm)