IPSWICH — After taking a tour of the magnificent Great House on Castle Hill, visitors can, for the first time, grab a bite to eat on the terrace or Grand Allee overlooking the ocean.
The new Castle Hill Cafe is now open.
It’s a lunch spot aimed at providing guests with food options to be enjoyed on new tables set up on the north terrace or at a picnic on the allee, a half-mile stretch of rolling lawn that runs from the hilltop mansion to the ocean. Until now, the Great House was open only to visitors taking tours, but now, any guest can enter the lobby and buy lunch.
It also gives hungry tourists the option to stay and enjoy the grounds after taking a tour of the mansion, said Linda Marshall, engagement manager for the Trustees of Reservations, the nonprofit that owns the historic estate.
“In the past, they would come, take a tour and then leave to find a place to get lunch,” she said. “That was unfortunate because the purpose is really to enjoy the property.”
Marshall said the concept of the cafe is similar to that of many museum restaurants. On nice days, the cafe stand is set up right on the terrace, but it is moved inside during inclement weather.
The cafe, which opened May 24, is operated by Mary Ferreira, owner of Salem-based Ferreira Foods, a prepared foods and catering business. Ferreira opened the business about a year ago.
“The response has been terrific,” Ferreira said. “The customers and clients have been happy with the menu.”
Ferreira described the menu as having “a familiar foundation with inventive and innovative additions.” So, for example, she offers a Greek quinoa salad with feta; a field green and goat cheese wrap; and a chicken, Provolone and arugula sandwich served with herbed mayonnaise.