The four C’s – cycling, cafés, coffee and cake (Part 2)

Following on from the popular “The Four C’s – Part 1” article published in 2014 we’ve spent the winter months exploring yet more delightful refreshment stops full of delectable treats. We’ve sampled tea and coffee, cakes, sandwiches and light lunches to find the best on offer for hungry cyclists and here’s our current selection of favourites.

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Brazil’s Café | Stanley’s Store | Rumsey’s

Brownlow Café, Ashridge Woods nr Berkhamsted – website

Right in the heart of the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate the small serving hatch at the side of the visitor centre serves up a delicious range of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, cakes, hot drinks and snacks. On special occasions and summer weekends they’ve even been known to fire up the BBQ.

Seating: Outside only. Lots of wooden picnic benches. 50+
Cycle parking: Stands in front of the visitor centre and log cut outs by the cafe. Take a lock.
Cycling knowledge: Try the National Trust Visitors Centre next door for leaflets.
Other: Open 7 days a week from 8am.

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CuriosiTea | BBOWT College Lake | Brownlow

Stanley’s Store, Little Bovingdon – website

Blink and you miss it, or mistake it for a hardware store of some sort but it is in fact a lovely little tea room at the end of Bovingdon High Street, right opposite the old well. Huge portions of cake are served, fresh sandwiches, Afternoon Tea, knick-knacks, fruit and veg, themed evenings, cake decorating courses. A true hidden Hertfordshire gem!

Seating:  approx 16 inside, outside during the summer
Cycle parking: Ask to put them out back in the garden or take a lock for the railings across the road.
Cycling knowledge: None
Other: Open 6 days a week. Craft workshops and special occasions catered for.

Brazil’s Café, Chesham – Facebook

Located in the market square by the old clock tower, the area in front of the cafe is pedestrianised (and officially no cycling at the moment) but it does make it a pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by. A great menu is on offer and it is popular with local cyclists (as well as everyone else) so it can get busy at weekends. They’re always friendly and welcoming though.

Seating: Inside approx 22. Outside at least 8, increases in summer.
Cycle parking: Sheffield stands in the square, visible from the cafe.
Cycling knowledge: None
Other: Open 7 days a week.

CuriosiTea Rooms, Ivinghoe – Facebook

A community run tea room in the old school serving drinks, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, cakes, ice cream and some favourites (Spag bol, Chilli etc). Food is fairly basic but tasty and fresh and at £2.50 for a sandwich, or a hot meal and coffee for under a fiver, you can’t really complain. They also won the Chiltern Society’s “Best Loved Community Cafe” in 2014.

Seating: 30 inside, 4 benches outside.
Cycle parking: None. Railings and space outside. Take a lock.
Cycling knowledge: None.
Other: Check opening times. Popular with local residents.

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Lady Grey’s | Wild Strawberry | Wild Strawberry (exterior)

The Wild Strawberry Cafe, Prestwood – website

Who’d have thought it? A yurt in rural Buckinghamshire! It was almost by accident we stumbled across this fantastic hidden gem while out riding one day. It’s a wonderfully secluded location at Peterley Manor Farm (Shop) and the welcome is as warm as the cosy interior. (They had a wood burning stove blasting out heat when we visited on a dreary, wet winter day.) There’s a good coffee and cake selection, seasonal homegrown menu and theme nights.

Seating: 45-50 inside. 12 wooden benches outside.
Cycle parking: Plenty of room outside but not a lot to lock to.
Cycling knowledge: None
Other: Closed Mondays.

College Lake Café, BBOWT Tring – website

College Lake nature reserve was created on the site of an old chalk quarry and is now very popular with bird watchers. The visitor centre hosts a small, basic cafe serving pre-packed sandwiches, cakes, snacks and a great selection of ice cream. If you’re looking for a cafe with a view, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Seating: 24 inside, 3 benches outside.
Cycle parking: A dozen sheffield stands outside but they can’t be seen from the cafe (even if you sit outside) so make sure you take a lock.
Cycling knowledge: None but they do have local knowledge and some cycle guide books for sale.
Other: Open 7 days a week.

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Sebastian’s Café, Twyford – website

The only cafe in the high street, they have an incredible salad selection (see above) to eat in or takeaway as well as a large sandwich and hot food menu to choose from and a good selection of milkshakes. It’s a real little delight with the food a step above standard cafe grub. As a breakfast ride stop, they’re definitely one of the best with their Breakfast Wrap being a speciality.

Seating: 25 inside.
Cycle parking: Cycle stand in the village centre, otherwise just street furniture. Take a lock.
Cycling knowledge: None.
Other: Open 8am, 6 days a week. Closed Sundays.

The Local Larder, Wargrave – website

Hidden away at the back of the boat yard at Willow Marina it can be a bit tricky to find at first, but just walk confidently through and you’ll be greeted with a delightful cafe/deli in a gorgeous setting right on the banks of the Thames. Passionate about ‘eating local’, where possible produce is sourced from the surrounding area; delicious, fresh, local food served with a smile and a good chat. We love this place.

Seating: Inside and outside (tbc)
Cycle parking: Free and easy behind the bike sheds out of public sight but visible.
Cycling knowledge: They will have local map soon.
Other: Friendly owner, very knowledgeable about local food producers. Toilets, chandlery. (Watch out for moving tractors and boats in the boatyard!)

Lady Grey Tea Room, Wendover – website

A traditional English tea room in the heart of Wendover and a nice spot to get away from the bustle of the high street. It’s hard to leave without making a beeline for the incredible looking selection of cakes, but that’s only if you can fit a slice in after one of the huge lunches or salads. The new owners took over in 2014 and are doing a top job so far.

Seating: 20 inside, 20 outside
Cycle parking: Quiet courtyard car park, nothing specific
Cycling knowledge: None. Very friendly though.
Other: Limited opening, check the website.

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CuriosiTea Rooms | CuriosiTea (interior) | Brownlow

Rumsey’s of Wendover, Wendover – website

Chocolate lovers will be in for a real treat here as it’s also a chocalaterie with production on the premises (try not to drool as you stare through the internal window). Incredible cake selection, as you’d expect, but everything else is also done with the finesse befitting a fine olde worlde building in the centre of a traditional Chilterns market town. We thoroughly recommend a winter trip to sample some of the Christmas specialities.

Seating: Upstairs and downstairs inside (approx 40), outside approx 10
Cycle parking: Can be tricky, not much street furniture around. Take a lock.
Cycling knowledge: None.
Other: They make chocolate; what else do you need to know. (They have a branch in Thame too.)

Emily’s Teashop, Whitwell – Facebook

It’s amazing what you find when you look and this is another little cafe hidden down the back lanes of a small Chilterns village – but well worth a visit. A brief but tasty menu offering your standard lunchtime favourites and all reasonably priced. Makes a great mid-ride stop being handily located not far from the Chilterns Cycleway and we didn’t think twice about leaving our bikes in the courtyard outside.

Seating: Indoor approx 24. Picnic benches outside.
Cycle parking: Very secluded spot. (We just left ours outside.)
Cycling knowledge: Probably. Owner is an active cyclist, they have a range of cycling mags to browse. They even do tandem hire.
Other:


More like this:

The four C’s – cycling, cafes, coffee and cake (Part I)

The three B’s – bikes, beer and breweries

Velos and vineyards – a Chilterns cycling treat


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Posted in _Omni-Chilterns, Amersham, Berkhamsted, Chesham, Great Missenden, Henley-on-Thames, Tring, Twyford, Wendover

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