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

There are dozens of cafés dotted around the Chilterns producing fine food and tasty treats, just perfect for a mid-ride break or post-ride calorie replacement. We’ve been ‘testing out’ a few, purely in the name of research, and have compiled a list of some of our favourites. This is Part One — there will be more!

Café Africa | Lotte’s Kitchen

Cafe Africa Amersham — website
Tucked away just off Amersham high street their motto is “Fresh, fair and ethical”. Great selection of sandwiches and salads with specials. Good selection of drinks and cakes. Very pro-cycling and have even held Dr Bike sessions outside the cafe.
Seating: about 30 inside, 20 outside
Cycle parking: Cordoned off seating area outside, easy to lean the bikes up and see them from inside.
Cycling knowledge: Not that we know, but they are very pro-cycling
Other: Free wi-fi, tables can be booked in advance

Lotte’s Kitchen Chinnor — website
Think, pink! A delightful, traditional tea shop run by larger than life Lotte Duncan, a published cook. Cakes, sandwiches, specials and breakfasts, cookware and gifts are just some of the things they sell. There’s always a warm welcome for cyclists at the pink palace.
Seating: around 30 inside, some outside
Cycle parking: Nothing specific, but they’re tucked away off the main road so easy to leave the bikes outside.
Other: Closed on Sundays and Mondays
Pierreponts Goring — website
This feels, at 8am like it’s a ‘local rendezvous’ for quite a few regulars; breakfast imbibers and passing through ‘collect a a coffee’ regulars, and then the deliveries of breads and cakes and the like, but it was exclusive. We were made to feel very welcome and the breakfast was certainly good. Pierreponts has space for bikes outside (the neighbouring shop even put a rack up for bikes rather than have them leaning against their glass window – fairplay). Goring is very well placed as a start (and/or end) point for rides at this end of the Chilterns. We need to go back and explore the very tempting cake selection.
Seating: around 20 inside, four or so tables outside
Cycle parking: Racks, and a well-placed fence.
Other: Open Tuesday – Saturday 8am – 5pm

Coffee Approach Great Missenden — facebook
Right in the centre of Great Missenden on the double mini roundabout. They opened in 2013. Fairly basic but well priced menu of sandwiches and jacket potatoes plus some cakes and hot drinks and they serve Beechdean ice cream. Already a popular spot for passing cyclists on a weekend they give everyone a warm welcome.
Seating: around 35 inside, 8-10 outside on the decking
Cycle parking: Lots of space on the pavement out front and decking to lock your bike to. If you ask inside you can pop your bike around the back into the yard.
Other: Free internet, open until 6pm every day

The Chocolate Café Henley-on-Thames — facebook
A patisserie selection to die for and a riverside location make this cafe very popular with locals and visitors. Huge menu selection and generous portions, just what you need after a long ride. And a speciality hot chocolate menu. (It’s a favourite winter destination.)
Seating: lots inside but it is always busy, none outside
Cycle parking: Nothing specific, can prop the bikes up across the road and see them from inside.
Cycling knowledge: None that we know of but they’re very friendly and helpful
Other: Open 7 days a week, free wi-fi, 25 different types of hot chocolate!

Chilli B’s Hitchin — website
Hitchin is very much a ‘top right of the Chilterns’ place but there are some rides that loop out that way (the Chilterns Cycleway gets pretty close) and this is certainly a place we’d recommend. Nice atmosphere and good food.
Seating: we’ll double check
Cycle parking: Space out the back for some bikes (ask and they’ll most likely let you wheel them through – the garden is due to open at some point).
Other: Open 8.30am Mon-Sat
The Grocer at 91 | Seasons

The Grocer at 91 Old Amersham — website
Always quite busy during the day with an excellent reputation locally for its coffee and cake. Not really much space for bikes (and forgot to ask if they had some secret bike parking option) but we’ll pop back and find out.

Seasons Café Deli Old Amersham — website
Once voted one of the top coffee shops in the country there are usually a handful of cyclists sitting outside on a warm sunny day. Nice vibe too. Between this and The Grocer (above), Old Amersham is well-served. The distance between them if ridden doesn’t burn enough calories to warrant stopping in both places so either choose one or both (with a big ride out ‘tween stops).
The Quince Tree Stonor — website
Big shop and café here (and more too) and plenty of outside space. Drank a coffee and bought (for crucial calories later) a very tasty energy bar from the deli – delicious. Perfect spot for a quiet lunch in a quintessential English village in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside.
Seating: 60 inside, very roomy. 40 outside in the courtyard, lots of space
Cycle parking: Ask inside and they’ll unlock the gate to the courtyard.
Cycling knowledge: Some of the staff are cyclists and have local knowlege on all the nearby climbs, rides and roads.
Other: open 9am-5pm, 7 days a week (10am on Sundays). Happy to charge electric bike batteries.

Espresso Lounge Tring — website
On the main high street in Tring this is a popular cafe with local cyclists and is run by a keen cyclist. Excellent Fair Trade coffee and tasty seasonal food they also have an alcohol license.
Seating: about 20 inside, 6 outside
Cycle parking: Alley at the side with a locked gate onto the street, they’ll open it up when you ask.
Cycling knowledge: Run by a local cyclist.
Other: Closed on Mondays
Cog Café | Espresso Lounge

The Cog Café Tring — Facebook
Set up in 2013 the cafe is run by a keen cyclist and is a popular weekend destination for some of the local cycling groups with lots of cycling memorabilia on the walls. Tasty, homemade food is served throughout the day with excellent coffee and a selection of other hot and cold drinks.
Seating: about 30 inside, 8 outside
Cycle parking: Nothing specific, but plenty of places to lean a bike where they can be seen from inside the cafe.
Cycling knowledge: Run by a cyclist, so yes.
Other: Stock a few basic spares
Granary Deli Watlington — website
Good coffee and a cracking polenta cake here; ciabatta and other tasty lunch food and drink also available. Award winning local foods, tables full of olives, shelves full of chutneys and lots more. And they specialise in cheese.
Seating: tbc
Cycle parking They’ve space for bikes (if you ask)
Other: Online cheese and hamper shopping
Café in the Woods Wendover Woods — website
Perfectly placed for all the trails Wendover offers and Aston Hill is not very far away this café serves good food and drinks. Open all year ’round so don’t restrict your outings to the summer months.
Seating: about 40 inside and probably more outside (weather permitting) – lots of outdoor tables.
Cycle parking: plenty of space
Cycling knowledge: most of staff will be able to point you in the right direction and there are often maps of the area available.

More like this:

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

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, Great Missenden, Henley-on-Thames, Tring

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