Carbs and Caffeine

Pitstop, Elm Nursery, Sutton Green

Pitstop: Elm Nursery, Sutton Green

In no particular order… there’s enough alphabetising in my life

  • Top of Box Hill: Ok, this did have to come first as it was the stop on my first ever real ride. Lovely cup of tea (not so good coffee in my opinion). Great homemade cakes, always a date slice for Jacqui, while I carefully eyeball the selection for the cake cut into the biggest pieces. Apart from the hole-in-the-wall cafe, there is also a proper sit down cafe with hot food, which is also very good. Husband even allowed me to stop long enough to eat fish pie … once http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/box-hill/
  • The Nest: A close second in my affection is The Nest, Ripley. Now, they have indescribably stupendous cake and great coffee too. It’s ”no cheap” as my father would say, but I developed an every-Wednesday habit last summer. It’s also the first place I rode to by myself and is a nice friendly run for me if I can’t find anyone to come out to play with me http://www.nest-home.com/
  • The Grey Dove Cafe: I can see this turning into a regular stop. It’s busy, but so far there’s always been a table. Coffee and cake again very good. The Walton-On-Hill locals who populate this cafe at lunchtime seem unperturbed by our sweaty appearance, even if we do fog up the windows http://thegreydovecafe.com/
  • Elm Nursery: One of the many plant nurseries that have expanded into offering good pitstops, this is likely to get even better when their new cafe opens. All very friendly, including two beautifully ugly French bulldogs http://www.elmnursery.co.uk/
  • Bike Beans Cycle Cafe, 5B, Rectory Lane, Ashtead. I’ve known this cafe for a while and can thoroughly recommend the lunch, coffee, cakes and general vibe. It’s tucked away off the Ashtead High Street, but it’s well worth taking the trouble to find it. Rectory Lane is just next to The Leg of Mutton and Cauliflower (where I worked as a teenager… small world)    http://www.bikebeans.co.uk/
  •  Bocketts farm, Leatherhead: This was a stop forced by rain for us, but very pleasant indeed. Nice friendly faces. They’re not used to sodden cyclist, it was clear, but they were welcoming all the same. The cake was homemade but served in little plastic boxes, which I happen to dislike. But all in all a nice, very spacious tearoom, worth keeping in mind    http://www.bockettsfarm.co.uk/
  • Domestique Cycle Cafe, 8 Grove corner, Great Bookham. Obviously run by a genuine pedalling fan, with the cafe name referencing the pro team members who carry food for the designated leaders. Homemade cakes and a warm welcome. They have a dedicated cage at the back for locking up bikes, should you be stopping for longer, or wandering off. I think there might have been a loo at the back, but there is definitely one around the corner as part of the little shopping parade   http://www.domestiquecyclecafe.co.uk
  • Peaslake Village Stores: a lovely little stop in the middle of Peaslake, it’s equally popular with road cyclists and mountain bikers, who share the hilly Leith Hill terrain roundabouts. Apart from the slabs of cake, and cheese (yes, I have ridden home with cheese in my back pocket) there is now even a loo. Bring change for the cleaners box    http://www.peaslakevillagestores.com/
  • Tanhouse Farm shop: set up with both cycling and family clients in mind, there are lovely biscuits and cake, excellent coffee and a useful sink in the middle of the seating area to refresh the bottle. There’s a lot of outdoor space and even a playarea for those travelling with children    http://www.tanhousefarmshop.co.uk/
  • Bookham and Harrison, Ridgewick: I’ve only had coffee here, but it’s a lovely setting and next to a brewery too. http://www.bookhams.com
  • Kirdford Village Stores, West Sussex: this is further out for me, and the bacon sandwich was very welcome. They have a full menu of sandwiches and are used to cyclists and even horse riders coming in for refreshment. It boasts local produce and is part-run by volunteers who want their local stores to be sustainable. Lovely ambience.   http://www.kirdfordvillagestores.com/
  • Gorgeous Gerties, 61 West Street, Dorking, PH4 1BS: rain drove us into this wonderful cafe. It has an excellent place for stashing bikes in a covered area at the entrance and is like a tardis inside. It bills itself as a vintage department store and is full of lovely bits and bobs. It also has very friendly staff and an old-fashioned charm. Teapots come complete with hand-knitted teacosies. A warm welcome, even in our dripping Lycra. http://www.gorgeousgerties.co.uk

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