Clapham Cafe, Bunkhouse and Bar, Clapham, August 2018

Another quick post. I would like to tell you about the cafe bit and the wonderful array of cakes and pastries that they have on offer. However, I have no idea if they actually have any of these things, because this cafe follows the Linda Smith rule of tea shops – in that it closes around 30 minutes before you want to have some tea and cake.

Imagine that you owned a cafe at the foot of one of Yorkshire’s three peaks, right next to a big car park full of cars whose owners have been walking up the nearby hill. Would you slavishly close at 5pm in high summer when people could be still be out walking? No, neither would I.

Instead, here is the beer that I had, accompanied by my own choice of snack. This was Bob On by Copper Dragon, full of massive bitterness and a refreshing pint after a long day out on the fells.

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Cafes in high traffic tourist areas – stop closing so early! We want cake!

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Falls Cafe, Ingleton, July 2018

A rainy Sunday morning (which is exactly the same situation in which this is being written up). The forecast was for it to clear up a bit later in the day, so we decided to do the Ingleton waterfalls walk this afternoon, as it was just down the road from our camp site. It’s all on private land, so you have to pay to get in and do the walk. Before we started, we decided to have lunch in the cafe on site, as it was very convenient.

A classic visitor centre cafe, with that air of disorganisation about it. Bits of the serving area were closed off for some reason, despite being a busy Sunday in July (plenty of people were sheltering from the rain). The usual selection of sandwiches, panini and specials. And staff who weren’t quite sure what they were doing at times.

I opted for the chicken goujon roll with chips and salad, something warming (token side salad excepted) for a gloomy summer’s day. It was reasonable fodder for an afternoon of exploration, nothing ground breaking, just enough to be going on with.

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The Old Mill Coffee House and Bistro, Chipping Norton, July 2018

A rare thing in more recent times, a breakfast post! It’s been a while since we’ve been out for breakfast, but as we were camping down the road and planning on a mooch around Chippy, we decided to pop in for breakfast/brunch. This place was recommended to us by an RAC employee who Hazel and Matt met yesterday after a minor issue with their Romanian automobile. And by minor I mean their towbar was just moments away from falling off as it hadn’t been installed properly. And that towbar had a caravan attached to it. By some miracle, it didn’t fall off.

A lovely warm day in this currently endless summer found us here in reasonable time for some breakfast/brunch. The staff shuffled a couple of tables around and we had a nice space in the corner, underneath the Velux windows which were open for some breeze, but with their integral blinds (great Velux feature) pulled down to keep the sun out.

Lots of breakfast options to choose from. Full English (usual stuff), Big Breakfast (Full English with another sausage, another egg, black pudding and 2 hash browns), breakfast bap, beans on toast. There are also the usual sandwich/bap/baguette offerings as well as eggs on toast. I opted for the Full English…

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It was a good breakfast (with decent toast – not pictured). Everything cooked perfectly, and all very flavoursome. A lovely little cafe doing good food and tea/coffee etc. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Chipping Norton.

The Planet Pavilion Café – Jodrell Bank – May 2018 – chaos theory in action

When you are surrounded by such awesome science, you might expect the simple things like a cafe to be equally good. On a scorching bank holiday they were very busy, but that’s not necessarily a sign that they were any good, being possessors of a very literal captive audience (there are no other options for a good few miles unless you bring your own).

A reasonable queue, but one which was moving along nicely. The reason for that became clear as Mrs MOFAD ordered. They took your order for items on display. You paid. And then you go to your table, drop some stuff off, and go back to pick up your order. Which is still sitting in the cabinet, so other people could be ordering it, not knowing if they are going to be able have it, because one or more people could have already secured it ahead of them. It was chaos theory in action. Orders were coming out seemingly at random, and there were just not enough people around to organise this chaos.

Eventually we did get some tasty lunches and enormous portions (although you would expect these sizes for the price paid), but the overwhelming flavour was of chaos as opposed to coronation/lightly curried chicken. And there was a lot of celery in the salad. Who wants that? Celery is not MOFAD approved.

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It seems they are trading on the rather good views you get of this thing…

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Must try harder!

Attenborough Nature Reserve cafe, April 2018

Another in that series of quick lunch posts. We popped over to Attenborough for a spot of bird watching and to try out my new spotter scope. It wasn’t the most pleasant of days, but we had to try out the new shiny.

We’ve had lunch in this nice little cafe a few times, so it was not a difficult decision to come back for lunch before playing with the new toy.

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The usual for me, ham and cheese panino and a few token bits of salad. It’s hard to get this wrong, but some places do. No problems here though, a tasty bit of lunch.

Coach House Cafe, Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire, April 2018

We want plates. Today was the perfect example of why. On to the that in a moment.

We were in the area doing a few bits and pieces and decided to stop here for lunch and then maybe a bit of a wander around the grounds. It’s certainly worth staying a while to get value for money from the car park fee 🙂

So, on to plates. As you can see, the food below is served on a silly slate, not a plate. If you look closely, you might spot three halves of panino. Two of those halves are from the second attempt at making one. The other half is from the first attempt, and its counterpart never made it onto the slate, slipping down on to the floor with great speed. A plate would likely have stopped this, saving the cafe time and money, and the person who dropped it embarassment. The hungry customer (me) did rather well, as I got 50% extra free.

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The moral of this story is very definitely to use plates to serve up your tasty ham and cheese panino (it was very tasty indeed), because then you don’t waste money. The large thimble of coleslaw wasn’t much to write home about, but the rest was very nice.

A good place for a spot of lunch, just a shame that the weather didn’t hold out so that we could explore more of the grounds…

The Ale Cellar Tea Room, Lyme Park, April 2018

More National Trust action. NT membership means that you don’t have to pay their extortionate parking charges, and each visit to an NT car park “pays off” the membership fee each year. Nowadays it doesn’t take all that many visits for membership to be worthwhile.

Today we were back at Lyme Park for another walk, finishing off one we started over 2 days in 2014. The weather forecast was essentially overcast, an improvement on yesterday’s rain and mudfest, but still not the spring that we are waiting for.

The last time that we came to the Ale Cellar, they had run out of ale. No such problems today, but there was not a great deal of variety on the menu, and the portions were vaguely adequate at best. You’d expect some big doorstop sandwich rather than just some posh sliced white with a few crisps and token salad tossed in.

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It’s fair to say we were underwhelmed today, not really adequate sustenance for a dank and dreary April stroll. In summary, meh.