Fuelled by his unabating desire for cake, Stephen Brand discovers why Jennie Wren’s, Winslow is one of the most popular cafés among cyclists in Buckinghamshire and beyond.
The cafe is in the village of Winslow which is roughly halfway between Buckingham and Aylesbury on the A413 – right on the market square. Winslow features in many rides for cyclists in the area as there are lots of interesting and generally quiet country lanes that radiate from the village. A personal favourite of mine is the road westwards to Verney Junction and onward to the Claydons, Quainton, Waddesdon and beyond.
The cafe could not be described as “modern”; it is housed in what was once probably a large double fronted house. A more apt term would be “homely” with one or two places in need of a lick of paint.
Jennie Wren’s caters for cyclists’ needs in many ways, such as; an enclosed area at the back with cycle racks for safe storage; bicycle locks; track pump to get those tyres nice and hard; food, lots of choice, very reasonably priced and sizeable portions.
For those with a real hunger, full English breakfasts and a variety of lunchtime meals are served. A particular favourite for cyclists are the massive toasted teacakes served with butter and jam – guaranteed to get those legs pumping for a good many miles.
The only criticism that can be made of Jennie Wren’s is that service can be slow. The cafe is quite large in comparison to the kitchen at the back I suspect. Ravenous cyclists can wait quite a while for their much needed calories – I once waited twenty minutes just for tea and a teacake.
However, the fact that the place is always busy speaks volumes for its popularity and the quality of its food. There is always a warm and friendly welcome from the staff.
An added attraction on the first Sunday of each month is the farmers market, which is held literally in front of the cafe – you are lucky to get a seat on days such as these! However, the market does sell local produce such as cheese, bread, pickles and beer… Remember to bring your pannier bags with you.
The Route – 30 Miles, 300m Climbing
Head north on the A413 from Aylesbury – from the Horse and Jockey pub – this is a busy road with fast cars so take care. After a couple of miles turn right and head into quiet countryside lanes passing through the villages of Weedon, Aston Abbots, Cublington and onto Stewkley. The village of Stewkley features a very long high street and is also famous as the birthplace of comedian Al Murray.
Once through Stewkley the road heads west towards Swanbourne – turn right at the church and head for Winslow and its market square. Following refreshments at Jennie Wren’s, head south through the villages of Granborough, North Marston and up the steep hill to Oving. Then through Whitchurch, down the A413 and back to Aylesbury.