The final 3 months of 2014 have simply flown by and despite only having been around since September (ish), we have reviewed 16 cafes across Wales and the South of England.
Such a large number of establishments naturally yields a wide variety of cafes, each with something unique to offer. From well-known cyclists’ cafes in London, to quaint tea rooms in the country, the list below – our top 5 cafes for cycling 2014 – features a cross-section of places to visit on two wheels.
Our top 5 cafes for cycling 2014, in no particular order:
“Ask me where you should go to experience coffee at its best in Bath and I could ably and happily reel off a list of cafés as long as my arm, perhaps even my leg. Arriving with bike in hand, however, means that the list of appropriately fantastic cafés dwindles slightly. Luckily, there is good reason why Society Café – especially the one on Kingsmead Square – has established itself as one of Bath’s foremost purveyors of coffee and cake.” – Nick Livermore
“Underlining the fact that you’ve just tiptoed into cycling heaven are the two bikes hung up securely in the shop window – available, of course, for purchase – the library of cycling magazines and books stacked about the place, the cycling-themed painting and prints adorning the walls and the suitably stylish, retro-inspired feel of the décor.
I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to roll up alone, order one of their well-balanced flat whites – strong and beautifully patterned – take a hefty bite out of the sweet, light and zesty lemon drizzle cake and spend a recuperative 30 minutes indulging in some velo-based literature. Arriving en-masse? Even better!” – Nick Livermore
“Waiting for the food to arrive, I took the opportunity to properly take in the tiny knitted Tour-de-France cycling jerseys hanging above, the cycling posters strung-up on a washing line, and the Look Mum No Hands branded cycling clobber.
Said cake – a chocolate and hazelnut slice – was promptly purveyed to our table upon ordering. This chunk of heaven was something else: moist, dark, and with what we both decided must have been an orange flavour running through it, the slice was of generous size and rounded off the meal perfectly.” – Katherine Brand
“As a primarily garden-based coffee stop, The White Monk is best enjoyed on more clement days. Sat outside with your legs crossed one over the other, enjoying the vibrant plants at a light-weight aluminium table – you know the ones – the attentive owner/manager or one of her friendly minions scurries over to take your order. Table service in the sun, just what every cycling stop needs.” – Nick Livermore
“The initial reaction on entering the George and Dragon is how clean and fresh everything is – the staff are obviously keen to keep the place spick and span.
Secondly, the quality – the cakes are excellent (they are made on the premises so you can be sure they are fresh). I regard myself as a bit of an aficionado of coffee and walnut cake, having sampled it at cafes all over Britain. I have no hesitation in stating that the George and Dragon makes the very best I have tasted. The Victoria sponge is also first class.” – Stephen Brand