If you are lucky enough to be travelling around the Mendips then take a look at these seven cafés. All sell brunches, lunches, snacks or cakes so you know you can rely on delicious food and great coffee any time of day.
As the Mendips are a rural area, we don’t have too many chain coffee shops. These independent cafés are a true reflection of the people who live and work here. They are not tied to a standard menu or bought-in ingredients that have travelled half the country. They often buy from nearby suppliers and growers, so supporting the local economy.
If you are touring, cycling or walking the hills then include a few of these on your route and you’ll know you are seeing the real Mendips, meet welcoming locals and exploring pretty Somerset villages off the beaten track.
Fanny’s, in Blagdon is a petite treasure trove of gifts and retro style and is great place to hear Blagdon’s latest gossip if you need a gift for someone and a shot of caffeine for yourself. Selling light snacks and a miscellany of craft and reworked items, Fanny’s is not too far off the beaten track and rewards the traveller who takes the time to stop.
There’s plenty of wow factor at The Walled Garden, near Wrington. It has gained a following well beyond the Mendips with the people behind Ethicurean putting it on the national food map. Innovative food and drinks feature on the menu and it’s great for dinner, as well as Sunday lunch. If all you want is great coffee and cake you will find it here too – their specialities are delicious chocolate truffles style brownie with salted caramel and their toffee apple cake. The expansive view over the Mendips is stunning, and you can enjoy it whatever the weather from the seats inside the old glasshouses, on the lawn outside then take a stroll around the kitchen garden to visit the artists’ studios.
Kilver Court, at Shepton Mallet has it all, fab interiors shops, food, designer clothes, a landscaped garden and two great cafés. The food is centred around spelt grown at nearby Sharpham Park. It’s not hard to love the styling of the smaller Harlequin café, and its pretty vintage china, as well as their homemade spelt cakes. The Sharpham Pantry restaurant is a good stop for lunch, especially if you need a speltotto in your life. Besides delicious food, it’s good for a change of scene if you work from home or if you need a business meeting as there is a large indoor space. If you sit outside you can enjoy all the flowers from the beautiful new nursery.
The Little Red Beetle in Wrington sells locally made craft and gifts, cakes and lovely coffee roasted by Brian Wogan. Franca sources her cakes from a local baker who makes the best carrot cake ever, and the menu changes to reflect the seasons. Reasonably priced sweet treats for children include ice pops, ice cream and milkshakes in summer, and hot chocolate in winter. It’s a great place to pick up a present or card, all made by local artists. There’s free wifi and craft classes too – take a look at the website for events.
Moondance, in the middle of the pretty village Chew Magna has a lovely suntrap of a garden out the back. Moondance sells toys and gifts as well a delicious food.
The Garden Café, near Wrington grows much of its salads in the field next door, along with the flowers for the Somerset Flower Farm. It offers tranquillity, with a beautiful view facing south over fields towards the Mendips. The Garden Café sells light lunches and homemade cakes along with Dunleavy wine from the next door vineyard. You can relax in the sun with plenty of outside seating, or there is a veranda with comfy sofas – great place to cosy up and chill out. While you are there why not take artist studios and florists?
The gorgeous Mells Walled Garden
Mells has a popular Village Café, as well as a Walled Garden. The gorgeous Walled Garden is a beautiful sunny spot boasting a wood fired pizza oven so you can enjoy freshly cooked pizzas from 12 until 4pm every weekend. Mells is the home of Little Jack Horner and a very pretty place to spend an hour wandering and enjoying the usually quiet streets – unless if you happen to visit the annual festival.
Opening times and days vary so please check websites or phone ahead to avoid turning up when it’s closed!
know of a café you like that isn’t featured here? Let us know.