20 cool cafes
The best cafes for breakfast, lunch or coffee and cake in Somerset: out in the sticks, across the countryside and in the city
Where’s the best cafe for breakfast, lunch or coffee and cake in Somerset? Here’s where…
Scarlett’s Kitchen & Tea Garden, Langford Budville nr Wellington
Enjoy wood-roast herb chicken salad with polenta; broadbean and pee puree with Serrano ham and pesto dressing; aubergine and squash curry – or just a cake – at this little wooden cafe set in a garden nursery. Great views over towards the Blackdown Hills. Wood-fired pizzas on Sundays. Booking advisable for lunch.
Mon–Sat 10am–4pm. Sun 11am–3pm. Scarlett’s Kitchen & Tea Garden, White Post Nursery, Langford Budville, Wellington, TA21 0RW. Tel 01823 401517.
Mokoko Coffee & Bakery, Bristol and Bath
Watch the bakers knocking up the bread and cakes and then eat it all up warm from the oven at this open plan cafe and bakery at Wapping Wharf in Bristol. It’s opposite Cargo, the retail yard of independents housed in shipping containers. M-Shed (the history of Bristol museum), Brunel’s HMS Great Britain and all the rest of Bristol Harbourside is just around the corner.
Mon–Sats, 7.30am–6pm; Sun 9am–5pm. Mokoko Coffee & Bakery, 2 Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf, Bristol BS1 6WE. Tel 0117 9290177. Also in Bath – Dorchester Street, Southgate, Bath BA1 1SS. Tel 01225 333444.
Colona & Small’s, Bath
It’s all about the coffee here. Minimalist interiors, a small courtyard and staff who could enter Mastermind with their knowledge of the little brown bean. They even give tasting notes on their myriad range – blueberry and nougat anyone? Delicious cakes to scoff there and beans to take away.
Mon–Fri 8am–5.30pm; Sat 8.30am–5.30pm; Sun 10am–4pm. Colona & Small’s, 6 Chapel Row, Bath BA1 1HN. Tel 07766 808067.
Square Edge Cafe, Wells
Tucked away in the corner of the main square (near where they filmed the Hot Fuzz final shoot out) is a quirky, dog-friendly cafe with retro rooms and courtyard. If you like the look of the vintage stuff, you could be going home with it – lots is for sale. Menu includes chorizo hash and the spiced roasted cauli with chickpea and tomato salad. Roasts on Sundays.
Mon–Sat 9am–5pm, Sun 10am–4pm. Square Edge Cafe, 2 Town Hall Buildings, Market Place, Wells BA5 1SE. Tel 01749 671166.
The Holy Cow Cafe, Chilcompton nr Radstock
Set in the grounds of the 17th century Manor Farm and overlooking a church – most picture-skew – come for breakfast or lunch weekdays or treat yourself to a super duper brekkie at the weekends. Five-stack smokey bacon pancakes with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar? Holy Cow breakfast burger with fried egg and bacon? Avocado smash with feta and poached eggs? All three?
Mon–Fri 8.30am–4.30pm, Sat 2am–2pm, Sun brunch 9am–2pm (1st & 3rd Sun of month). The Holy Cow Cafe, Manor Farm, Church Lane, Chilcompton BA3 4HP. Tel 01761 410497.
The Lovington Bakery, Wincanton
Stylishly black and gold outside, yummy bread, cakes and pastries from the award-winning Lievito Bakery inside. Breakfasts include poached egg and asparagus on toasted sourdough, pancakes, bacon sarnies. At lunch salads, chicken & avocado burgers, foccacia sarnies and specials. Go on a Saturday and pop younger kids into the wigwam while you peruse the papers.
Mon–Sat 8am–5pm. The Lovington Bakery, 1 Market Place, Wincanton BA9 9LA. Tel 01963 824871.
Hart’s Bakery, Bristol
This artisan bakery working out of a large Victorian railway arch at Bristol’s main station has just made it into the Good Food Guide 2o18. Sit back and enjoy your coffee as the bakers kneed away at the sourdough and prepare pastries and savouries – to eat in or take away. A lunchtime special is ready weekdays from noon (as I type, it’s sticky pork ribs, buttered corn and slaw).
Tues–Sat 7am–3pm. Hart’s Bakery, Temple Meads Arch 35, Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads, Bristol BS1 6QS.
Home, Castle Cary
Vegetarians and vegans can eat everything on Fi and Paul’s scrummy highly inventive menu. Quirky, relaxed atmos and really great breakfasts, lunch or Bruton’s Bean Shot coffee and cake – lots and lots of enticing delights. How does East-meets-West Victoria Sponge with Morroccan rose water and wild strawberry jam plus Somerset double cream grab you? Mmmmmm. I thought so…..
Tues–Sat 9am-3pm. Home, Pithers Yard, High Street, Castle Cary, BA7 7AN. Tel 07968 798649.
Venture into the unlikely surroundings of an industrial estate on the edge of Ilminster to the newly opened f.east, which used to be in the centre of town. The popular veggie cafe has moved from its warren of little rooms up onto a large communal dining room on the first floor of an old Victorian factory. Sample dishes: sweet potato, red onion and spinach tortilla; leek and ale Welsh rarebit as well as homemade cakes, like these raw cacao bites.
Weds–Sat 9am–5pm. f.east, Rose Mills, Mill House, Ilminster TA19 9PS. Tel 01460 53183.
Hundred Monkeys, Glastonbury
Organic and natural foods cafe/restaurant which specialises in vegan, gluten and dairy free, etc but still manages to have a sausage, bacon and fried egg roll alongside a full English vegan-style on the breakfast menu. Dinner too is eclectic, from a south Indian thali to a burger. Fab selection of cakes and pastries from its own bakery.
Mon–Weds 9am–6pm, Thurs & Fri 9am–8.30pm. Sat 9am–9pm and Suns 9am–5pm. Hundred Monkeys, 52 High Street, Glastonbury BA6 9DY. Tel 01458 833386.
You’ll need to squeeze yourself into this small, chipboard bedecked cafe in the middle of town – it’s tiny – although there’s seating outside on the pavement too. The coffee, roasted by hand in their Dorchester branch, is excellent. The menu’s tiny too: tasty toasted sourdough sarnies (recommend the mozzarella, pesto and tomato; Stilton, walnut & peach chutney) and homemade tiffin, Florentines and flapjacks.
Mon-Sat 8am–4pm and Sundays 10am–2pm. Finca, 11 High Street, Yeovil BA20 1RG.
Walled Garden at Mells outdoor cafe, Mells, nr Frome
Simple home-cooked food – soup, sandwiches, salads, cream teas, ice cream and at weekends, wood-fired pizzas – in the outdoor cafe in the ancient walled cottage garden on the Mells estate. Find a spot on the rose terrace, under an apple tree or, in the extremely unlikely event of rain *pah*, under a vine in the greenhouse.
Open every day 10am-5pm; pizzas July & August, Weds-Sun 12pm–4pm. Walled Garden at Mells, Rectory Garden, Selwood Street, Mells BA11 3PN. Tel 01373 812597.
Living Pretty, Curry Rivel
Traditional home-cooked breakfasts (from porridge to full farmhouse eggs & bacon), lunch (sandwiches, melts, jacket potatoes, salads) or afternoon tea (there’s one that includes champagne). As you eat, ponder all the pastel, flowery, shabby chic, vintage things you could buy – the cafe’s inside a shop selling pretty country style interiors.
Mon to Fri-7.30am–5pm; Sat – 8am–4pm. Living Pretty, The Old Bakery, High Street, Curry Rivel, TA10 0ES. Tel 01458 253357.
Cole Manor Tearooms, nr Bruton
Homemade cakes, light lunches and Sunday roasts in the glorious five-acre gardens of Cole Manor. Find a table in the sun, in the shade; lie on a picnic blanket (they provide them) by the river or sit under a gazebo. A truly idyllic setting.
Tues–Sun & Bank Hols 10am–5pm. Cole Manor Tea Rooms, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0PJ. Tel 01749 813676.
The Railway Carriage at the Trading Post, Lopenhead nr Ilminster
Stuff yourself silly with amazing homemade cakes, eclectic, Mediterranean/Middle Eastern inspired lunches and wood-fired pizzas whilst sitting in an old railway carriage or double-decker bus. Farm shop next door.
Mon–Sat 9.30am–4pm. Takeaway Thurs from 5pm–6.30pm. The Trading Post, Lopenhead TA13 5JH. Tel 07729 685412.
Yeo Valley Canteen, Blagdon
You don’t have to work at the UK’s largest family owned organic business to enjoy the food cooked up by Michelin-trained chefs in their staff canteen. It’s open to all for breakfast Mon–Fri 8.30am–10.30am and lunch 12.30pm–2pm (booking essential). Everything’s seasonal, local and organic. Yeo Valley Canteen, Blagdon, BS40 7YE. Tel 01761 461425.
The River House, Frome
Winners of Best Cafe in the Somerset Muddy Stilettos Awards, this is a cool place to hang out at the bottom end of town. Situated on the bridge over the river Frome, you can go for breakfast (recommend the Mexican inspired), brunch, all sorts of coffees and cake. Fab coffee art too.
Mon–Fri 8am–6pm, Sat 9am–6pm, Sun 10am–4pm. The River House, 7 The Bridge, Frome BA11 1AR. Tel 01373 464847.
Kitchen at the Wharf, Langport
Right on the banks of the river Parrett (they’ve a lovely terrace with metal sculptures) this converted wharf building place is a great place to chill out and enjoy delicious cakes from their bakery (just up the road), lunches and afternoon tea. Kids, dogs and cyclists all welcome – they even have a bicycle repair kit to hand.
Every day, 9.30am–3pm, Kitchen at the Wharf, Great Bow Wharf, Bow Street, Langport TA10 9PN. Tel 01458 254354.
The Shed, Taunton
Taunton’s best (and only) riverside cafe hidden away off the main drag in Goodlands Gardens used to be a public loo. Now it’s a jolly sort of place, with seating outside overlooking the River Tone. Tuck into a light lunch, salad, soup, sandwich, panini, a cake or two. Teapots come wearing tea cosies and you might get a shot glass filled with Smarties. A sister cafe’s just opened up in French Weir.
Mon-Sat 9am–4pm. The Shed, Goodland Gardens, The Bridge, Taunton TA1 1UQ. Tel 01823 278464.
Society Cafe, Bath
Park the kids in the creative space, order one of their spectacular coffees (guest coffees change weekly) and a cake or sarnie and leaf through their selection of art house books and magazines – or admire the artworks on the walls.
Mon–Fri 7am–6.30pm, Sat 7.30am–6.30pm, Sun 9am–6pm. There are two in Bath: Society Cafe, 4 & 5 Kingsmead Square BA1 2AB and 19 High Street, Bath BA1 5AJ.
If I’ve missed your favourite cafe off the list, let me know in the comments box below…