The Feed Station, Merriott
New cycling themed cafe in a former Victorian Sunday school – but you don't have to wear lycra to get in
Cycling enthusiasts Jenny, David, Louise and Adrian have spent the past year restoring and furbishing a Grade II listed Sunday school, to create a cafe where cyclists are welcomed with open arms (and so is everyone else). Now they’re open for business.
The village of Merriott, a few miles north of Crewkerne, in south Somerset. Dating back to 1834, the building was once Merriott Sunday School and then a day school, right up until the 1970s. If you know your National Cycle Routes (‘course you do), No 30 goes right past their front door, making it the perfect pit stop for cyclists.
Quirky, a-bit-glam-a-bit-rustic (a bit French even?), cafe. Mottled walls and exposed stone, floorboards and arched windows. Decked out with pews, sofas and mis-matched tables and chairs, glam chandeliers, hops from beams and cycling paraphernalia, including real bikes hanging from the walls.
Sofas around the flickering stove in one of the cosy corners.
Lots of cycling gubbins.
Pick a vest, any vest.
The loo rolls hang off bike handles.
There were even some cyclists.
SCOFF & QUAFF
It’s basically breakfasts, light lunches and cakes. Granola and porridge; full breakfasts; things on toast, including smashed avocado; eggs with hollandaise (eggs and buttered kale sounded good); and warm paninis, They do a couple of daily specials – like homemade soup and a mixed cheese and charcuterie board – and will rustle you up an afternoon tea.
The lunches may be light but this is the very substantial and delicious veggie breakfast: grilled halloumi, whopping field mushroom, cherry tomatoes, broccoli stems, peas, perfect poached eggs and baked beans hiding underneath the sourdough.
All the usual coffees (plus did I spy their own blend?), some nice sounding smoothies and super healthy drinks like this beetroot and apple press, straight from a local farm.
Cakes a plenty and Betty Boop.
Unlike some cafes, it’s licensed, so you can have a beer, wine, a G&T or glass of Prosecco. Nice. Staff are lovely, too.
OUT AND ABOUT
You’re surrounded by South Somerset’s pretty countryside, criss-crossed with narrow lanes and footpaths. Their website recommends assorted cycling routes throughout the West Country; local routes soon to be added and they’re planning weekly guided circular rides, too.
Good for: Obvs perfect for cyclists, with a safe place to keep bikes and they relish the idea of 20 lycra clads descending on them. Everyone else welcome too, friends, family, solo, kids, dogs. Tables to seat up to eight. There’s wifi so you could take your laptop and write a couple of chapters of your novel (yeah, right). Suntrap courtyard for when it’s warmer. Unique party or wedding space.
Not for: An evening out; it’s currently only open until 5pm. Not for a three-courser; this is a cafe.
The damage: Inexpensive. Full English breakfast £7/£9; panini with side salad £6.60; charcuterie board £9; eggs Benedict £8l; cakes from £2.25
Open Weds to Fri 8.30am–5pm; Sat & Sun 9am–5pm.
The Feed Station, Sandy Hole, Merriott, Somerset TA16 5QR. Tel 01460 271 598.