Top 10 road trip cafes revealed - Select Car Leasing
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Top 10 road trip cafes revealed

Nothing says ‘road trip!’ quite like pulling-in to wolf-down an enormous breakfast or lunch.

And these cafes, diners, truck stops and biker hangouts represent the very best independent roadside eateries in the UK.

That’s according to a travel firm called Detour, who want to inspire motorists to get out and see Britain ‘the longer way’.

Their Top 10 list also swerves fast food chains - and high prices - by selecting only independent establishments.

A Detour spokesperson says:

“The following ten cafes have that extra something special: they're unpretentious, unassuming and often unexpected. These venues won't necessarily receive famous guidebook recommendations or become social media sensations, but that's far beyond the point.
Instead, they're all independently owned and aimed at everyday people, with warm service and food that's subsistent and high in quality, perfect for filling up on before continuing your journey.”

So does your own favourite food joint make the cut? Read on to find out!

(Pic, above, copyright Peter Barr)

The Yondermann Cafe: Buxton, Derbyshire 

Detour says: 

“In the heart of the Peak District, on the A632 at Wardlow, Buxton, The Yondermann Café has been popular for over 60 years. Although the ownership was changed relatively recently, the Wardlow Mires café still focuses on showcasing locally-sourced ingredients, with food served in a friendly atmosphere. In addition to a huge car park, the café also has outdoor seating which boasts gorgeous views to enjoy alongside the menu that’s simple but puts quality at the forefront. A decent selection of homemade cakes are also served to eat in or takeaway.”

Address: A623 Wardlow Mires, Buxton SK17 8RW

Ace Cafe: London 
“Regardless of whether you ride a motorcycle, London’s Ace Café should be high on your hit list. Sure, the food is beyond fine, but it’s the venue’s history and petrolhead culture that make it such a standout. The Ace is so popular, in fact, that it’s been rolled out in Finland, Switzerland, China and Florida. Near Wembley (just outside the ULEZ zone), the café first opened in 1938, acting as a pitstop on the brand new A406. The venue closed some years later, but has since re-opened hosting plenty of events such as bike and car meets. Ideally visit for breakfast and tuck into the exemplary Ace sausage sandwich or a restoratively greasy fry up.”

Address: Ace Corner, N Circular Rd., London NW10 7UD

(Pic, above, credit Richard Hoare)

Aberfeldy Watermill Bookshop & Cafe: Scotland 

A unique pitstop in the picturesque Highland Perthshire town of Aberfeldy, The Watermill is a bookshop, art gallery and café set over three floors of a Grade A-listed former oatmeal mill. Since opening in 2005, the venue has been recognised as one of the UK’s best bookshops, offering over 5,000 titles from across a wide range of genres. On the ground floor, a café is also open, serving a concise yet well thought out menu of light lunches, including daily-changing specials, homemade soups, cakes and rustic sandwiches.”

Address: Mill St, Aberfeldy PH15 2BG

The Airport Cafe: Ashford, Kent 

“When looking for The Airport Café, it’s often easy to mistake the venue for a lorry park considering its 25 HGV spaces. Once found, however, you’ll soon understand why it’s considered one of the best cafes in Kent – a county filled with excellent pit stops, such as Nell’s Café on the A2 between London and Rochester and Tuck Inn (also on the A2) near Sittingbourne, which will soon reopen under new management. Like both of the aforementioned, the nostalgically decorated Airport Café really excels with its breakfast menu. Sure, the quality of the food won’t blow you away, but it’s cheap and sustaining: boxes all no frills greasy spoons should tick.”

Address: Main Road, Sellindge, Ashford TN25 6DA

Harry Cafe at Flowers: Bristol, Avon

“A popular venue for bikers to meet, Harry’s Café is housed within Fowlers motorcycle dealership in Bristol. The upstairs café is bright and airy with a prominent new car smell in place of greasy fry-ups, with a menu offering a broad range of dishes, from loaded jacket potatoes to burgers, sandwiches, salads and breakfasts. The café’s ‘big biker breakfast’ challenge is particularly famous, offered free of charge if you can eat it all in under an hour, but beware the dustbin lid-like plates harbour around five kilograms of food.”

Address: 2-12 Bath Rd, Bristol BS4 3DR

Super Sausage Cafe: Northamptonshire 

“On the A5 in Potterspury, just 10 minutes from Silverstone, the Super Sausage Café has been operating under its current name since the 1970s, with the current owners having bought the family-run café in 2009. Car and motorcycle meets are common here, with space for over 500 bikes in the car park, while the great food and friendly service make the café a must-visit for anybody visiting the area. Specialising in breakfast, the café sells over 20 tonnes of bacon and sausages each year, which is hardly surprising given the quality of their breakfasts, though other dishes are also available, including burgers made from scratch.”

Address: Watling St, A5, Northampton NN12 7QD

Route 11: Attleborough, Norfolk 

“Although Route 11 is one of the newer cafes on the list, the venue quickly became popular with classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts, with regular meets held in the car park. Inside, a motorcycle clothing shop is also on hand and there are plans for short-stay lets to be built alongside the café. Elsewhere, the atmosphere is friendly and good quality food is served from a fairly extensive menu featuring all manner of café classics, plus burgers which are particularly popular.”

Address: A11, Attleborough NR17 2PU

The Filling Station Cafe: Keswick, Cumbria

“According to the café’s Twitter, The Filling Station is a ‘den of iniquity, hated by the authorities… You'll love it!’ On the outskirts of the Lake District, this tiny café occupies a former petrol station, specialising in food that’s made to order using locally sourced ingredients. With a new lunch menu having recently launched, the café continues to focus on American diner-style classics, with highlights including a range of burgers, hot dogs, stacks of fluffy pancakes and the occasional greasy spoon staple.”

Address: Crosthwaite Rd, Keswick CA12 5PP

(Pic, above, credit Richard Rogerson)

Hell's Mouth Coffee House: Cornwell

“Close to the edge of the Hell’s Mouth cliff faces in Cornwall, the Hell’s Mouth Coffee House is a great pit stop, popular with drivers, bikers, cyclists and walkers – especially considering its proximity to the South West Coast Path. As for the food, a relatively concise menu is served, with all food cooked fresh. Cornish cream tea is also offered, as are Cornish pasties from Lavenders, available to pre-order via the café’s Facebook page each morning.”

Address: B3301, Gwithian, Camborne, Hayle TR27 5EG

Tŷ Medi: Machynlleth, Wales

“Tŷ Medi isn’t a roadside café in the traditional sense, but it’s a popular stop off between Aberystwyth and Bangor, just off the A487 - as was its predecessor, the Quarry Café. A vegetarian and vegan café serving excellent breakfasts and lunches, plus even better vegan cakes, Tŷ Medi’s menu showcases dishes from around the world while utilising local produce where possible. Expect the likes of open sandwiches, gourmet salads, falafel and traditional veggie breakfast options.”

Address: 13 Heol Maengwyn, Machynlleth SY20 8EB 

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Friday, 17/05/2024