Here’s one for all of you in London and the South East! With lockdown restrictions finally lifting after what has been a particularly cold and grey three and a half months, and with the sun almost threatening to provide a bit of warmth at last, we can finally get back out there on our bikes and enjoy the best of the British countryside once again!
Lockdown lifting got me thinking: we all love a good hard ride (ask my wife) but, deep down, we all know the best parts of any cycling trip anywhere are the coffee-and-cake stops along the way. Carrot, Coffee-walnut or Chocolate Ganache; take your pick! They all make the mouth water, and the thought gets those legs pedalling that little bit harder when you know a nice sit down in the sun with a slice and a cuppa are just around the corner.
With that in mind, we thought we’d have a look at some of our favourite cycling cafes in and around the surrey area, so the next time you wan to escape the city or head for the hills, you can go with a destination and a reward firmly in mind!
- GIRO: Esher
If you’re making your way out from London, this could be the first stop on your way to the hills. Sitting in Esher, near Kingston, this cycling-themed café and workshop is your one-stop shop for all things bike as you make your way out of the capital. They sport their own brand of cycling gear as well as coffee and local food from the surrounding area. If the bean water is to your taste, take a bag home with you and send yourself back to that great ride any time you’re thirsty.
- Box Hill Café and Servery: Box Hill
The most iconic of cycling pilgrimages is Box Hill, just next to Dorking. At the top sits and equally iconic café and servery, packed with cake and brownies galore. The notorious “zig-zag” road up to the top will leave you gasping for a cup of coffee and some delicious cake to go with it. There’s also a food truck called The Lunch Box, which serves a variety of sandwiches as well as a reduced menu from the main servery as well. You can’t beat it after that climb!
- Pilgrim Cycles: Westhumble
Nestled at the foot of Box Hill is Pilgrim Cycles, the Pilgrim Cycles workshop and café can be the perfect stop-off point just before or just after you try and conquer the zig-zag up Box Hill. Offering repairs as well as new-build bikes, they’re experts in the construction of the perfect speed machines. With a café to boot attached to the shop, if you’re having problems on the road, stop off for a coffee while they fix you up. Then, smash Box Hill!
- The Plucky Pheasant: Newlands Corner
Perched on the side of Newlands Corner and looking out over the sprawling South Downs, The Plucky Pheasant is the perfect place to take a break as you make your way around the Surrey Hills. Perfectly placed at roadside, pick up a coffee and a sandwich and take a seat in the grass or on a bench and enjoy the view. You’ll have earned it getting there, to be sure!
Sorry if these recommendations get the stomach rumbling, but we just can’t wait to grab a bite when we’re next out on a ride. Now that it’s getting warmer and the cafes are opening up, let's all show our support for these places as they recover from the lockdowns. Have we missed any out? Let us know. See you on the road!