Thursday, 21 February 2013

Cullompton's New Cafe, The Bakehouse.

I was very excited to head out this morning to a brand new cafe that opened in Cullompton, this very day. I arrived at The Bakehouse just after 9am and saw through the big bay windows that that a couple of customers were already enjoying a coffee, and sunny yellow daffodils and tulips were placed upon each table.

I stepped in to the gorgeous cafe that I have been eyeing up for weeks, full of anticipation, as I have passed by on my way to and from the library.
When my husband, Andy, walked by the other day, (earnest coffee appreciator that he is), he looked through the window to see if he could spy what type of coffee they would be serving. He was intrigued to see that it is Owens, a high quality Arabica coffee that's hand roasted in small batches in Modbury, South Devon. Whoop.

Plump packets of this sat happily along a shelf on one side wall of the cafe, above a marble bar, lined with little white stools and comfy cushions.

The other side has been renovated with much care and love, to expose an ancient-looking, worn, brick wall with integral wooden beams criss-crossing it's entire length. A large counter displayed Tea Pig teabags and an enticing array of cakes and other yumminess, while a large blackboard on the wall listed the Specials, which included, (I am pleased to announce) American PANCAKES with bacon and syrup. How sensible and correct is that! 

The lunches sound really very delicious and tempting, such as the Hereford Pie; cheesy leeks and potatoes in a cider and mustard sauce, wrapped in filo pastry and served with salads. The whole menu sounded very good. They have a heap of good ideas that break the mould of many regular cafes, including cheese on crumpets.

Each unique table is inviting in its own way; whether it's the tiny window table for two, or the larger window for four, the tables nestling along the cosy old wall, the stools at the bar, or the central, square table painted in teal surrounded by a delightful gathering of different chairs, any of which would be a joy to sit upon. I chose this one as it was not busy and I sat comfortably while the very welcoming waitresses brought me a pot of Earl Grey tea, with a DENBY pot of hot water and a good big teacup. I felt it was my duty to sample their coffee cake and was rather appalled by the enormousness of the slice I was presented with. I soon got over it however and spent a merry half hour or more writing some emails and having a think and enjoying my surroundings. 

Refreshingly, there is not a hint of Cath Kidston or ditsy, flowery pinkness at the Bakehouse. I do like pink and it can be very pleasant to be surrounded by it, but it's so popular these days, that sometimes it can seem a little obvious and overdone, and I have to say, it is not everyone's cup of tea. The Bakehouse has found its own style, rooted in tradition and history, with large monochrome photos of Cullompton from decades ago, when the streets were filled with ladies in hats and tightly buttoned dresses, and shiny black cars that all looked the same. A gorgeous shade of tealy jade is painted over the shop front and some of the surfaces inside.

They have kept the lovely golden writing above the shop window from the Bakery that preceeded it and added their own neat, modern sign alongside. It is a beautiful space; fresh and smart yet cosy and homely, full of interesting things to look at.

I was delighted that, while I sat there, people gradually started trickling in until every table was full and a lovely hum of chatter filled the air. I was pleased to be able to share my large table with a couple who I had not seen in years, who were passing some time in town before an appointment. While we nattered I observed that their bacon and sausage baps looked very good indeed. When they had left and I sat with another pot of tea, mulling some ideas, an old lady joined me. She was waiting to catch a bus from the stop across the road and we had a lengthy discussion before I had to wend my way towards my dental appointment. 

I was reluctant to leave, I feel I could happily have remained there all day but it sounded like they had quite a few lunches booked and people were still arriving. The Bakehouse has Wifi, and is open from 9-5.30 from Monday to Saturday. You can reach them on 35222 and

I know I will have to work hard at resisting this lovely place, but it is a local business that is well worth supporting and I hope the community will do so. I love our town and this is just the sort of venture we need to convince people to visit, spend money here and spread the word. Maybe it's just the start of new lease of life for Cullompton's High Street, maybe there'll be room one day for the little arty gift shop I would so love to run ....


  1. Susie, I reckon you could sell a bag of sand in the Sahara or ice cubes to an Inuit! We'll be there! Dad

  2. Hello Susie! Thank you for our lovely mention in this article! I hope you don't mind, but we've referred to this in our own blog and popped a link back to you in there too. :)

    1. Hi Lorraine, that's great, of course I don't mind. Thanks for letting me know. My Mum said about her Owens coffee from the Bakehouse that it was "the best Americano she's ever had" :)

  3. I love the way you said no Cath Kidston, when we went in nearly all the bags there were CK!!!

    Gorgeous coffee shop, gorgeous coffee and can't wait to go back!


  4. Enjoyed lunch here today. Siouxsie and the Banshees you Philistine!