I’d sort of heard of this from several people but disregarded it as it’s a bit off our normal “manor”. I’ve also driven through Ashtead High Street a few times and seen the funny little trike the advertises the cafe but you can’t actually see it unless you turn off up Rectory Lane.
Anyway, I keep running into Mel around the Surrey Hills and Leatherhead and it transpired that she is working with Jamie (who owns the Cafe) as a bike instructor, ride leader and nutritionist. This motivated me to find out more so I dropped my baggies and went commando (well… for a MTBer… normal MAMIL attire for the road) and headed over last Thursday to find out what it was all about.
On arrival at Bike Beans Cafe I noted that there were a few bikes parked outside (rack and locks provided) but also several non cycling couples were using the cafe. This seemed like a good advert to me. As you can see fro the photo above the cafe itself is only part of what is on offer. There is a small range of accessories and spares (THE bike shop of my youth, Ken Hewlitts of Ashtead, now long since demised) as well as the facilities for getting a bike service carried out.
Various rides are on offer including a Ride’n’paste evening as well as the Porridge’n’ride we ran into on Sunday. This includes tarmac beaters as well as us bridleway beaters. Best to check out the website for full details. Mel has also teamed up to provide some training rides as well as some nutritional courses. Hopefully Mel with chip in with some infor in another article.
Anyway, enough of the talk, how was the cake?
So, I ordered hot chocolate with some flap jack to get an idea of how things compared as that it pretty much my staple ride fare. The Hot chocolate (large) came in a large mug and seemed better than many I have had. It’s also apparent from the machinery behind the counter that the coffee is a very serious affair. Not being a coffee drinker myself it’s all beyond me but some of the Moles sampled the coffee when we revisited the Cafe on the Sunday ride so I’m sure there will be some comments. The flap jack was also good but I am dropping half a mark as it seemed a little sugary to me compared to Box Hill flap jack which I still consider the bench mark. No great problem there though.
As we are on the subject of cakes I’ll mention the Orea Brownie which Mel told me to order next time I was there and hence I did on the Sunday. This was a very nice brownie with what seemed like a whole Oreo cookie stuck in it. Just what I needed on a ride.
Incidentally, I found the staff very friendly on my Thursday trip. I got talking to Ben who had only been there for a few weeks and admitted he wasn’t much of a biker. No problem though as he was a runner and hence we talked about that instead. Not that I’m much of a runner but it’s good to hear from someone who has a real passion for their sport.
So, all in all I’d like to suggest you pop along and spend some money in the Bike Beans Cafe.
Also see our ride report when we popped in for a coffee.