Bawdeswell Park Cafe

A look at Bawdeswell Park Cafe

Tea and philanthropy

When you eat at The Bawdeswell Park Caf�’s you’ll be helping Brazilian street children eat too, as husband and wife team Keith and Denise Colman explain. 

Pictures: Ian Burt


Why did you decide to open the Park Caf�? We produced a range of 10 Christmas cards where you could choose to nominate any charity in the world to benefit from �1 when you bought a pack. We sold them online, but had space here and in 2007 decided to offer visitors coffee and a piece of cake while they were choosing. We took on our chef, Candi Robertson, for the eight weeks up to Christmas, but her cooking and personality were such a success that our customers told us we had to continue into the new year.

How would you describe its character? It’s in a converted farm shed and has a relaxed, friendly home-from-home atmosphere. None of our crockery matches, so many people say it’s like sitting at their own kitchen table.

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Where do you source your tea and coffee from? We do about 24 different teas and a dozen coffees. Our main coffee supplier is Calypso Coffee, based in North Walsham.

What’s the flavour of your menu? Fresh, home-cooked, seasonal food from traditional recipes – “like my mother used to make” is a phrase we often hear.

Which local ingredients can people find on it? We buy local produce whenever we can, including Brays pork pies, Morston mussels, Papworth’s sausages from Fakenham, eggs from our own chickens, local honey and Candi’s own carrot and parsnip chutneys.

How much should someone expect to pay? A full farmhouse English breakfast is �5.95; lunch specials like Foxley beef casserole are usually �6.50; homemade soup with chunky Barnies bread from Watton is �3.50; and cakes are �1.95 per generous slice.

Have any of your cakes generated a following? Our scones and toffee fudge cake are gone almost as soon as they are set out! We also run an annual “design a cupcake” competition during the school summer holidays, where the winners’ cakes are sold for one day.

What’s your top recommendation for February? Our heart-warming pork fidget pie, followed by a slice of red velvet cake.

What else can you do at your caf�? We had two exhibitions last year by Brazilian street artists who paint amazing things on rubbish collected from dumps in Brazil. It’s what the caf� is all about – making a difference to street children in southern Brazil, which is where all our profits are sent.

Do you hold events? We are holding our first fundraising bike ride in May. Cyclists can take part on a 13-mile, 26-mile or 40-mile course across the beautiful Waveney Valley – with coffee and cakes at the beginning, middle and end if they want them!

The Park Caf�, Dereham Road, Bawdeswell, NR20 4AA, 07004 843 7275; www.theparkonline.orgOpen: 10am to 5pm (Monday to Saturday).

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