Richmond Hill Bakery - On the Tea Shop Trail
- Credit: Paul Cummins
In this month’s visit to a Surrey tea shop, Louise Johncox heads to the Richmond Hill Bakery, the perfect place for good coffee, home-made cakes and people-watching...
Need to know:
Richmond Hill Bakery
54 Friars Stile Road, Richmond TW10 6NQ
Tel: 0208 940 1088 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Open seven days a week, 8am-6pm
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Owner Paul Cummins opened the Richmond Hill Bakery three years ago with the aim of creating a place for the community to relax, gather and enjoy good locally-made pastries, light lunches, snacks and drinks.
Manager and artist Jo Holland runs the establishment, which also has original gifts for sale and her own unique art on display.
This is the place to visit if you fancy a decent slice of cake, a spot of lunch and some enjoyable gift shopping in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The décor is homely with wooden floors and tables, most decorated with plants, and there are fresh flowers for sale. Gifts line the shelves and range from pretty scarves and bags (Jo Edwards) to luxury candles (True Grace) and bracelets (by local artist Sara Holley). There are also gift cards on display.
In total, there are 12 tables including two outside. The window tables are the most popular, providing the perfect place to watch the Richmond Hill residents wander by, often on their way to nearby Richmond Park.
When I visited, the atmosphere was buzzing and the place was filled with a mix of families, couples and regulars, one with a very cute dog! The café also has some celebrity customers who enjoy being able to relax in such a welcoming place. On Sunday mornings, there are apparently a lot of cyclists in Lycra!
Jo’s photographic prints are on display adding a creative feel to the café while the wide varieties of bread on a table opposite the cake counter create an enticing sight. The aroma of the freshly baked bread, pastries and coffee all adds to the overall café experience.
Cakes and pastries…
All the pastries are made on the premises, which is refreshing to discover. According to Jo, the most popular cakes are carrot, ginger and cheesecake (all £2.95 a slice). The cookies (80p) and cupcakes (£2.30) are a hit with children. I enjoyed a slice of ginger cake, which, as Jo said, warms you up from the inside out. I admit I was very tempted by the Portuguese custard tarts (£2.00) but decided to save those for another visit. Although I usually tend to have tea and cake, I particularly enjoyed my latte (£2.40, supplied by Allpress), which gave me a welcome hit on a Saturday morning. The teas are supplied by the East India Company and are priced at £1.95. Oh, and you can also find some gluten-free bread and cakes too.
There is also a breakfast menu with some home-made bircher muesli, soaked overnight with apple and fruit, and all sorts of toast – the five seeded sourdough comes particularly recommended.
If you’re looking for something more filling then the lunch menu includes toasted sandwiches (such as Parma ham and mozzarella or Portobello mushroom and pancetta, £4.95 each), baguettes, salads and quiche. Among the favourites are salmon and rice salad (£4.95), individual quiche (£3.45) and antipasti (£6.25).
If you have any space left, there will also be plenty of desserts to tempt you on the cake counter.
The Richmond Hill Bakery has a lovely community feel with an excellent range of pastries and savoury dishes. I enjoyed the friendly family atmosphere and home-made slice of ginger cake and invigorating coffee. If you don’t live locally the café is worth a visit combined with a walk in Richmond Park. I bought a Moroccan rose candle as a little reminder of this special place. Cakes, coffee, gifts and art; a winning combination.
Louise Johncox’s parents, Peter and Frankie, ran Peter’s tea shop in Weybridge from 1958 until 2000. Louise is now writing a book about her parents’ tea shop, The Baker’s Daughter, which is due to be published in spring 2014 (see louisejohncox.com/index.htm).