We’re in Bedford again! I find that the town is really encouraging independent business to pop up and thrive. This weeks Coffee Date is back with my boyfriend who actually chose the destination this week. Safe to say I should definitely trust him to help me with this more often as it was a great find. We went to the Pavilion in Bedford Park. We had great luck with the weather too as the sun came out for the first time in what feels like weeks. It was a great day for a warm, crisp winter walk around the park to finish off in The Pavilion made it a perfect Sunday trip. I love a walk and I love a bit of cake!
Located in Bedford Park the cafe offers a great escape from everyday life and, as I said before, a great way to end a weekend with walk in the park. There is plenty of parking near the sports centre and swimming pool which is only a short 5-minute walk away (Sunday is also free parking!) The destination has plenty of outdoor seating and even a kiosk where you can order outside too. I can imagine in the summer the cafe is the perfect location on a sunny day to get a coffee, grab some grub and chill out. Even when I went, during a winter month, the outdoor area was very appealing, especially with a heated veranda.
The inside of the building is most definitely unique. There is a high ceiling which makes the cafe feel open and spacious. The walls are a simple and white but, are covered in local artwork which caught my eye. The pictures are also for sale so if you’re really interested in them you can take them home! I believe there is a different artist on exhibition every 2 months or so making it even more interesting. There are plenty of places to sit indoors as well. From small tables tucked away to big family tables, as well as benches to sit on by the window. It is a little cramped but the place more than compensates for this slight negative. The family sized tables are perfect for littluns visiting, with space to spread out.
The cafe is really tailored to families, which is rare for some places. There are books and games outside and colouring pencils indoors to keep them entertained. I remember when I was younger a bit of colouring, and I was happy. I’m sure this is music to some parents ears, allowing them to have some family time out of the house without the worry of keeping the kids entertained. The bunting outside also looked as though it had used drawings done by children, which I thought was a great idea to tie it all together. The Pavilion adapts well to all customers!
The Pavilion is a gem in the community which also advertises local business which I love. There were leaflets for local business/music teachers/classes etc. They also use local, fresh ingredients listing their suppliers on the website as well, for example, GCH Fish Mongers and A.B.Fruits. Talking of food…
There was a selection of homemade cakes and tray bakes on offer such as lemon drizzle, rainbow cookies (again a great one for kids), rocky road and chocolate tiffins. These range from £1.50-2. Great value for money, most places usually charge a lot more for these types of treats! We both had a Malteaser slice/tiffin. It was heavenly! So rich and biscuity. There were other options too which I would love to go back and try such as Snickers and Oreo. These are also available to take away so you could always get one to go whilst you take a walk around the park.
There are plenty of other savoury options too. There is lots to choose from for breakfast from a Pavilion full English (£6.95) to plenty of cooked eggs, including eggs florentine which you don’t see very often! There is also a Mexican breakfast: ‘pavilion huevos rancheros’ if you fancy something really different! This for me is quite impressive, it’s one of the best breakfast menus I have seen in terms of options. For lunch, there is the soup of the day for £5.50 or sandwiches and ciabattas for £5.50-7.25 with the option to add chips (yum!). If you like fish there are a couple of options with prawns and smoked salmon as well. If you want something more there are mains such as sausage and mash or chorizo stew as well.
The Coffee is also great too, strong and delicious. They range from around £2.40-£2.90 and even include a Starbucks Frappuccino for those who really can’t step away from the chains! They do ice coffees too and lots of syrups for those who want some different flavours involved too.
But, it doesn’t stop there. The Pavilion also run a Supper Club, which again, I would love to try one day. Running most Wednesdays and Fridays this is a unique idea for a date night or a meal out with friends. On Fridays, it is a gourmet 3-course meal and Wednesdays is a main and dessert. There is a full list of events on their websites but to give you a taster there’s a jazz night, wellbeing night, Valentine’s meal, board games and Fish and Chips, basically something for everyone! These range from £25-36. The venue is also available to rent for events, weddings and holds classes occasionally too.
The Pavilion is a unique, sophisticated cafe which offers a fantastic breakfast menu, gorgeous bakes and an alternative to your usual restaurant meals both midweek and at the weekend. At a good price, you can enjoy a great venue and fresh, local food. The Cafe is a great pitstop for a winter or summers walk and is a relaxing escape from the bustle of the town and everyday life.