Great 'Cars and Coffee' Stops
With apologies to Robert Louis Stevenson, sometimes it's better to drive hopefully than to arrive – and if you can stop mid-way for a coffee and enjoy some fine cars among like-minded enthusiasts, so much the better.
Well, you're in luck because that's exactly what we've assembled here: 15 great roadside cafés and restaurants with motoring at their heart. From the legendary Ace Café in London to the inspired Coffee Apothecary in deepest Scotland. Whatever your taste, enjoy the coffee and the company – and drive hopefully.
Admittedly a biker's mecca but cars and their occupants are also welcome. In any case, it's a must-see haunt, as much of a London attraction as tea at the Ritz, only cheaper. There's always something on, too, so check the What's On area of the website to make sure you don't miss out.
Duke of London
Situated at the mouth of the Grand Union Canal where it enters the River Thames at Brentford, West London, is this marvellous classic and supercar showroom with a tasteful coffee bar from where you can admire the assembled metal. Outside is the Brewery Tap pub (it's a non-alcoholic drink for you, remember) owned by the business, and an award-winning pizza restaurant, Santa Maria Pizzeria. dukeoflondon.co.uk
Located a few miles from the coast between Worthing and Brighton, this attractively themed café welcomes motorists, especially those with interesting cars, which its in-house photographer will readily snap. The burgers are to die for and the merchandise is pretty good, too. fuel-coffee-house.com
Torque Moto Café
In parkland just outside Horsham is this aptly named cafe with its own roastery alongside, guaranteeing the freshest brew. The owners claim to be complete petrolheads, so turn up in something tasty and you're sure to be treated like an old friend. torquemotocafe.co.uk
Claiming to be the South West's only dedicated cars and coffee venue, this roadside 'stop' in Cullompton, Devon (it's just off the M5, between Exeter and Taunton) is a popular haunt for motorists and enthusiasts. At its heart is The Steamer Coffee House and Kitchen, a newly completed artisan café offering everything from a delicious fry-up to a cream tea and all options in between. re-fuel.co.uk
More than just a café serving great coffee to motoring enthusiasts, this roadside 'stop', located between Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon, is a brand that caters to everyone with a love of things that move. At least that's what the website says. It also says its spaces are designed to be all things to all people – coffee house, pub, art gallery, roadside diner, clothing boutique… Drop by and discover what it is to you.
Gilks' Garage Café
Also 'twixt Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon is this delightful former Hillman garage, owned by the same family since 1904 and now a roadside heritage café. In between studying its fascinating history on the company website, order from an extensive, locally sourced menu that includes the Mighty Mechanic's Beef Burger.
Based at the historic site of RAF Bibury, a former Fighter Command station, in Gloucestershire, this classic car sales, vehicle storage and workshop business also boasts a very popular cafe´. Appetite satisfied and old cars admired, make sure you book time on the Hub's high-tech classic racing simulator.
Ignition: Cars and Coffee
Situated on the edge of the Peak District, this café bills itself the home of the motoring enthusiast. All our featured cafés can justly claim likewise but at least IC&C is close to some of the best driving roads in the country. Enjoy a coffee and a slice of cake, kick some tyres in the car park and then try them out.ignitioncarsandcoffee.co.uk
'Wheels and Wings', 'Bikes and Bonnets' and 'Cars and Coffee' – this restaurant and garage complex located off the A1, east of Leeds, has pretty much all interests covered with its weekly meetings. The centrepiece is the Arnage restaurant named for the famous corner at Le Mans and with a great view of the assembled cars and regular car shows outside. themotorist.com
The Oil Can Café at the Carding Shed
A coffee stop with a difference… Situated near Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, this period café is part of a larger complex featuring classic car displays and fronted by restoration business, IK Sport Classic. You can even book a guided tour of the garage to watch old motors being expertly brought back to life. thecardingshed.co.uk
Located just south of Pickering in North Yorkshire, this café is another that doesn't stop at artisan coffees and great food. There are displays of cars and motorcycles and a workshop where, on most days, interesting motors can be observed being serviced or restored. Meanwhile, the business has created 10, 50-mile route guides that visitors can follow through the region. Now you know why they call it NY500…
V Ate Pit Stop Diner
Fortunately, there's more to this café, situated between Boston and Spalding in Lincolnshire, than a groan-inducing name. It has a bowling alley for a start but what will really blow you away is the 1950s Americana interior that's like a scene from 'Cars'. Diners sit at or in garishly painted motors including a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, a Ferrari 308 and even a Fiat 500 that have been cut down and turned into sofas and tables. Despite this sacrilege, it's popular, so book early.
Bang in the middle of Wales and just over the England border, this café, in Crossgates, near Llandrindod Wells, is attached to a petrol station. For this reason you might miss it but if you time it right, the huge car park will be filled with cars, their drivers drawn to the region by the stunning roads and scenery. There's no website.
Coffee shops are catching on throughout Scotland, so you're sure to find a few that mix bean and motors with stunning countryside. Two examples are the Udny and Ellon branches of The Coffee Apothecary in Aberdeenshire.