The Cosiest Cafe In Carlisle
A couple in Dalston have transformed their conservatory into a cafe, inviting cyclists into their home for a cup of tea and some homemade cake.
Owners Debbie and Mike Gibson, who live on the Reiver Cycle Route in Dalston, used to watch cyclists going past from the comfort of their conservatory. They had always thought “wouldn’t it be nice if they could have a cup of tea” and so, the idea for the Woodside Welcome Cycle Cafe sprung to life.
With Mike due to retire soon and in need of a new project, they opened Woodside Welcome on August bank holiday last year. What started as an experiment became a regular occurrence, with the couple opening up their garden every Saturday and Sunday to cyclists and walkers in need of a re-fuel. After a brief spell closed for winter they have both been busy baking and are ready for an exciting season, serving delicious homemade fare to eager passersby.
Debbie said: “I run a dance school; I never thought I would be doing this. When I met Mike we had talked about maybe opening a B&B or something one day but I had never of imagined this.
“The response has been amazing. I never thought I was a baker, but people are saying it tastes great, so much better than shop-bought.”
She added: “Our families are amazed by it and of course they have all been in for a bacon sandwich too.”
Mike and Debbie believe in the importance of using local food producers and use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. They only use meat from a local butcher and have taken the time to source and trial local cheeses, to make sure they get it just right.
The cafe serves bacon and sausage sandwiches at brunch and the lunch menu includes homemade soup and toasties. They also offer an afternoon tea of homemade cakes, scones and tea produced in Kendal.
During the summer everything is served in the beautiful surroundings outside. When the wild garden is in full bloom it boasts a gorgeous rose garden and the couple plan to expand with the addition of a summer house for their ever growing flock of customers.
Debbie said: “It’s amazing to meet so many different, interesting people. You realise what a small world it is, we have met people from all over the country, even from some places that we know ourselves.”
In the ideal location, the Woodside Welcome Cycle Cafe is perfect for those craving that comforting touch when on the road. Cyclists planning their route in advance should make sure to pinpoint this one on the map; where else can you enjoy homemade food served in the very heart of the home?
Visit the Woodside Welcome Cycle Cafe Facebook page for more information and opening hours.