I came across this family run cafe on a day trip from Bristol to visit a friend who lives in Exmouth and has two young children. They visit this place quite frequently due to the catering of parents with children which I have to admit these days are often very few! After a short stroll from my friends house we came cross this 'Book Rest Cafe'. On entering the shop, at first I must admit that I thought it was quite an 'old fashioned' shop whereby they had the ground floor consisting of a range of books on offer to buy at reasonable prices. The time at this point was coming on for 13.15 to which I was directed by my friend to head towards the back of the store to make my way up a small staircase to the first floor whereby the small cosy cafe was located.
I was astonishingly surprised by how busy it seemed to be for such a small, secluded little business to which the small handful of friendly, welcoming staff on shift were working away to serve all the orders made as quickly as they could.
As me and my mum entered to make our way to find a place to sit and retire, it was quite luxurious to see the rather 'homey' sofas on offer to us to which were available for us to sit on. 'How lovely! I feel as if I am simply at home' and so this made the whole experience nice and pleasant. As I had walked through to reach the seating area I caught a glimpse of the Lunch menu presented in the form of a chalk board which I saw stated 'Jacket Potatoes' - Bingo! Just what I had planned... or so it thought. Just as I was about to place my order I heard the women serving over the counter mention that they were all out of Jacket potatoes!
A change of plan to my lunch was required to which I picked up the little menus available on each table to have a gander at what else was on offer. I was initially drawn to the option of 'Beans on Toast' to which I noticed was available in two portion sizes - Adult or Child's. I was recommended by my friend that opting for the smaller childs portion would be more than ample for me as the portions sizes were considered to be more on the generous size which was lovely hear hear - especially in this day and age! =] In addition, the price of the dishes were very reasonable: Adult portion - £2.95 and Child portion - £1.95.
I was very impressed by the fact that this cute little cafe provides a service I am so supportive of which consists of supplying food that is free range, locally supplied, home-made, seasonal and organic wherever possible. Offering food to suit all in terms of providing gluten free products and vegan friendly =]
My mum and friend had ordered the board special of 'Spicy Parsnip Soup' served with a slice of thick wholemeal bread. I was thinking of attempting the soup - especially due to the stormy weathers permitting recently! - however I stuck to what I knew instead of experimenting to try the healthy cous cous with roasted Mediterranean vegetables on a bed of fresh salad leaves topped with cheese.
Due to dietary requirements I had asked for the toast to be without butter to which this was not a problem at all to amend =] I sat down and waited whilst a member of staff came over to our table with our drinks and the children's lunch of 'cheese sandwich, crisps, yogurt and Rocks organic squash'. I adored the cute little chintzy mugs present to me with my little cup of tea too! Very pretty and dainty I must say.
This was followed shortly by the set of cutlery and my 'Beans on Toast' and then the two hot 'Spicy Parsnip Soup''s. The food was presented on very smart, clean white squared plates and lovely soup bowls. The beans were slightly on the cooler side and the thickly sliced wholemeal bread was not as toasty as I would have liked it but to be honest that's just my personal preference as I am quite fussy and do like my food piping hot! Haha.
I was quite astonished to know that this was a child's portion consisting of one piece of thick cut bread. It was ample sufficient and I indeed got through it.
The cafe accommodated the children very well as both children happily went off to play in the play area which was a small area in the corner of the room and so gave us adults time to relax and have a good ole' chit chat! They both reported how they enjoyed their hot, warming soup.
I asked what mum thought of her soup and she said she thought I would have enjoyed it also as it didn't taste creamy at all but just fresh and warming - as if I were to make it at home. How I personally think it should be! =]
I noticed too that on their menu there was a mention of their 'Facebook' social network page and personal website. I was so impressed by this business' approach to providing truly healthy friendly food that I just wanted to 'like' immediately. Hence my admiration to taking the time to write a review onto trip advisor =]
Thank you very much 'The Book Rest Cafe' and I wish you all the best for the new year ahead and the development of this beautiful family run business =]
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