Excellent little vintage cafe in the heart of Ampthill – Cakestand and Crumb.

I have always wanted to try the beautiful little vintage Cafe in Ampthill called Cakestand & Crumb as I have heard so much about it from friends on Facebook. So after my haircut I decided to have a nice quiet lunch without the kids (a rare treat for me). It's situated down a little side alley called Kings Arms Yard. It's a pretty little vintage café and looks so sweet from the outside thanks to the lovely bright paintwork. I loved the colour scheme outside and the inside was just as pretty. As I hadn't been before I asked the waitress what was on offer and she showed me the menu. There were lots of traditional sandwich fillings on offer and what was really nice to see was that they were promoting another independent in Ampthill - The Cottage Bakery, as all their sandwiches were made with their breads.

I opted for a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich plus a drink which came quickly. If you have small children they have a small area of toys, however the cafe is quite small so lots of buggies will be a bit if an issue unless you sit outside. 

The cafe itself is so relaxed and has a lovely feel, they have an old record player in the corner which plays background music and can be used for private parties.

If you are a tea lover they have over 15 different types which includes some more unusual blends like the Cakestand and Crumb home blend, Lost Malawi, Jasmine Silver Leaf and Wild Rooibos. All the tea is loose leaf and comes from the London Based Rare Tea Company, who source their tea 'straight from tea gardens all over the world'. 

 

 

So after my sandwich I had to try the amazing cakes on offer, they are all home made. I asked the waitress which were the most popular, she said 'The Raspberry & White Chocolate Cake, Carrot & Walnut and the Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake were always popular. I however picked a Chocolate Brownie which I have wanted to try for a very long time, the Cadbury's Cream Egg Brownie! It was lovely, very sweet and a beautiful texture but after such a large lunch it was just a little too much for me. 

 

 

Lots of people had booked tables in advance as the Cafe offers Afternoon Tea.  I asked if you need to book a few weeks in advance for a Saturday and the waitress said yes its always best to, so that's worth bearing in mind. At the time of visiting the price was £16.50 per person.

You can also hire the venue for a private dining experience (12-20 people) which I found very tempting, it is perfect for a baby shower or a special birthday. If you hire between 5-7pm  you can even bring your own wine.

When I visited the cafe only accepted cash, no credit or debit cards so please bare this in mind when you visit. I didn't know this but I just walked to the nearest cash machine, which was less than 5 minutes up the road. No a major issue but it's was worth noting. 

So if you love the vintage feel then this cafe is definitely worth a visit.  Address: 7 Kings Arms Yard,Ampthill MK45 2PJ. Its tucked away down the back of the Kinds Arms Yard but its well advertised from the main street.

http://www.cakestandandcrumb.co.uk/

I wrote this blog page in my spare time and was not paid or given anything for free to write this post. All comments are my own.  To find out more about me click here. http://mybedfordshire.com/about/

A delightful sweetshop tucked away in the Arcade, Bedford

I went to visit a lovely sweet shop in Bedford Town Centre and met with one of the owners, Debbie. She was so friendly and really made me feel welcome. Explaining the history of the shop itself and why Arcadia sweetshop is so special in this area.

Arcadia Sweetshop is a family run business and is located in the Arcade. What's nice about this shop is the heritage, the actual shop itself is over 110 years old has been ran as a sweetshop since the Arcade was opened in 1905. This means that they have lots of regulars who have been coming a very long time, and now their children and grandchildren come. It's also the reason why its my first blog post of my new website, whenever I visit the Arcade I always walk by and look fondly on at the amazing selection of sweets inside. Most of which I remember buying as a child, I also smiled when I saw the prices available in quarters (how I used to buy sweets as a child) and now the usual '100g.' My favourite sweets are sherbet pips and sherbet lemons, and of course they have both.

They have won lots of awards since talking on the shop including the Bedford Business Awards in 2016 and have an online shop too, as Debbie was keen to point out to some of her regulars whilst I was in the store. Just select delivery to your home or simply click and collect. I thought this was a great idea and perfect for mums who want to organise a party and need sweets for party bags.

 

The range in the store was very wide as you would expect from such a traditional store. But it was easy to navigate around and I quickly spotted what I perceived to be the key selling points of the shop, which for me were the beautiful handmade chocolates, the traditional and broad range of classic childhood sweets in traditional jars, the wide range of continental chocolate bars and the penny sweets of course. (my eldest boy's favourite!)

So next time you have a sweet tooth have a wander down to 11 The Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1NS or visit their website https://www.arcadiasweetshop.com/