Green Rooms of Godstone - On the Tea Shop Trail
PUBLISHED: 09:38 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:09 29 June 2015
The Godstone Green Rooms, Needles Bank, Plum Cake Corner, Godstone RH9 8DZ.
Tel: 01883 740407.
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 8.30am - 5pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am - 5pm.
The low down…
The Green Rooms at Godstone has new owners with a baking tradition that dates back over 30 years. Sylvia Crimi’s father opened a bakery in Wandsworth in 1980, specialising in handmade breads, cakes and canapés. Ten years ago, Sylvia and husband, Jeremy, took over the running of that bakery. When her father reached retirement the couple looked for a new venture and found The Green Rooms, where they set up in business in January 2013. “We decided on Godstone as the building is stunning and the setting is beautiful,” says Sylvia. “Also, it is known as Plum Cake corner in the history books.”
Sylvia describes The Green Rooms as an extension of the family living room. Inside, the tables and chairs are painted in soft gentle colours. There is a lot to look at, ranging from the collectable vinyl toys to the vintage china and recipe books. There is a tea theme with teapots filled with plants and three tiered cake stands. Look out for a few gifts to buy, an area they wish to expand on in the future. They play music to add
to the welcoming atmosphere.
According to Sylvia, the number one cake is the Whoopie Pie. “Many people haven’t tried or even heard of them,” she says. “I describe them as two sponge discs held together by love - when bitten into, your body goes ‘mmm’ and the world is a better place for about seven minutes after eating.” A whoopie costs £2.45. Sylvia’s eyelash curling lemon drizzle cake, packed with fresh lemons and ground almonds, is also popular and costs £2.95. The Rocky Road gets the thumbs up from both the young and old. Packed with biscuits, maltesers and fudge with pillows of marshmallow – all for £2.45.
There are plans to open a few evenings a month offering a set menu. “Our first evening is going to be Caribbean themed so a lip tingling jerk chicken is on the menu,” she says. “I’m hoping the rum punch will get our customers limbo-ing out the door after a fab night!”
Sylvia’s heritage is part Sicilian, part Maltese that reflects on the menu.
“It’s all about using the best produce I can get and I try to source as much as I can locally,” she says. “We make everything ourselves, from the Hollandaise to the coleslaw, to the béchamel in our pasta bakes. We hope you can taste the love in our food.”
The menu includes a full English breakfast with Cumberland sausages, eggs Benedict, salmon fish cakes with a sweet chilli sauce and lamb couscous, slow cooked for over eight hours with orange blossom.
For a lighter lunch, there is a range of paninis served with homemade coleslaw and salad with a pear balsamic dressing.
There are some tables outside with views on to the green, no doubt popular in summer. Inside, there are nine tables and two leather sofas near the window, a favourite spot where people can watch the world go by. We sat near to the counter, where we could watch the comings and goings and take in the atmosphere. There was a mix of customers, both young families and elderly couples.
Sylvia describes The Green Rooms as ‘a café with good attitude’. “Godstone has been used as a ‘drive thru’ for a while now and we would love to make it a destination,” she says. The Green Rooms offers afternoon tea served on vintage china and an eclectic menu. After tea, you can stroll around the green and discover the delights of this village imagining what Plum Cake corner was like in the old days.
Louise Johncox’s parents, Peter and Frankie, ran Peter’s tea shop in Weybridge from 1958 until 2000 when they retired. Louise is now writing a book about her parents’ tea shop, with the working title of The Baker’s Daughter (see louisejohncox.com/index.htm).