Jolleys Café in Grayshott - On the Tea Shop Trail
PUBLISHED: 17:07 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:06 16 September 2014
In this month's visit to a Surrey tea shop, Louise Johncox heads to the café at Grayshott Pottery, which has recently been given a make-over...
Need to know:
Grayshott Pottery’s Jolleys Café, School Road, Grayshott near Hindhead GU26 6LR.
Open daily, Monday to Saturday: 9am-4.30pm; Sundays and Bank Holidays: 10am-3.30pm. Tel: 01428 604404. Web: grayshottpottery.com
Makers of English stoneware since 1956, Grayshott Pottery, near Hindhead, has a long and fascinating history. Originally, the business emerged from the old Kingwood Pottery in Brook, but they also have connections to Compton Pottery, which in its time was situated at Watts Gallery near Guildford and was started by Mary Watts, wife of the great Victorian painter, GF Watts. Today, they produce a wide range of ceramics, from handcrafted lamps and decorative plates to contemporary mugs.
A café was a natural addition in the 1990s and, earlier this year, Jolleys underwent a refurbishment with new floors, a cake counter area and original ceramic lamp- shades. All the food is served on the Soho range of tableware made at the pottery and there are fresh flowers on each table as well as a range of fired pottery and gifts on display. It’s clear a lot of thought and care has gone into this redesign, created with the help of local designer Bob Cardona.
I went for tea at Jolleys with my mum, Frankie, and we sat near to the counter with a good view of the café and cakes. The outside patio area, with comfortable seating and water feature, is a welcoming, pleasant setting on a sunny day.
This is a spacious café with 16 tables inside and five outside. According to retail manager, Janet McWilliam, the most popular tables include the large family table indoors or any of the tables outside.
On the day we visited, we spotted a mix of customers including families, couples and individuals enjoying a quiet coffee, pastry and read of the newspaper. Bliss.
Cakes and pastries…
The favourite pastries are apparently the classics: carrot, coffee and walnut (£3 a slice each) and chocolate millionaires flapjacks (£2.50). Mum enjoyed a generous slice of the chocolate orange shortbread (£2.50) while I couldn’t resist a scone freshly made on the day (£1.95). We also shared the popular flapjack (£2.50) as you can never have too many sweet things on a Saturday.
Chef Sue Semadeni told us: “The young staff members all learn to make the scones and other cakes, which they enjoy, plus it gives them some good skills.”
Some of the cakes are also sourced from local Godalming family business, Crosbies.
The drinks were pretty reasonable, we felt: cappuccino (£2.30), a pot of tea (£1.75) and hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate flake (£2.50).
On the menu…
Sue showed us the breakfast and lunch menu, featuring home-made, wholesome food. Apparently, the Jolleys’ breakfast is a particular hit with dads – smoked bacon, sausage, fried egg, grilled tomato, baked beans, mushroom and toast (£6.50).
Lunches include sandwiches (£5.10), paninis (£5.95), jacket potatoes (from £5.50), wraps (£5.75) and specials of the day. On the day we visited, the specials ranged from home-made sausage casserole (£7.95) to flaked salmon salad (£7.25).
Did you know that you can take a free 30-minute tour of the pottery? The tours take place during weekdays, at 11am and 2.30pm, but advance booking is essential – call 01428 604404.
Afterwards, we enjoyed a visit to the ceramics gallery where we were impressed with the original designs. I set my heart on a few of the unique ranges picturing them in my home! We also enjoyed a good mooch around the gift shop where you can find all sorts of original presents from ceramics and candles to kitchenware. The pottery offers decorating workshops too – perfect for the café loving creative. We left feeling happy, with plans to return with family and friends – surely the sign of an excellent café and gift shop.
Louise Johncox’s parents, Peter and Frankie, ran Peter’s tea shop in Weybridge from 1958 until 2000 when they retired. Louise has written a book about her parents’ tea shop, The Baker’s Daughter, which is out in all good bookshops now (see louisejohncox.com/index.htm)