Pinnock's Coffee House in Ripley - On the Tea Shop Trail
PUBLISHED: 14:17 08 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:11 19 December 2014
As passionate about the county's blossoming coffee houses as our traditional tea rooms, Louise Johncox heads to Ripley for an offering that is 'a cup above the rest'
Pinnock’s Coffee House,
High Street, Ripley GU23 6AF Tel: 01483 222419 Open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am to 6pm; and Sunday, 10am to 5pm
Russell James opened Pinnock’s Coffee House – a finalist in this year’s Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards – in Ripley just over a year ago with Andy Shaw. Their aim was to create a traditional coffee house and meeting place for the local community. Previously, Russell had worked for a charity while Andy had run a restaurant in Spain. Pinnock’s has become the place to go if you fancy a freshly-brewed coffee, a slice of home-made cake, tasty meals and a warm welcoming atmosphere.
There are three dining areas, starting with the ground floor, where you can watch the coffee being brewed and view a variety of cakes on display at the counter. Here you will find a community board with local notices plus an area where you can buy quality foods and gifts, including the luxury Prestat chocolate range.
Upstairs, on the first floor, there is a large, welcoming living room, similar to a country style gentleman’s club, with sofas, a book swap and games area. This room is used by various community groups such as the Women’s Institute, a knit and stitch club and book club. You can also hire the room for private functions enjoying such treats as high tea served on a tall three-tiered cake stand.
Finally, there is also a delightful small English cottage garden with several tables.
In total, there are about 70 seats inside and around 20 outside.
I visited on a Sunday when I spotted a mix of customers ranging from families to an elderly man on his own and a mother and daughter.
Cakes and pastries…
All the pastries are made at Pinnock’s, excluding the croissants, almond pastries and an enormous pork pie. According to Russell, the most popular is the raspberry and white chocolate chip brownie followed by the Victoria sponge. The orange polenta sponge and lemon drizzle cake follow close behind.
All cakes cost £2.50 a slice, while the coffee and cake combo costs £4.30, and the tea and cake combo, £4. The freshly-made scones served with jam and clotted cream (£.2.50 each) are the other big sellers.
Russell is passionate about coffee (£2.30 a mug) and offers nine different types, all ground fresh and prepared using a pour over technique. Russell works in partnership with Beanberry Coffee, run by Edward Grace. Alternatively, you can choose from a selection of leaf teas.
Like many cafés these days, you can enjoy more than just tea, coffee and cake. You can have breakfast (porridge costs a reasonable £2.85), lunch or a substantial snack. Popular lunch dishes include salads (£5.45), bagels, sandwiches or wraps (£4.50) and sharing platters (charcuterie, cheeseboard, fish at £12). Quiche of the Day costs £5.25.
Pinnock’s is ‘a cup above the rest’, as their literature states. The cakes are home-made on the premises and the different dining areas are welcoming and comfortable. In just over a year, Pinnock’s has firmly established its place in the local community; a place to enjoy coffee, cake and more in a convivial atmosphere.