20 of the best local coffee stops & delis (with nearby picnic spots)
Picnics on benches are THE hottest social event. Dig out your hamper and waterproof blanket and order your vegan sausage rolls from these divine delis, bakeries and cafes in Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
Outdoor dining’s on the horizon from April 12, but for the next month it’s a coffee stop and al fresco deli picnic according to Boris’ roadmap. Here’s our pick of delis and cafes with nearby walks, parks, gardens and open spaces. Grab your +1 and let’s go!
The coffee shop: Square Coffee, Dunchurch (6, The Green, 9am-2pm). A great tiny coffee spot and secret garden (opening April 12) serving great locally roasted coffee and baked brownies with street food weekend takeovers (Fri & Sat 4-9pm), from Japanese to award-wining burgers, wood-fired pizzas, and traditional Greek kebabs.
Alternatively grab a takeaway from the Waterside Restaurant at Draycote Water’s visitor centre.
The picnic spot: Draycote Water.
How about bagging a sunset view like this? Head for a 5mile walk/run/cycle around the perimeter of the reservoir stopping for a scenic picnic along the way – go later in the day and you could catch a sunset like the one. Plenty of benches and picnic spots. If it’s just a quick outing park yourself on a seat in the adventure play area with the kids. Dogs aren’t allowed. Parking is £5 all day or £3 for two hours.
The deli: Pick up a picnic from The deli (44 Brook Street, Wed–Thur, 10.30am-2.30pm; Fri 10.30am-3pm & Sat 9am-4pm), a new independent which opened during the pandemic, for cheeses, and a range of takeaway grub including deli rolls (from beetroot hummus & crispy carrot roll to a chorizo sub), half or full cup of fresh soup, sausage roll (including vegan), toasties, tabbouleh salad or go the whole hog with a cheese board and wine. Brand new on Fri and Sat is ‘the dog’ – smoked bratwurst & sauerkraut in a bun (pictured above).
The picnic spot: Head towards Warwick Racecourse (take a short cut down the steps passed The Rose and Crown) for a stroll around the paddocks or St Mary’s Land, a wide-open community space. Alternatively go to nearby Hill Close Gardens (11am-4pm) admiring the spring blooms from one of the rustic benches in 16 restored Victorian garden plots and summerhouses. Entry £5, children 5-17 £1 includes garden trail. Children under 5 free.
The coffee shop: Jack’s Shack (3C, Jury Street), a cheery café with a surfing holiday vibe where you can pick-up your caffeine fix, sourdough bagels & toasties, soup of the day, burger Friday and shakes to takeaway. Their garden re-opens April 12.
The picnic spot: The Pageant Garden, hidden off Castle Street opposite the café is lovely or for a proper riverside picnic head to St Nicholas Park with views of Warwick Castle, where you can also hire a boat, paddleboard or pedalo from March 30.
The coffee shop: Forrest Coffee House, (1, The Square, 9am-4pm, daily) this community & eco minded café launched during lockdown last November and has quickly built up a reputation for friendliness, quality Element coffee, fresh pastries, homemade cakes, and lots of lovely savouries. Check their Insta for inspiration. Also a lifestyle retail store and founders of #kenilworthkindness campaign.
The picnic spot: The grassy slopes of Abbey Fields are an easy walk from the town centre for a perfect picnic spot with a kids play area and ducks on the lake. This can be extended into a circular walk around English Heritage site Kenilworth Castle or inside for a day out with the kids.
With so many brilliant pavement cafes, deli’s and coffee shops in Leamington, you’re spoilt for choice. Here are a few of our favourites to grab a cuppa and a bite to eat…
The coffee shop: The Muse Coffee Shop (3 Regent Grove, Tue-Wed 9.30am-4pm; Thurs-Sat 9.30am-4.30pm; Sun 9.30am-4pm)) in the heart of town with a lovely tree-lined green reservation just opposite outside with benches (pictured above). They do great coffee (Stratford’s Monsoon Estates) croissants & cakes. Shortly unveiling a new retail space featuring local creatives ready for April 12.
Warwick Street Kitchen (102, Warwick St, Mon – Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 10am – 4pm open for take away) plus order click and collect online. There’s all-day brekkie, brunch, lunch, and coffees including shakshuka, build your own brioche, flatbreads, sides, and sweets including an expresso ice cream cookie sandwich.
Lola Provisions (7 Augusta Place, Wed-Sat 8am-6pm; Sun 10am-4pm) is another new-ish venture run by couple Katie and James, who specialise in natural wines but also serve amazing ‘provisions’ – including fresh coffee and treats from @baked_by_desa plus more-ish Mor Bakery bread/pastries. Click & Collect their natural wines while you’re there. You can also join a reusable coffee cup reward scheme run with Zero Store.
The delis: The Rustic Food Company (129 Regent Street, Mon-Fri 8am-3pm) They have you covered for brekkie, lunch, cakes, and coffee whether it’s a bacon, sausage & egg roll to a salted caramel slice, Vegetastic Hummas roll or Rustic salad box. Great for working lunches.
Award-winning Aubrey Allen runs a deli (108 Warwick Street, Mon-Thur 8.30am-4pm; Fri & Sat 8.30am-5pm). There’s artisan cheese boxes and meats – perfect for picnics, plus hot cross buns from @markscotswoldbakery are back in stock for Easter.
The bakery: You have to be organised if you fancy something from popular ‘real bakery’ Haddie & Trilby (10 Regent St), as orders need to be placed online for collection between 8.45am & noon sharp daily. As well as seriously delicious sourdough, lunch grabs range from a wedge of focaccia sea salt & rosemary for two, £4, to unusual flavoured croissants (cardamom almond meringue, anyone?) and babka. They also run a second bakery at The Farm Snitterfield, near Stratford.
The picnic spot:
Jephson Gardens is up there as one of the best picnic spots in the UK by National Picnic Week. A fab formal Victorian park along the River Leam with 14 acres of garden, described as “The perfect place for a relaxing stroll or family picnic that makes for a great day out.” Also one of 19 parks nationally to win a Bees’ Needs Award.
The cafe: MOR Bakery & Kitchen (Bell Court, 8am-4pm daily; Sun 9.30am-4pm). This independent sourdough bakery and kitchen has really taken off during lockdown – and celebrates its first birthday this month! Coffee is by local Stratford roasters Monsoon Estates – and their cruffins have a devoted following. Takeaways include masala chai Latte, quick bites, a cruffin of the week, cinnamon buns, create your own sourdough toast, nourish bowls and smashed avo on toast. Lots of vegan options.
The picnic spot: Bancroft Gardens or anywhere along the river Avon (on either side). You can also take an urban walk-through Shakespeare’s home town with a new immersive podcast tour (£6.99) created by with top experts and historians.
The bakery/deli: Henley Kitchen and Bakery (90 High Street, 8.30am-2.30pm). All-day brekkie, sandwiches/toasties, boxed meals, omelette, soup, bread, cheese, cakes, and afternoon tea hampers – you name it the new owners of this town centre bakery cater for all tastes. And ‘Victoria’s Sponge’ homemade cakes will wash down a treat with freshly roasted coffee.
The picnic spot: In Henley-in-Arden itself head to idyllic walled Jubilee Garden, by the historic Guild Hall. National Trust properties Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House are close by for a ramble and picnic.
There are lots of picturesque spots along the Stratford-upon-Avon canal around the charming conservation area of Wootton Wawen, Edstone and Bearley Aqueduct.
The coffee shop: Bumbles Coffee House & lifestyle store, Studley. With Stratford’s Monsoon Estates coffee on the menu, stocking Beki’s Brownies, loaded sourdough, imaginatively filled croissants – such as bananas, peanut butter and Studley honey – taco salads, kids lunch bag and Bumbles boxes, and wellness lattes.
The picnic spot: Studley Common Nature Reserve is a beautifully kept secret that lies just a five-minute walk from the village centre, Studley Heritage Walk and the Heart of England Forest are other nearby options. Just outside the village it’s a six-minute drive to Alne Wood, renowned for its bluebells.
Bean & Leaf Coffee House (76 Hertford Street, Mon-Fri 9am-4pm & 10am – 4pm on Sat), right in Coventry city centre. Run by self-confessed coffee geeks and bakers, this indie café serves carbon neutral Blossom Coffee Roasters coffee, speciality loose teas, homemade cakes – from Crème Egg brownies to key lime bundts – breakfast options, sausage rolls and sandwiches all to takeaway.
The picnic spot:
A short walk away from Bean & Leaf I like the historic cobbled streets around Coventry Cathedral ruins, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and Coventry University with its interactive fountains, benches and big steps to sit and watch the skaters.
Other spots: War Memorial Park – the city’s largest park is a 10–15-minute walk/drive outside the centre with lots of seating, a play area, and skate park. Coombe Abbey Park, Binley has 500 acres of gardens and woodland while Ryton Pools, a 100-acre Warwickshire country park was named one of the UK’s top picnic spots.
The deli: Taste of the Country, (2-4 Market Place, Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-3pm) a bakery, deli and grocery all-in-one with a plethora of scrummy local produce, cheeses and cakes.
The coffee shop: Blue Bean Coffee Shop and Café, Shipston-on-Stour, or Winthrop’s café takeaway, Hidcote.
The picnic spot: Head for attractive picnic spots by the river in Shipston-on-Stour or for a wander in the Arts and Crafts garden at nearby National Trust property Hidcote across the border in the rolling Cotswolds Hills near Chipping Campden.
The bakery: Award-winning Bread Collection (High Street, Tues-Sat, 9am-3pm) is an artisan bakery and patisserie celebrated nationally for its produce ranging from speciality breads to tarts, cakes and savouries available to takeaway with a coffee. It also specialises in hand baked croissants, apricot Danish, pain au raisin, pain au chocolate, cinnamon Danish and pecan Danish.
The picnic spot: Nearby Knowle Park or Job Close nature reserve.
The coffee shop: Quarter Horse Coffee’s Bristol Street Café is open for takeaway drinks and coffee beans. Bookings are now being taken for tables from April 12. You can also subscribe to coffee subscriptions from his independent ethical roaster.
Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters run independent outlets in Stevenson Street & the Ikon Gallery (above), Stratford-upon-Avon and Leamington Spa where you can click and collect for coffee and wellness lattes, cakes & pastries such as vegan chocolate & banana cake or a raspberry friande to go.
The picnic spot: Brindley Place – an attractive urban green within the city centre with fountains surrounded by restaurants and cafes near the Ikon Art Gallery.
St Paul’s Square – this tree-lined square in the Jewellery Quarter is the last remaining Georgian Square in the city.
Birmingham Botanical Garden – lawns and benches provide the perfect spot for a picnic within this 15-acre site.