It took a while to find the Lordstones, up on the north west edge of the North York Moors, especially with its postal address being Chop Gate (3 miles away). But it was well worth the search. Great coffee and cake; and a superb spot to take in the views and get in touch with a bit of Yorkshire’s ancient history.
The coffee here is from Grumpy Mule, so you know it’s going to be a good brew, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The cakes, too, are top quality; all baked by Lucy in a village nearby and brought in fresh every day.
And if we did savouries here, it’d be hard to fault the meat on the menu, especially as it comes from cows on the farm across the road. If ever there was a seamless journey from farm to fork, it surely must be at Lordstones.
What amazed us was that this place was so busy, when it had only reopened under new management a few weeks before our visit, and there were absolutely no signposts to the café, or indeed to the Lordstones themselves (we sincerely hope the National Park authorities allow at least one sign indicating the entrance to the place – We almost drove right past, but were intrigued by the car park full of cars, making us pull in to check it out).
The thing is, a lot of the customers must have been regulars when the Lordstones Cafe was open before. Most google searches will now find the new café, but take a peek at google images and you’ll see what the place was like before.
It was certainly a busy spot, very popular with bikers and dog walkers apparently, and I see some reviews missing the days when this was a simpler, more caff-style place for a cuppa and a bite of breakfast. I obviously can’t compare, since we never came to the place before, and I often DON’T like it when quaint old places are modernised and made into something a tad too clean and polished.
But we DID like the new Lordstones Café. With coffee and cake of this quality, it’s the kind of place I’d happily make a half hour detour for in future to bring friends. Sure, the décor felt a bit new, but so would anywhere (hopefully) a few weeks after opening, and with great views and a warm welcome from the brothers who run the place now (and that farm/estate over the road), we felt quite at home.
Of course, if you come here for a cuppa, you must walk out onto the moors afterwards . The views out towards the Teesside coast make a stunning contrast to moorland close-by. It was so blowy the day we were there that the viewing benches were all tipped over, but totally exhilarating to bend into the wind and look out onto the horizon.
And, exciting also to discover yet another of those pre-Roman gems of North Yorkshire. I had no idea before starting this Fancy a Cuppa? tour of North Yorkshire just how many standing stones there are round the county. What the Lordstones lose in stature compared to Boroughbridge, they gain in formation, making one of the most perfect stone circles we’ve seen since our visit to Orkney.
Oh, and by the way, the actual Lordstones are just a short stroll away from the café itself, so after you’ve had your breath taken away, you might want to go back for another sit down and recover with a second cuppa. Well, it’s what we did anyway.