We found Tarka’s café by pure coincidence. After a trip to Adventure Bike Shop, we planned to have lunch at Finchingfield, but on the way, we came across Bayhorne Hall. Amongst a local butcher, antique shop, Ben and Ella’s farm shop and cookery school, lies this sweet little café with delightful food.

As you enter, you are greeted with lots of homemade treats, both sweet and savoury, all of which appeal to the eye. You can tell the café is relatively new, but it really keeps a country feel in the process, especially with the log burning stove at the back, which is really lovely. It may not be the biggest café in the world, or many tables, but the seats are nicely distributed so that you are not sat on top of the people next to you– something I often find hard in chain establishments.

The staff were very friendly and the food was served quickly. Iñigo ate a full English Breakfast, whilst I tried a stone baked garlic bread pizza with mozzarella. Naturally, we couldn’t resist the cakes at the front so ended up sharing a piece of chocolate marble cake too. The food was exactly what I expected from a little local café – great, fresh and locally resourced. I could even see the chefs cooking from where I was sat.

Personally, I loved this place and think it was a great pit stop – there is ample parking outside, you have great views, good food and the chance to walk around the other shops. However, my only concern as a biker is the lack of space. We ended up there on a rather rainy day, with only a few other people eating with us. Had it been mid-summer, with lots of people, I am not sure how feasible taking a larger table to put our helmets and jackets on would have been. Finally, I prefer to pay a little more for a lovely oil-free breakfast, but for many people this place may be a little expensive for your usual Sunday breakfast.


Baythorne Hall, Baythorne End, Halstead, Essex, CO9 4AH

Website | http://www.tarkascafe.co.uk

Price | ££