I believe a perfect cycle ride is not complete without a good coffee.
New to my coffee stop options, is Cafe 1809, which I discovered on a wet bank holiday weekend back in May. The Mechanic and I had decided to venture into Kent on a new route for us, however 20kms into the ride it started raining. We took shelter under some trees, whilst we retrieved rain-jackets from our back pockets. Looking up at the ominous dark sky we decided that the best option was to find the nearest spot for a coffee and wait for the grey rain clouds to pass.
Using the magic of the internet, my iphone informed us that the nearest cafe was 4kms away in Hildenborough. Five minutes later we arrived at Cafe 1809, we were delighted to discover a cycling friendly place, plenty of space for bikes, and no curious looks at wet guests arriving in lycra and click- clacking cycling shoes. Good coffee, a great choice of cakes and freshly made smoothies, pretty much the perfect cycling coffee stop.
After coffee and cake, it was still raining, so as I’m a bit of a butterfly when it comes to wet weather, we cut our ride short and headed home. Disappointed to not do the full 80kms route planned, the Mechanic decided to return the following day with his mate the Geordie. Having enjoyed the cafe, he reversed the route so that he and the Geordie would reach Cafe 1809 two-thirds of the way, the perfect time for a coffee and cake pick me up.
Later that day when the Mechanic returned, he explained that when they arrived at the Cafe, they spotted Dame Kelly Holmes in a pinny. The Geordie, being a Geordie, immediately asked her ‘what are you doing here pet?’ He may not have called her pet? She replied that it was her Cafe. Both the Geordie and the Mechanic were smitten by her, and returned home with photographic evidence. At the Dame’s suggestion Mr M took his first ever selfie.
It turns out that when Kelly Holmes was a child she did a paper-round for the sweet shop that originally stood on the same spot as the cafe. Many years later in 2013 she purchased the property and realised her dream of creating a community hub in the village she grew up in. The cafe is named 1809 after her Olympic running number in Athens where she won two gold medals.
Cafe 1809 is a regular stop for the Mechanic and I when cycling in Kent; the perfect place, as their motto says, to ‘eat, drink, relax and smile’.