photo credit: Jeanette Lendon
With spring in the air I can imagine many of us will be out walking and cycling more often now, so I thought you would be interested to know about The Hub. Redbourn villagers will already know about this small, but perfectly formed cafe, which opened during Olympic year 2012. A short bike ride from the Nicky Line and en route out to the Chilterns, it is a very popular stop for cyclists right by the entrance to Redbourn village. Co-owner Simon Barnes is a keen cyclist, and the cafe contains lots of cycling magazines and memorabilia. I met co-owner Lindy Fox when I popped in during half term, and we chatted about the village, community, dog walkers and cakes over a very good cup of Fairtrade coffee.
With low ceilings and cosy seating, it is a welcoming cafe in a building that dates back to the 17th century. There is a great selection of cakes made by local certified home-workers (so properly ‘home’-made). Lindy told me that one baker is an ex-Swiss Chalet Maid and journalist who writes for a national food magazine. Coffee and walnut is a favourite with customers, as is Tilly’s carrot cake, and the Bakewell tart. They have a cake of the week and at the moment it is gluten-free chocolate and orange cake. The cafe also sell classic traybakes such as chocolate brownies and caramel shortbread which come from a Devon bakery. Lindy told me that they always have gluten-free cakes and biscuits too. There is a good range of coffees and teas, including lots of herbal teas and Allpress coffee.
The Hub does a good range of light lunches, including soups and sandwiches. They use Redbournbury Mill bread, which is always delicious and of course comes from just a few hundred metres up the road. Grain for the mill comes from Hammonds End Farm nearby too, making this very low food miles. Redbournbury baker Steven also makes the eccles cakes and flapjacks (perfect cycling food).
The Hub is quite small and was busy when I went in, so groups of walkers and cyclists will probably need to ring ahead if you want to be inside but there are tables outside in good weather. Lindy explained that they have lots of regulars who head to the cafe after a walk on the nearby common, and when I went in there were lots of families too enjoying half term hot chocolates. Dogs are welcome and I noticed they sell dog treats too.
When The Hub opened originally you could get bike spares and technical help and now this side of the business has grown, so Simon has opened The Bike Loft just up the road. You can join in with group bike rides on Sundays at 9.15 and finish back at the cafe for well-deserved cake. The cafe and shop are already planning for their big event in the summer, the Fete de Velo on Sunday 9 July so pop in to get more details about that and bike events for all ages or take a look at The Hub website.
The Hub is open every day 8.30-4.30 in the winter and later until 5 in the summer. It is the perfect cafe to visit as Spring approaches at long last!
photo credit: Jeanette Lendon