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Dining Al Fresco

Dining Al Fresco

by D Hodgkinson

Cafes in Tunbridge Wells

If you need a place to stop and work out what to do in Tunbridge Wells or meet some friends, a café is just what you need.

Alfresco or not, café culture is alive and kicking up its heels here with more than 60 cafés in Tunbridge Wells  to choose from.

All of the attractions have cafés attached or just next door to stop those tummies from rumbling so you can relax into the fabulous views. 

The village tearooms work hard to keep the standards high.  Gray’s Tearooms in Brenchley is a unique example of an award winning local café that uses local produce and is ensconced in the local community. 

This is a particularly good café stop for cyclists on a country tour as small groups are welcomed. Dogs are catered for too not to mention the reasonable prices – Go before it gets popular!

Top Cafés for a full English breakfast

Start the day off with a famous English breakfast in any one of the early riser cafes or lie in and enjoy a leisurely brunch.

Many venues offer all day breakfast so you don't miss out on this popular tradition, now often made with local delicacies and organic ingredients.

1. Java Bean is one such place, known for its coffee but also for its all day full English breakfasts.  It is ideally placed on the High Street amongst the lovely boutiques.

2. The Nutmeg Café in Royal Victoria Place is a highly rated eaterie, really English and quite quaint, frilly aprons and all.

3. Waterloo Tearooms is in a beautiful building in the historic town of Cranbrook where you can admire the windmill, jumble of old cottages and the gift shops. It is a place to linger and enjoy a full English or pastry in the village atmosphere.

4. Waterside Café at Hawkhurst is on the Hawkhurst Fishing Lake out in the High Weald countryside. Savour your menu choice whilst overlooking the pretty green lake on the decking outdoors in the country sunshine surrounded by trees or an atmospheric mist.

5. Knoxbridge Café is out near Sissinghurst and Frittenden.  Only open in the mornings, away from the tourist trail this is primarily a truck stop. Great fry-ups and cups of tea all round, the original ‘greasy spoon’!

6. Pleasant Café is an unassuming place next door to the station on Mount Pleasant in the middle of the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. They serve nice straightforward food, no fuss, no frills.

Top cafés for light lunch

Family owned cafés selling big homemade sandwiches, cake slices the size of doorstoppers and velvety soups are round every corner ready to take your order.

There are plenty of healthy options such as vegan, diabetic friendly and gluten free food, you don’t have to search hard and always ask.

Rusbridge Bakery is in Southborough and The Bicycle Bakery is on Camden Road in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Both make lovely bread and pastries on the premises. 

1. Rusbridge Bakery is a family owned enterprise that makes take-away sandwiches, tea and coffee too. Good place to go to stock up for a picnic lunch.

2. The Bicycle Bakery provides freshly baked goods and has appeared on Radio Kent’s Small Business Saturday Walkabout with our local MP.  It has seating in their larger and recently refurbished venue.

3. The Black Dog – Aussie style food and coffee is not far from the Bicycle Bakery so you’ll have to make a decision there..(or try both!)

4. Weeks Bakery Tea Room is in Goudhurst on the incline. Sip outside, sample a sausage roll and watch the world go by – if it can get up the hill! If you get a chance, ascend the church tower and see just how far the view goes.

5. Casa de Claudia – the one the locals don’t want you to know about is just off the High Street in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Picture a cobbled lane in the south of Portugal and this is close to what you will get. Famed for a friendly welcome and delectable paninis, visit here for a family secret!

6. Basil’s is at the other end of town, slightly more expensive  but Oh, so worth it!  This tiny café is in Fiveways near the Millennium clock and supplies mouth-watering cakes and other homemade goodies. 

7. The department store Fenwick’s, in Royal Victoria Place, do some surprisingly delicious light lunches. There are various cafés around the centre well-placed to help restore the weary shoppers. 

Themed Cafés in Tunbridge Wells

There are arts cafés, a craft beer café, a stand-up comedy café, music cafés  and even a comic book café where you can break yourself gently in to the shopping in Tunbridge Wells…. or hide away from it!

Here in Tunbridge Wells, you can find cafés with vintage themes, all pretty china and bunting with traditional afternoon tea and cake.

There are a couple of cycling themed cafés and more who are happy to cater to those on 2 or 3 wheels!

There is a hungry demand for deli-cafés, exciting emporiums of delicacies from Camden Road down to The Pantiles, out to Cranbrook and Goudhurst too.

There are some unique places to eat in privately owned department stores such as Hoopers and Barsleys of Paddock Wood.

You can even watch a film in Hawkhurst whilst having a cuppa at the cinema!

There are farm shops which have cafés; a great source of local produce. One of the tastiest ways to try before you buy right in the heart of the Wealden countryside where the palate greets the land.

If you want to contribute to social causes whilst visiting us there are a few charity cafés to spend your pennies in and help others simultaneously!

Ethical business is of great interest to Tunbridge Wellians being a Fair Trade Town.

Coffee shops in Tunbridge Wells

Coffee houses have sprung up for those not keen on the English cuppa although the wide variety of teas will surprise you.

There is a very large number of coffee outlets in Tunbridge Wells from Australian to Portuguese. Why not have a café crawl with friends and create your own top ten chart!  It would be impossible to include them all here as they are so good.

Coffee is of a very high standard in Tunbridge Wells and baristas are knowledgeable about their service and product.

Most tea rooms, cafés and coffee shops serve both tea and coffee.

Top Dessert Cafés in Tunbridge Wells

1. Juliet’s is a long standing favourite. A large, vintage themed café – just visit to find out what this means - you will enjoy the cake!

2. The Cake Shed in The Pantiles – great wodges of cake and hot chocolate or refreshing juice, what could be better?

3. Shrager’s Patisserie on The Pantiles owned by the famous Rosemary Shrager.  An elegant place to savour dessert and people-watch in this pedestrianised quarter.

4. Cocolicious in Cranbrook is also known for yummy cake and for being in a restful location. The pastel décor will appeal to those who like the gentle fifties look.

Café opening times

Note that most cafes close between 4 and 5 pm.  Please read our page on Afternoon Teas for details on where to go for a traditional and refined English nutriment.

Let us know your favourite stop-off @TWellsTourism and let’s share the love of café life in Tunbridge Wells.

Number of items:

Number of items: 80

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Add Woods Restaurant &  Bar to your Itinerary

    Woods Restaurant & Bar

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Open 7 Days a week.

    Type

    Restaurant

  2. Add Salomons Bistro to your Itinerary

    Salomons Bistro

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Popular Bistro, where you can enjoy superb food in an elegant setting.

    Type

    Restaurant

  3. Add Hotel du Vin & Bistro to your Itinerary

    Hotel du Vin & Bistro

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Take your choice from Afternoon Tea, Sunday Lunch, Dine Alfresco or Bistro dining at its heart warming, mouth-watering best!

    Type

    Restaurant

  4. Add The Spa Hotel to your Itinerary

    The Spa Hotel

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Cuisine is classically based modern British, complemented by an extensive and carefully selected wine list.

    Type

    Restaurant

  5. Add Trinity Bar & Cafe at Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre to your Itinerary

    Trinity Bar & Cafe at Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Cafe/bar handy for tea coffee snacks & sandwiches

    Type

    Café

  6. The Cake Shed

    Add The Cake Shed to your Itinerary

    The Cake Shed

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Cafe

    Type

    Café

  7. LoGi

    Add LoGi to your Itinerary

    LoGi

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Cafe serving gluten and dairy free options

    Type

    Café

  8. The Warren

    Add The Warren to your Itinerary

    The Warren

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Restaurant

    Type

    Restaurant

  9. Patisserie Valerie

    Add Patisserie Valerie to your Itinerary

    Patisserie Valerie

    RoyalTunbridge Wells

    Continental Patisserie

    Type

    Café

  10. Tuck In

    Add Tuck In to your Itinerary

    Tuck In

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Type

    Café

  11. Ted’s Room

    Add Ted’s Room to your Itinerary

    Ted’s Room

    Cranbrook

    Cafe serving tea coffee snacks and sandwiches

    Type

    Café

  12. Blends Coffee Co

    Add Blends Coffee Co to your Itinerary

    Blends Coffee Co

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Tea & Coffee Shop

    Type

    Tea & Coffee Shops

  13. Hot Pot Cafe

    Add Hot Pot Cafe to your Itinerary

    Hot Pot Cafe

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Cafe serving tea coffee snacks & sandwiches

    Type

    Café

  14. Bean

    Add Bean to your Itinerary

    Bean

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Sandwich and coffee shop cafe

    Type

    Café

  15. Sandhurst Tea Rooms

    Add Sandhurst Tea Rooms to your Itinerary

    Sandhurst Tea Rooms

    Sandhurst

    Cafe serving tea, coffee & snacks and afternoon tea.

    Type

    Tea Room/Coffee Shop

  16. Christ Church Cafe

    Add Christ Church Cafe to your Itinerary

    Christ Church Cafe

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Cafe serving snacks, sandwiches, coffee and tea

    Type

    Café

  17. The Brecknock Arms

    Add The Brecknock Arms to your Itinerary

    The Brecknock Arms

    Tunbridge Wells

    Pub / bar serving English food, seafood, snacks

    Type

    Pub/Inn

  18. McDonalds

    Add McDonalds to your Itinerary

    McDonalds

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Café

    Type

    Café

  19. Montagu's Sandwich Bar

    Add Montagu's Sandwich Bar to your Itinerary

    Montagu's Sandwich Bar

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Cafe serving tea coffee snacks & sandwiches

    Type

    Café

  20. Shrager's  Patisserie

    Add Shrager's  Patisserie to your Itinerary

    Shrager's Patisserie

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Light lunches with sandwiches made using home made bread and afternoon tea. Luxury hand-made chocolates and marshmallow made on the premises.

    Type

    Tea Room/Coffee Shop

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