UPDATE: In January 2018, Cafe@abantu moved from Bourn to Cambridge at a city centre location at 42 Hobson Street, CB1 1NL (where Stickybeaks used to be). Read my post on the new location here.
Café@abantu is a popular tearoom in Bourn and I’m relieved they managed to find another location in the same village near Cambridge. I wrote about them here a few years ago. They moved to Wysing Arts Centre in July 2016 and it’s really a perfect fit, with the same cosy seating inside and lots more space outside. They offer the same fantastic homemade cakes and treats as well a menu featuring hearty dishes with fresh ingredients (Fairtrade and locally sourced as much as possible).
Café@abantu isn’t just a run-of-the-mill village tearoom. It’s a destination in itself. You can walk along the trails and admire the outdoor sculptures by the artists at Wysing Arts Centre (ask for a map at the café) but their cakes and treats are definite highlights. Make sure you check out the cake counter at the till for their bakes of the day.
Their menu, which includes vegetarian and vegan options, is varied enough to keep it interesting whilst still offering staples such as toasties and soup.
Their specials board is always filled with tempting dishes. Even though I love their sandwiches, Paulo and I decided to go for something different and ordered from the specials menu.
I opted for the “superfood hash” featuring scrambled egg, feta and tomatoes on a bed of fresh spinach. The vibrant flavours – all high quality ingredients – complemented each other beautifully. This light and delicious dish ensured I had enough room for dessert.
Paulo really enjoyed the creamy mushroom stroganoff. It was served in a separate bowl and he spooned the stroganoff on toasted sourdough. I spotted Paulo scraping the bottom of the bowl for every last morsel… always a good sign!
Abantu’s carrot cake is one of my favourites but there was a chocolate cake I never tried before so I gave in to the temptation. It was dense and moist and just chocolatey enough not to be sickly sweet, even with the Cadbury square and Malteser on top (a bonus!).
Café@abantu, only a few miles from Cambridge, is a great escape from the madness of the city centre. There is plenty of parking around the back of Wysing Arts Centre. This charming, sun drenched café is the perfect place to relax with its mismatched furniture and friendly service. It can take a while to get served at peak times, but that’s because everything is made to order.
At present, there are a few awkward steps to negotiate upon entering the café but I understand there are plans to remedy this, as well as the path leading from the car park. However, there is another entrance on the side as well as a separate car park for those with mobility issues.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
Unless otherwise noted, I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images on this blog. Please contact me for permission if you wish to use, reprint or publish any material.
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At the cafe right now eating a Brie fig and ham toast is ok but not spectacular Flat white coffe passes the test good but really the best cafe in the east of England is stretching it a bit far !
Try the Leaping Hare at Wyken near Standen Bury St Edmonds Suffolk or wiverton manor cafe
Both far superior to this cafe.
I advise you to try them you will not be disappointed This cafe is standard like many others in respect of food
Thank you for reading my blog post. Your comment sounds as though you were satisfied with the food and coffee but do not think they were “award-winning”, as your expectations led you to believe. Cafe@abantu was indeed recently awarded Best Café – East of England. The awards were organised by “Britain’s Best Café – SIG Roofing”. Upon further research I noted that for these specific awards, votes were determined by customers, contractors from all trades and the general public who cast their vote at their local SIG Roofing branch. More info on the process here: https://www.britainsbestcafe.co.uk/competition I know for a fact that Cafe@abantu did not solicit any votes through social media or otherwise. They were pleasantly surprised that enough of their customers, etc took the time to cast their votes. As with any awards, there is always an element of subjectivity and not all people will agree, as this seems to be your case.
I will try to pop into those cafes you recommended the next time I am in those areas. However, I won’t be comparing the food, drink and service to award-winning standards, just to my own personal experiences, which is what my blog is all about. I suggest that you nominate the cafes that you personally think are deserving of awards (there are all kinds of awards out there), as I know independent establishments really do appreciate positive feedback and appreciation. It seems these days many people are quick to voice their criticisms but never seem to take the time to give good feedback when all goes well (which also forms part of my blog’s raison d’être).
I have been an Abantu customer for many years and I have always been impressed with their menu and fresh, locally sourced food. They are different than an average tea room/café. I hope you will give them another chance and perhaps next time – rather than “live commenting” on my blog – address your comments to the staff directly, who I know would have been more than happy to make sure you were well taken care of. I have not published your other comment about the neighbouring table as this seemed unnecessary.
Strange comment. Not exactly comparing like for like. The Leaping Hare Cafe and Wiveton Hall Cafe are both posh places. One of them is on a vineyard and has lobster on the menu!
I agree about the unfair comparison. I already heard of The Leaping Hare and it’s on my list of places to visit. I couldn’t find “Wiveton Manor Cafe” but it is likely, as you say, that the commenter is referring to Wiveton Hall Cafe which has received the accolade as “Britain’s best food” by Delia Smith.
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