Nonsuch Pantry is slightly outside our normal area. We visited on the occasion of the rescheduled Marsden March, which was routed alongside Nonsuch Park.
Opening hours were advertised as 09:00-17:00 on weekdays and 08:30 to 17:00 at weekends.
The inside of the Pantry is small and cramped, with very limited indoor seating. On the other hand, outside seating is plentiful, with metal chairs and tables clustered beneath large umbrellas and a gazebo. The view is pleasant, comprising abundant trees and greenery.
At the time of our visit the clientele consisted mainly of family groups, including several dogs. Bowls were provided for thirsty pets.
The Pantry has a strong community feel, with abundant leaflets and posters advertising local events and services.
There was a prominent advert for ‘Pay it Forward’:
‘Purchase an extra hot drink and we will leave it on the ‘pay it forward’ board for someone to collect, no questions asked!
It’s all about random acts of kindness – the community looking after the community.’
We contributed a fifth coffee to the board.
The attractive counter was relatively well-stocked with cakes and offered the usual coffees, including the option of an extra shot (20p). We couldn’t see advertised a discount for those bringing their own cup.
We bought two large mugs of black Americano and two cakes for £10.30, reasonable value compared with similar outlets. The counter staff were efficient, friendly and informative and our order was delivered promptly to our outside table.
We found the coffee rather frothy and, initially at least, relatively weak for Americano. We wondered whether a single shot was standard for large mugs and smaller cups alike. The coffee was somewhat stronger at the bottom of the mug than at the top.
There was a marked disparity in the size of our slices of cake.
The polenta cake was very tasty, with a pleasant but delicate lemon flavour and generous lemon icing. The slice of coffee cake was more substantial, neither particularly dry nor particularly moist, but tasting sufficiently of coffee and boasting generous amounts of cream and icing.
There are no integral toilets inside the café, but toilet facilities are situated nearby, presumably under separate management. These are functional rather than comfortable.
A good choice of cakes; family- and dog-friendly; the ‘pay it forward’ scheme.
Limited space inside; the strength of the coffee.
Reviewed: 19 May 2019, 14:30
Reiviewers: TK-S; TD.
Our rating system
1 = Don’t bother
2 = Only if there are no alternatives
3 = Come back again
4 = Come often
5 = Always make a detour
5* = An unmissable experience