Afternoon tea @ Café Mila

Café Mila

Café Mila

table and chairs

table and chairs

serving area

serving area

Last week I expressed my surprise that Godalming a small market town had no tea or coffee shops. I was corrected and told try Café Mila.

Last Friday I tried to find Café Mila. I was told go down a side street to What Not Antiques. This I did, only to find a primary school and nursery, but no coffee shop.

I walked along a little path, headed back the way I had come. An open door, within piled up tables and chairs, from the outside what looked like a church hall.

I stuck my head in the door, and saw it was a coffee shop. They were closed, but invited me in to take a look around. I was there chatting for a couple of hours.

I said I would try and make it the following Friday, as Tuesday was farmers market in Guildford and I did not fancy carrying what I had bought all the way to Godalming.

Today was Tuesday, farmers market in Guildford. It was a very hot day. After excellent lunch at The Keystone, I decided instead of heading straight home, I would hop on the bus to Godalming and have afternoon coffee and a cake in Café Mila.

Godalming has an excellent food shop called Cook (as does Farnham). They do the most delicious cheesecakes. Not cheap, but then nothing in Cook is cheap, but always of excellent quality.

They asked did I wish to nominate anyone for the Cook Great Briton Award? I said no. Then thought why not nominate Veg aka Martha Payne and her excellent NeverSeconds food blog. I explained she had done more than most to stimulate interest in food and had even stimulated a Brazilian girl Isadora Faber to write Diário de Classe a verdade about problems at her school.

I finally made it to Café Mila. I was greeted to a lovely sight. Lots of tables and chairs outside, nearly every one occupied.

It was too hot for coffee, I decided on tea, a pot of Assam tea. And a cake.

I was surprised no cakes on show, though as I learnt later, had I been there lunchtime, the counter would have been full of lunch dishes and cakes, now it was the end of the day and little left.

I had a choice of about half a dozen cakes. By the time I had been told what was on offer, I asked for a repeat, as I had forgotten the beginning.

I decided on honey and pecan cake.

I sat outside and the tea and cake was brought out to me. I was surprised to find the cake was warm.

The cakes are freshly baked. Had I had lunch, made from local, fresh ingredients.

When I passed the local greengrocer, he told me they buy from him.

They have ice cream. I am pleased to say not Loseley ice cream, which is not quality ice cream and does not come from Loseley House as most people are mislead to believe. It is part of Häagen-Dazs and comes from a factory in Wales. Instead Jude’s ice cream which comes from a dairy on a farm near Winchester.

As I was eating my ice cream a little girl came and sat at an adjacent table and struck up a conversation. She wanted to know why I had not strawberry like her. I had vanilla. How she knew I do not know, unless she is a regular and the pots are different colour.

I asked her if she liked the coffee bar? She told me yes. Asked if Costa was better, she said no! Obviously a person of good taste.

Inside very open and airy, pleasant décor. More seating upstairs (a quiet area). Dogs and children are welcome, but will be asked to leave if ill-behaved. I noticed a lovely little corner for children, with child-size chairs. Leading off the upper level, a studio. Very impressive toilets. Everywhere spotlessly clean.

Dotted around lots of books. Some quite hefty (and expensive) cookery books, including one on Nelson Mandela’s garden.

Products on sale included tea and jars of either jam or honey (I did not check).

The tea and coffee is not fair trade, though they can tell you where it is sourced from.

My pot of tea and cake came to £4-40, it would have been £4-20 if I had chosen coffee (though depends on the coffee). Far better value, and far better quality, than Costa where you are lucky to see change of a fiver for poor quality coffee and factory cakes.

Unlike Costa, Café Mila is offering a lot more than poor quality tea and coffee and factory cakes: freshly made soups, freshly prepared lunches with locally sourced ingredients, freshly made juices and smoothies, freshly baked cakes, organic teas and coffees, a selection of wines (these I did not check out). All served in a very pleasant ambience.

Godalming has two Costa Coffee shops and one Caffè Nero (with a Starbucks seeking planning consent for an empty unit).

When there is a coffee shop of character and excellence, I am baffled why anyone would wish to frequent somewhere like Costa with its soulless corporate character, awful coffee and factory cakes.

We are seeing a growing desire for local businesses of character, they enhance the character of a town and benefit the local economy. That is why Totnes, North Laines in Brighton, are popular and why local people fight tooth and nail encroachment by corporate chains like Costa, unfortunately out-of-touch corrupt local councils are not listening.

Due to its location down a side street, few in Godalming seem to know of its existence.

Two vicious and very unpleasant fake reviews have been posted on TripAdvisor either by trolls or rivals that bear no resemblance to reality. Made even more suspicious when same format of name used, located in Godalming and their one and only review posted on TripAdvisor was an attack on Café Mila. TripAdvisor is losing all credibility when it fails to root out these fake reviews.

One Response to “Afternoon tea @ Café Mila”

  1. keithpp Says:

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