Lynton and Lynmouth are two of my favourite places in North Devon. The villages have been frozen in time and walking around the quaint streets, browsing in the art galleries and taking in the incredible views have me returning as often as time will allow. It is where Exmoor meets the sea; you’re surrounded by ancient woodlands, the dramatic and rugged valley of the rocks and gorgeous deep valley gorges. After enjoying all the stunning scenery and fresh ocean air, there is only one place I head to refuel and it is Charlie Friday’s.
Charlie Friday’s is the sort of place you walk into and your troubles are left at the door. You’re welcomed in with a smile from the baristas, stunning cakes are on display and an inviting sofa awaiting you is around the corner. Each time I pop in, the character of the place, the people and the delicious food charms me and an hour could quite easily turn into a day. The warm and cosy interior is a world away from doilies and netted curtains, it’s a retreat of calm with a quirky and captivating vibe. It’s gems like these that are the reason I will never go to a chain again, by supporting and choosing independent eateries for your coffee or bite to eat, you’re supporting the locals and allowing for more places like this to exist. The trendy and fresh Charlie Friday’s will leave you feeling great after one visit, trust me, it’s worth the trip.
After a warm welcome through the door and to your seat, the ladies (and occasionally men) that bring Charlie Friday’s to life get to work on making you a refreshing drink. These gals know their coffee, whether you like a flat white or super frothy cappuccino, it is always made to perfection. Now, good coffee takes time and I don’t mind waiting a little while longer when I know it’s going to be incredible, there’s no burnt beans here, or spilt one’s for that matter! 😉
Charlie Friday’s is out of the ordinary, in the best possible way. The quirky artwork on the walls will brighten your day and the lime yellowy wash around the place is like rays of sunshine. If ever a room could cheer you up, this would be it! Its alternative and exciting. Its welcoming, friendly and you’ll immediately feel at home – who’d of thought a décor could do that? You can slump into a comfortable sofa after a long walk, grab a bean bag to take outside and relish the sunshine or gather round one of the miss match tables. There are fresh flowers, fairly lights, comfortable cushions and locally made candles on the table, this is sounding like the kind of place you want to be, right?
It’s not your standard sandwiches here, although you can get them if you ask. The menu offers something different to what you would usually expect in a café. Its indulgent, hearty, healthy and in some cases a little naught; customised waffle stacks which can be sweet or savoury, homemade cakes that are beautifully decorated and scrumptious, sandwiches with doorstop bread and generous fillings, and fragrant and flavoured soups, curries and chilli’s. You really are spoilt for choice and you’ll want to return several times to try everything that takes your fancy! The food, atmosphere and people within these walls are somewhat addictive and it more than delivers on the expectation of a humble café. Vegetarians and vegans are also well considered, with hearty portions of mouth-watering meat and dairy free meals, and gluten free options available too. What is even better, it’s all homemade, fresh and dangerously moreish.
The steamy, velvety latte I had the pleasure of drinking was made with the ethically sourced beans from the South West Extract Coffee Roasters who are based in Bristol. They pride themselves in hand roasting the beans in their well-loved and cared for vintage roasters, named ‘Betty’, ‘Bartha’, and ‘James’. I wonder which one perfected my cup? The small team of 20, who are on the quest to drink, breathe, roast, grind and share only the greatest coffee, have their superb beans in the funky Charlie Friday’s for all visitors to savour.
If coffee is not your thing, don’t worry, there are plenty of other quench thirsting liquid delights for you to try. A huge range of teas, from herbals, fruit to your classic builders. Or treat yourself to a creamy milkshake, a refreshing smoothie or the locally brewed Fat Belly Ale.
The wishing gate
Charlie Friday’s is where food and drink dreams come true, and the granted wishes don’t stop with your stomach or taste buds. The cute and humble wishing gate is filled with visitor’s dreams, aspirations and hopes, you could spend hours reading through everyone’s thoughts. Be sure to add your wish to the gate on your visit.
The events at Charlie Friday’s are varied, from art classes, Indian and Chinese nights to the resident Lynmouth sock maker spinning not only his alpaca wool, but also funky vinyl beats until the early hours of the morning. Day or night, you are in for some fun with a visit to this quirky café.
All shapes and sizes are welcome. With a jar of help yourself doggy treats, your pooch won’t mind stopping here either.
With games, colouring books, guitars, and knitting, children and adults alike will be well entertained. Grab some friends and head down for a classic game while enjoying great food, drink and ambience.
Have you had the pleasure of visiting Charlie Friday’s on your travels? Let me know what your favourite dish was so I can try it too!