UPDATE: 27/07/2017 – see bottom of post.
UPDATE 04/07/2016 – see bottom of post.
You don’t have to be a vegetarian, vegan or be gluten intolerant to enjoy what Offbeet has to offer. It’s based inside Chesapeake Mill in Wickham, which is also worth a visit in itself as it has an eclectic mix of ‘up cycled’ (is that the word nowadays?) furniture, antiques and bric-a-brac for the home and garden on a couple of floors and it’s always nice to have a mooch around.
My first visit to Offbeet was whilst cycling around the country lanes of Hampshire and of course one has to stop now and again for sustenance. The savoury muffins on the counter did indeed look divine and I’d already had cake at a stop before so it was a toss up between that or a sweet muffin. Well of course the sweet won over the savoury which it does every time with me. Sitting outside in the sunshine by the River Meon, I enjoyed a delicious coconut vegan & gluten free muffin which was very fresh and tasty.
I was very pleased with my flat white which I wasn’t too surprised to find out was from Winchester Coffee Roasters, the same coffee which Springs Café in West Meon had – alas, they have gone :'( . I almost bought a bag to take home with me but they only have whole beans and I haven’t got time to faff around grinding beans in the morning (plus I had no way of carrying it home). I’ll stick with the Attibassi coffee I buy in Chichester for now.
I vowed to return one day for lunch with my husband Geoff. The only dish suitable for him would have been the bubble & squeak so I was disappointed to find that it was no longer on the menu. Apparently it’s for the winter only. Geoff’s more of a meat and two veg kind of person and doesn’t care for chickpeas, hummus and salads. I’m sure had he tried something he would be pleasantly surprised and would have enjoyed it.
I think everything on the menu I could have eaten so I found it quite difficult to decide. I really wanted to try the cloodles, I keep seeing this everywhere now ever since I saw the gadget to make them on the television show ‘Big Box, Little Box‘ a few weeks ago. I’m not a fan of courgettes but they did look good, like noodles. Actually I don’t like noodles either, but I’m willing to try them 😉 .
I chose the smashed avocados on Offbeet’s own home-baked superfood bread with seeds – which tasted superb – with the chilli flakes giving it that little kick, topped with a fresh salad of mixed leaves, extra virgin olive oil, coriander and lime and a sprinkle of pistachios. Very nice indeed.
Again I had a nice flat white, three shots this time seeing as that’s what I normally had at Springs.
Geoff just had a strawberry & almond muffin which I had a taste of and it not only had ground almonds but also chunks of them too.
After my avo’ I had a courgette lime & raspberry muffin which looked very pretty with a drizzle of icing on top and then sprinkled with petals.
It tasted as good as it looked too.
We sat inside in the older part of the mill as it was rather a gloomy day and chillier than it had been recently. Little jam jars were on the tables with fresh wild flowers in them, newspapers to read. There’s another room with seating which contains the counter and the rather tempting display of cakes and where packs of coffee and blenders are available to buy.
The mill has a history, the timbers in the construction of the building are from the United States frigate, Chesapeake which was captured by the Royal Navy during the war of 1812. There is a special ‘Heritage Room’ with the history of the mill and of Wickham which is very interesting.
We rather greedily took home a cake each to enjoy later that evening. Cherry & almond muffin which was similar to Geoff’s strawberry & almond with the chunks of almond but also topped off with masses of ‘cream’ (obviously not really cream, I’ve no idea what they use, I’m guessing soya).
And a slice of blueberry drizzle cake topped with blueberries.
Everything is made fresh on the premises, the staff are very pleasant, friendly and helpful. They have cooking courses available and come September they are hoping to have evening meals with live music. Sounds like a great idea.
Definitely a place worth paying a visit so long as you’re not fussy like Geoff and as I can’t go with him if anyone fancies lunch there with me do let me know 😉 It’s just around the corner from Wickham Square where we have reviewed Greens and Lilly’s.
Return – yes I already have, three times! This will now be my ‘go-to’ café when in Wickham.
Living life, loving cake
I call in now and again to Offbeet mainly whilst cycling and to purchase a coffee and cake.
Today we had a delicious lunch. We had the ‘Totally Beet Naked Burger’ which is “A bbq beetroot, sunflower seed and rosemary burger, melted cultured cashew cheddar, salad leaves, pickles, crunchy mango slaw, heritage tomatoes and a portobello mushroom bun. Served with rosemary polenta chips,refined sugar free BBQ sauce and smoked salt”. The polenta chips were amazing.
We were quite full after all that so we shared a strawberry, almond & ginger cake.
It’s still an excellent place to eat, delicious food, great presentation and friendly staff.
If you want lunch there I suggest you book ahead!
UPDATE 04/07/2016 :
Now called Offbeet and is fully vegan and gluten free. We revisited last week and it still offers fantastic tasting food all beautifully presented. Definitely worth a visit.