An extraordinary cafe for an extraordinary church. Praised by the Financial Times as probably among the nicest in England, the Cloister Cafe offers treats such as smoked salmon, pies, scones with cream and jam, and a selection of monastic beers, all to be enjoyed at a table in the 15th century cloister. The church claims to be London’s oldest, in continuous use since 1143, and has featured in numerous films and TV programmes including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Sherlock Holmes and Muppets: Most Wanted.
The churches featured here are just a selection of some our favourite church cafes: we can assure you that there are many more excellent options for you to visit and many more excuses for cake, if you need one!
The coffee shop overlooks the nave and chancel and offers quality coffee, tea, cakes, homemade scones and freshly made sandwiches in beautiful surroundings. The church has been described as ‘out of the ordinary for scale as for style’. It was built between 1843 and 1869 to the designs of a local Warwickshire architect in collaboration with the vicar, and enlarged at the end of the 19th century to make it one of the biggest in England with a soaring interior.
The Michaelhouse is an award winning cafe, offering an excellent menu created with locally sourced produce. Situated in the oldest part of Cambridge, it is the perfect pit stop for explorers and locals alike. St Michael’s was built in 1324, the first college chapel in Cambridge and the model for others in Cambridge and Oxford. A cup of tea on the modern mezzanine level enables visitors to enjoy the bright, peaceful space and overlook the large chancel, once the setting for university debates, college sermons, and lectures.
Visitors can enjoy breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea under the vaulted ceilings or in the garden. Locally sourced organic food, Fairtrade coffee and an exceptional setting make this a unique dining experience and a chance to immerse yourself in the church’s exciting history, from the trials of the Oxford Martyrs to the burial of Royalist soldiers, the birth of the Oxford Movement, and the establishment of Oxfam.
A gem in the centre of Hereford. Handmade, locally sourced food is cooked on site every day, and a daily changing menu will be sure to suit your appetite whether you’re popping in for a quick coffee or a hearty home cooked meal. The food has excellent reviews and the cafe has received national awards for its design, being a great example of modern intervention in a 14th century listed building. Explore the church, if you look closely at the roof beams you may even spot a naughty little Tudor woodcarving!
The stunningly dramatic view across the cathedral from the mezzanine makes it a must visit. The cafe is fully accessible, licensed and offers freshly baked cakes, sandwiches, and soup, perfect for enjoying in this magnificent building. As a 20th century building the awe inspiring space is hard to overstate and its stature extends to the tower which stands 154m above the Mersey, accessible by lift. The cathedral also has a lovely restaurant.
The Refectory was built on the site of the original monks dining hall in the medieval cloister. Thankfully the dining experience has moved on a little since the Middle Ages, and you will now find a delicious selection of homemade cakes, scones, savouries, and hot and cold drinks in a setting that combines the best of medieval and modern architecture. Norwich Cathedral is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe and has a great variety of treasures to explore.
The Wild Olive Tree cafe trades ethically in high quality produce, including delicious coffee, scones and soups. The cafe shares its profits with Glasgow City Mission and Bethany Christian Trust, with whom it runs a number of social schemes to help the most vulnerable factions of Glasgow’s community.
The Tower Cafe offers a warm Benedictine welcome to all its customers. Situated within the glorious setting of the parish church, the cafe sits at the geographical heart of this Welsh market town. With its garden available during the summer, the church offers the only available green space open to the public where you can while away an afternoon watching the world go by.
The Quaker Cafe is located within Friends House and offers a large variety of hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, quiches, cakes and snacks. True to Quaker values, the cafe is committed to serving locally sourced, organic and Fairtrade food that is responsibility sourced as well as delicious. It is one of the best cafes in London.