In the sleepy Leicestershire village of Barkby there is an unusual sight, parked in the carpark of the Church View Nursey garden centre sits an old double decker bus. This in itself doesn’t sound unusual but what sets this bus apart from many other classic buses is the fact that this one has been converted into a wonderful cafe. The Mash Tun opened in July 2017 by Joe and Laura and who already have a loyal customer base.
The bus cannot be missed by passers-by as it sits near the roadside and on arrival there is plenty of parking, which is ideal when the café and garden centre gets busy. Walking over to the bus I found the staff to be very friendly and welcoming, as they talk to you from a hatch in the side of the bus which was once a window. The hatch is where you’ll find the vast menu of both hot and cold food, as well as doubling up for placing your order and on this occasion I ordered a bacon and egg roll with a pot of tea. At this point you also pay for your order either with cash or card payment.
Once your order has been placed, you head upstairs and take a pew on one of the up-cycled or handcrafted seating areas which cannot be denied is certainly unique. After a short wait the staff will bring your drinks up to you, followed shortly by your food order. Both of which I found were always delivered with a smile.
Tucking into my bacon and egg roll I found both the bacon and egg to be fresh and superb, whilst finding the tea plentiful thanks to a large vintage style pot and presented with a cup, saucer and a biscuit on the side. The food served is either homemade, locally sourced or Fairtrade which further reinforces the quality of the food and drink on offer. The atmosphere of the café was warm with other customers seeming happy and enjoying their orders too.
I would highly recommend the Mash Tun Café both for the great food and prompt service and it certainly would make a nice stop for anyone who is taking their classic car out for a run in the idyllic Leicestershire countryside.
Church View Nursery/Mash Tun Cafe
The Owners: Joe and Laura with their daughter Flo