Less then an hour by train from London, the picturesque and quaint village of Goring attracts many visitors. Situated on the banks of the Thames, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the Thames Walk, feed the ducks and watch the boats go by. A popular spot for walkers, cyclists, tourists and locals to stop for lunch or coffee and a cake is Pierreponts Cafe which by the bridge which connects Goring to Streatley. I often visit Goring and make sure I always book a table.
Pierreponts is run by husband and wife team, Caroline and Stuart. Stuart is an experienced chef and Caroline a cake maker by background. They opened Pierreponts in 2009 and it quickly became the place to go. They have a real passion for food and follow the true meaning of going local. Most of what they use and sell is made by themselves, from the smoking of salmon and freshly baked bread to scrumptious cakes. Everything else is sourced from local suppliers. They make an excellent cup of coffee from Happy Donkey in Reading, Cupcakes from Molly's Moments in Henley and Honey from Oxfordshire's Brightwell Bees.
On a sunny day, I love to sit outside with the daily paper, sip a coffee and watch the comings and goings. When the weather is a little cooler, I've even sat under the awning with one of the blankets they provide to keep your legs warm.
Inside, you'll always receive a warm welcome from Caroline or one of the lovely staff. The lively atmosphere, eclectic mix of tables and chairs and imaginative wallpaper provide a great ambiance. There are even small gifts you can buy if you're looking for a present.
Pierreponts make a great breakfast. Last time I visited I had the toasted soda bread with homemade jam. They make the jam from fruit brought in by loyal locals who receive tea and cake return. With Irish parents, soda bread has always been popular in our house and Pierreponts don't disappoint. My Dad had the bacon sandwich. When it arrived, it looked great, crammed full of bacon and smelling inviting but perhaps not much different to what you could get elsewhere. On tasting, it's another matter. The smoky bacon was full of flavour and the thick cut white bread had been toasted and lightly panfried in butter. I'm definitely going to have one all to myself next time.
Lunch is another treat at Pierreponts with the menu changing regularly and displayed on a large blackboard. In the past I've enjoyed some amazing sandwiches with great combinations of fillings. You could also try one of their savoury tarts or soup of the day.
It would be a great challenge to visit Pierreponts and not sample one of the many fantastic cakes on offer. A delicious end to a meal or just a treat with a cup of tea on a relaxed afternoon.
Since opening, Pierreponts has gone from strength to strength and it's popularity means that you really need to book to avoid missing out, even if it's just for tea and cake in the morning or late afternoon. If you haven't had the chance to book a table then don't worry, you can pick up food for a picnic, buy some freshly baked bread or pre order food for a party as they do catering as well.
Pierreponts is one of my top places to eat and if you visit, I'm sure you'll add it to your list too.