A super friendly café serving satisfying home cooking with a quirky edge
Upside: Sylvia’s eyelash-curling lemon drizzle cake and other baked delights.
Downside: Its a trek for me from Guildford but one I am prepared to take!
Flipside: This years (2015) award winner for best cafe in Surrey from Surrey Life Magazine!
Tips: On a sunny day you can eat al fresco, with a lovely view over the green.
Sylvia met Jeremy when he worked at her family’s bakery. One thing led to another and they are now legally united with three lovely kids. The Park Bakery where their romance started was a legend in Wandsworth, serving locals and celebrity chefs for 32 years. Foodies who fell in love with miniature meal canapés from finger-food queen Lorna Wing (mini burger buns, bagels and other tiny delights) will be impressed to learn that they were made for her in this bakery. When Sylvia’s dad retired they wanted a fresh start out of London. They happened upon the Green Rooms; luckily they have the right mix of great home cooking and personality to make it a success.
Sylvia is in charge of the kitchen and Jeremy does front of house. Charming and relaxed, he makes everyone feel at home. My son opted for the all-day breakfast (£6.95). Everything was freshly cooked to order – and local. Sausages and bacon come from Flower Farm Shop down the road and eggs are local too. The panini with goat’s cheese and caramelised onion (£5.95) was tempting, as was the Cumberland sausage and baby-spinach leaf sandwich (£4.95) but I was in the mood for soup. Sylvia had freshly made mushroom soup (£5.95); instead of bread I had a spinach salad with a tasty homemade balsamic dressing on the side. It was creamy, earthy, flavour-packed and delicious. The food ethos here is ‘humble, rustic and honest’: Sylvia’s words but I can vouch for their veracity. Refreshingly, these restaurateurs are happy to accommodate patrons’ preferences.
Whilst enjoying your meal, peruse the cookbooks on the shelves, which provide inspiration for the menu, or take a look at some of the unusual vinyl toys Sylvia collects. The décor here is a quirky mix of country-style and hip city café, bringing a bit of London edginess to Surrey.
Last time I popped in for a coffee they had just launched their summer menu, which included salmon fish cakes with salad and pasta pesto with chicken (both £8.95). They also do a homemade tomato and vegetable sauce for paste penne (£4.95, which kids love) from a secret family recipe.
Sylvia’s started baking with her dad when she was eight, so it’s not surprising that she’s a dab hand. I sampled lemon drizzle, which is eyelash curling in a good way (£2.95 per slice), and whoopie pies (£2.45) – who can resist two delicious sponge discs held together with fresh cream? Other homemade treats include white chocolate cake, rocky road and cream teas with clotted cream and freshly baked scones. Following in her father’s footsteps Sylvia will also create a teatime feast of miniatures for your party (book in advance). Try a full spread of mini filled bagels, sandwiches, cakes and other gorgeous finger foods for a really special treat (£19.50 per person).
The menu here is evolving and Sylvia and Jeremy are keen to listen to their customers and try new things. They hold barbeques, supper evenings and other events: like their facebook page to see what’s coming up next.
Tel: 01883 740 407