At the heart of Lechlade’s historic town centre, and at the heart of their community, is the wonderful rustic-style café, Lynwood & Co.
Lynwood started in Australia in the early 90s, with Rob’s family farm dedicated to creating delicious preserves and jams. Whilst in the Cotswolds however, Rob became fascinated with a particular antiques shop in Lechlade, dreaming of opening up a café there. So, when the shop became available in 2014, he knew he had to take the chance.
This was the start of Lynwood & Co.
Since the grand opening in Lechlade in 2015, Lynwood & Co has expanded to Fairford and Burford, opening cafés in 2017 and 2018 respectively. With a head production kitchen for cakes in Hatherop, and plans to open even more locations, they are quickly becoming a staple of the Cotswolds.
Rob wanted to take the relaxed, easy atmosphere of Australian cafés and bring that to the UK. And with Lynwood & Co, they definitely succeeded. Simply put, the cafés are cool; a rustic, vintage aesthetic, with exposed brickwork, metal tables and delightful antique features such as their glass Fry’s Chocolate found in a local antique shop – a relic of the building’s previous use.
They’ve established themselves as the go-to for the people of Lechlade, hosting everyone who wants coffee, cakes or delicious breakfast/brunch/lunch. Friends sitting in the window watching the world go by, business meetings over coffee, dog walkers (and their dogs!) coming in from the cold to warm up. The staff, we noticed, are on a first name basis with many of the regulars that frequent the café every day; always quick to say hello to them and talk to them about their day. It really is no wonder that they have such a huge loyal following.
Well, that and the coffee is really bloody good – rich, deep and velvety. Gorgeous. And with Lynwood & Co offering a reusable takeaway cup as part of their branded merchandise (along with mugs, tea towels and aprons), customers have the option to make their takeaway coffee even more environmentally friendly!
As well as being very friendly to the customers that come into the café, the guys at Lynwood & Co are incredibly locally oriented; including taking part in charity drives and donations for the local schools and sponsoring the local football teams. But it’s not just local causes that they support; at the counter, there is a contactless card machine that allows customers to donate £1 to Harambee Schools Kenya, which provides lunch for five school children in Kenya for a week. Check out more here.
Where possible, Lynwood & Co also use fresh local produce from the surrounding Cotswold villages and towns; the local butchers supply their meat, fruit and veg are provided from a farm near Cricklade, and their fresh bread (available to buy as a loaf or as part of the menu) comes from Sourdough Revolution, a bakery only 30 seconds walk from the Lechlade café. The standard of the produce that they select is definitely evident when it comes to their menu; our breakfast was what can only be described as other-worldly.
I have never had scrambled eggs that good in my life. Ever. I genuinely cannot believe that I’m so enthusiastic about some scrambled eggs, but seriously; they were beautifully buttery, perfectly peppery and so, so silky. Served on toasted handmade sourdough with crispy bacon for Izaac (on a separate plate so that it didn’t touch my half) and literally the most perfect avocado in the world – us ‘millennials’ would search high and low for an avocado that good.
But, even the best breakfast in the world couldn’t beat our chosen pudding (yes, we had after-breakfast pudding, it’s just what we do). Homemade bread pudding, warmed up and sitting in a pool of maple syrup, served with a good serving of crème fraiche to cut through the sweetness. Sweet. Sticky. Fruity. Creamy goodness.It was something for the Cotswold Eats history books that’s for sure.
While Izaac guzzled down another delicious black coffee, something a bit different on the menu caught my eye… A dirty chai.
What’s a dirty chai? Well, apart from being my new go-to drink; a dirty chai is classic chai latte served with a shot of espresso. It’s dirty in all the right ways.
Lynwood & Co, has quickly become a very strong member of the local Cotswold communities, and the future only looks more and more bright for them as they plant more roots in the area. So whether you need somewhere to rest your weary legs after a walk around the beautiful countryside, or want to anchor down somewhere cosy with a warm coffee and delicious food, Lynwood & Co have you covered.
We can definitely see why Lynwood & Co were voted into the Top 10 Places in the Cotswold Eats Awards 2018.