Local café and bakery coming to the Farmstead at Linmere

 A selection of the dishes available at Café in the Park

  • A local independent café with its own in-house bakery has become the first business to take premises at the soon-to-be-opened Farmstead at new urban village Linmere, next to Houghton Regis.

Café in the Park, which will use ingredients from local farms and suppliers, will open its doors in the New Year, offering residents of Linmere, Houghton Regis and the surrounding towns and villages a ‘destination' meeting place.

The family-friendly cafe will be the focal point at the Farmstead, the new village's community hub, which will also offer a hall available for a range of activities, an adventure playground, dog grooming parlour and other outdoor-related retail outlets.

Café in the Park's philosophy of serving wholesome homemade food created from locally sourced ingredients has proven very popular at its owners' similar ventures in Hertfordshire and Greater London. They own and run successful outlets in Rickmansworth, Pinner and Radlett.

The café, which will be employing local staff, will be decorated in an eclectic style of both vintage and modern furniture and tableware. It will have an outside terrace seating and a natural adventure playground for children.

Avocado and poached eggs

Café in the Park produces plenty of its fresh ingredients at its farm in Radlett, Wild Farm, and will be taking an allotment at Linmere, meaning that some of its produce will be as locally sourced as possible. Other food will be sourced from ethical regional suppliers. At other Café in the Park venues fruit and veg is delivered daily by a family run business in Covent Garden, dairy, eggs and meat come from local farms and merchants, craft beer is from a microbrewery in Watford, wines are from Berkshire and soft drinks from Cambridge. 

As well as offering a range of beverages, its lunch menu is likely to include unusual homemade dishes such as London burrata with focaccia, and pea and sorrel soup alongside more traditional lunches, snacks and breakfasts. To complement the café there is also a bakery with delicious fresh breads, cakes and pastries baked daily to eat in or to take away.

Café in the Park owner Julie Wright said, “We're very much looking forward to becoming part of the new Linmere community and are passionate about replicating the spirit and vibe created at our other cafes. We're one happy family and our aim is to make sure people feel welcome, can meet friends and enjoy a relaxing time enjoying our food and drinks. A sense of belonging is very important to us, not just among the staff and customers, but with the wider community providing the ingredients for all our dishes.”

Linmere development director Nigel Reid said, “We're delighted to have found such passionate people with a strong ethos to run the café. The Farmstead will be the hub of the Linmere community and the café will ensure it is a thriving, bustling atmosphere with a real sense of place, not only for the residents of the new village, but for those living nearby. Our aim is that Linmere is not a village in isolation but will blend in and become part of the wider community.”

Around a third of Linmere's 650 acres will not be developed, with 90 acres of this being formal public open space. The rest will be managed land, allowing natural habitats to thrive

Residents are already moving into Linmere's new homes, of which around 5,150 homes will be built over the next 15 years by the Houghton Regis Management Company (HRMC), a consortium comprising master planners Lands Improvement, Aviva Investors, and the Diocese of St Albans.

New Schools — Linmere will see the creation of two brand new state of the art primary schools and an extension to Houghton Regis' existing Thornhill Primary school. A ten-form secondary school will open in September 2022. 

Thornhill Primary — The current block at Thornhill accommodates all year groups at present, but it will become the infant block, accommodating nursery to Year 1 with a capacity 180. The new block will become the junior block and will accommodate Years 2-6  with a total capacity of 450. 

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