It is not Egon Ronay, or Rick Stein, and doesn’t offer a choice of frothy coffee, but it is a takeaway café in the middle of nowhere and it is open – at least on some days during lockdown.
If your regular exercise is a cycle ride from Rye by the time you get out towards Tenterden you really fancy a cup of coffee – but everything is closed. It’s marvellous then to find the diner wagon at Willow Farm Shooting Ground is open on the B2080 between Appledore and Tenterden.
At this time of year, in the cold and wet, you have to stand avoiding the mud and puddles as best you can… and there is a big bin that’s also handy for resting your coffee cup.
Ian, the owner of the diner wagon, says he turns out and opens up for love – not money – and some days he doesn’t get any customers – but his costs are very low and he does his best.
This place is special not only because it’s open in lockdown, but also because of the welcome you get. Ian is very welcoming and can’t do enough to please his customers. He will cook to order anything you want from his menu of bacon, eggs, sausages and burgers – any way you want them – and he will add cream and marshmallows to hot chocolate (my favourite).
Another of the special features of the diner is the banter. It’s great. Every time you go there you will meet blokes – and you can chat about all the best subjects such as Brexit, Covid vaccinations, Boris, religion, sex – anything really as long as it’s dodgy and you can take a joke! I highly recommend the Willow Shooting Ground Diner – great people, great banter.
Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .