Wed, 17 Jul 2019
THE Hog & Hedge is a café that offers a different experience in Northbrook Street, in the centre of Newbury.
The artisan café is brimming with locally-sourced quality food, from full-English breakfasts, and sandwiches to sumptuous looking cakes.
Owners Rupert and James have gone to great lengths to ensure that everything is supplied fresh to the premises – bread comes from Shepherds Bakery in Chieveley, meat from Thatcham Butchers and the eggs are from Beechwood Farm, Hampstead Norreys. They also ensure that all the packaging for takeaways is compostible.
They have a direct relationship with their coffee supplier Pedro in Brazil and are involved in community projects over there. The coffee beans are shipped over to Clifton Coffee Roasters in Bristol where they are ground and then sent to Newbury.
Rupert and James opened their first café on the A303 at Okehampton, a popular holiday route for those trekking down to the West Country.
“We wanted people to enjoy the experience of stopping off at a roadside café,” explains Rupert. “We wanted to make sure they were receiving quality products, different from the usual run-of-the-mill fare and in a pleasant environment.”
It is an approach that they have repeated in Newbury. The premises have been thoughtfully laid-out with different areas, depending on what the customer is looking for.
There are wooden tables and chairs downstairs and if you keep going to the end, there is a small play area for toddlers.
“Parents with young children want to be able to relax and drink their coffee knowing that their child is happy and has something to do and we think this is a unique offering in Newbury,” says James.
Indeed, when we visited, a father and son were taking advantage of the area, with one able to drink his coffee while the other happily played with the toys provided.
“It gets very busy here, especially mid-morning,” says James. “People like to meet up and have a coffee while the children mill around and play, without bothering other customers.”
Upstairs is different again, with the front area overlooking the street, laid out with large leather sofas and coffee tables with newspapers to read, so if you want a quiet, leisurely coffee, this is the place to be – it has the vibe of a hotel lounge.
The rest of the upstairs is laid out with more tables and chairs. The café is also dog-friendly, with a water bowl placed just inside the front door.
“We want everyone to feel welcome here,” says Rupert. “It’s important that our customers can relax and enjoy a quality coffee as well as some delicious freshly-prepared food.”
As the door opens and a group of happy shoppers enter, you feel that the business partners have created a hit formula.