A Welcome by the Water
Tucked away in a beautiful canal-side location in the pretty town of Bradford-on-Avon is this week's favourite virtual tour. There are many ways to discover the Lock Inn Cafe - from the quiet lane outside, from the towpath as you walk or cycle along, or from a barge as you journey along the Kennet and Avon canal. Whichever way you get there, you'll discover a very special location.
Start the tour from the road as you duck your head under the gateway in the shrubbery and flower festooned hedge. A charming outside eating space awaits, alongside the backdrop of the beautiful canal.
Sit and soak up the rays in fine weather, or head to the shade offered by the sheltering arms of the large willow tree. A canopied area ensures you can still stay outside to eat even when the unpredictable late summer weather presents a few showery challenges.
Although al fresco dining is popular, it must be hard to resist the chance to have a bite to eat on the colourful canal boat which can be seen moored alongside the cafe. It's a delightful space, decorated with cheerful flags and table coverings, and windows all around in case any more reminders are required of the glorious surroundings. Or perhaps you'll choose one of the three rustic summer houses to cosy up in, dotted amongst the trees in the leafy grounds.
Step inside the stone built Lock Inn itself and you'll find flagstone floors, wooden beams and antiques surrounding the long L-shaped seating area. As well as canal memorabilia, there's an eclectic array of retro signs, trinkets and curios covering every possible wall, window sill and ceiling.
Explained co-owner Dick, " As far as the bric-a-brac that adorns The Lock Inn and our bed and breakfast at Widbrook is concerned, I have a theory that if I sold each piece for a penny I could probably retire on the proceeds. We have lots of "stuff", most of which has been given to us over many years and, although not valuable, has many memories and sentimental value."
Rosie & Jim
Dick and Jane Barrow started their independent business after purchasing the then-derelict building in 1989. Some significant refurbishment work later, they opened their first cafe and bike hire shop the following year. What they've created is a wonderfully welcoming, appealing and quirky business offering a perfect English setting in which to enjoy fine food and drink.
And if you've had a look around and think the location looks a little familiar, you may have seen it before. An episode of Rose and Jim was filmed at The Lock Inn around 15 years ago which, Dick tells us, "still shows on TV from time to time, much to the amusement of customers and my grandchildren."
Find The Lock Inn at 48 Frome Road, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LE. Call them on 01225 868068. Find them on the web at thelockinn.co.uk
, on Twitter at @TheLockInnCafe
and Facebook at TheLockInnCafe
Date: 04 September 2015
Author: The 360 Company