Today I discovered the most family friendly and generally amazing little place called ‘Bivouac’. It’s hard to categorise exactly what it is, as just calling it a cafe doesn’t actually do it justice.
It is situated quite close to Masham in the beautiful dales and it takes around 40 minutes to get there from Harrogate. I suppose it is a bit of a drive but my goodness, it is worth it! Bivouac describes itself as cafe, walking and activity destination and luxury camping (It has yurts, bunk barns and luxury woodland shacks as well as hot tub and massage facilities!)
The cafe itself is approached through a fantastic little reception area and gift shop. It is immediately welcoming and laid back, the sign, ‘Muddy boots are welcome’ really sets the scene.
The cafe itself is actually achingly cool in an eco friendly, luxury ‘glamping’ kind of way, with a mixture of blackboard signs, unique vintage finds, the most amazing light fittings and beautiful wooden joinery on view.
What sets it aside for me is the attention to detail in appealing to the family market. There is a special family room, set down a few stairs which houses more beautiful toys than my own house, all hidden away in a lovely chest for your children to discover. There is a rocking horse, a dolls house, trains, lego, walkers and so much more.
There is a microwave for customers to use so you don’t have the irritating battle with the ‘health and safety’ brigade, and bottles of tap water and glasses for you to help yourself. The scenery out of the window is breathtaking and although I only peeked out of the window (it was bitterly cold today) I spotted a lovely garden complete with rubber tyre horse swings.
The attention to detail continues with the baby changing facilities (there are 2, one in the disabled loo and a second in the shower block) The facilities are immaculate and they’ve even gone to the trouble of providing a basket of toys, babywipes and eco nappy sacks for customers to use.
The food served in the cafe is both delicious and reasonably priced. Be warned, this is not fast food; each dish is homemade and cooked to order, but believe me, it is worth the wait! The children’s menu is around £3.50-£4.50 although they will happily do a half portion of any adult meal at half price.
They do a delicious sounding breakfast menu until 11.30am and I can’t wait to go back to sample that!
The Bivouac runs all sorts of events from foraging sessions, a forest school, climbing and Christmas crafts (see our events calendar for more info)
On a warmer day, I’d recommend walking off your lunch around the neighbouring druids temple (a folly built during the 1700’s) The bivouac has a bug hunt card and a hedgehog trail for the little ones to do as along the way.
The Bivouac really is a hidden gem, it’s the sort of place that as you leave, you can’t wait to tell your friends about it! Bivouac, near Ilton. HG4 4JZ