The Café Racer, Salthouse, Norfolk

14 June 2008

A special entry to mark this blog’s 61st description of a cosy coffee shop (any excuse). This time – for the first time – it’s not a coffee shop but a fabulous van.

The Café Racer, Salthouse, Norfolk

The Café Racer wanders the North Norfolk coast, but is found most days at Salthouse beach, near Cley.  It is a beautiful Citroën 2CV, bought by the owner complete with gas-powered coffee machine.  It’s all very romantic… perfect for a sumptuously hot mid-summer Saturday.

The Café Racer, Salthouse, Norfolk The Café Racer, Salthouse, Norfolk

The driver/owner/barista told me this is a full time job. Sitting on the beach working out how many cups this friendly chap has to sell to pay his way, I realised how deserving he is of an entry in this meagre blog. What a gutsy plan, and how pleased I am that little vans like this not only exist but thrive. Surely this kind of venture hasn’t been possible since the days of blacksmiths and weavers?

In fact coffee vans (and carts) are popping up around the country, with a number of companies offering to turn ordinary vehicles into something that produces a good cuppa.

The Café Racer, Salthouse, Norfolk

There are no chairs and few typical coffee shop comforts. But what you get is a friendly face, good hearty coffee freshly ground in the van (provided by local Norwich firm Wilkinsons) and, surely, the best view of any of the preceding 60 establishments listed here.

The Café Racer, Salthouse, Norfolk The Café Racer, Salthouse, Norfolk

No fixed abode, but regularly at Salthouse beach.

Salthouse beach

We visited on 14 June 2008.

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  • Duncan Walsh 30 September 2008 at 6:44 am

    Hey Tom, great entry, What a lovely little place Norfolk is with such romantic little things as coffee vans on deserted beaches. it makes me want to go home! beautiful! i love your photo of the landscape in the background with the van in the car park. its lovely. you are quite the photographer these days mate!

  • Sarah Wood 25 March 2009 at 10:09 pm

    On a bright and blusty day, whilst visiting my Aunt in Holt, we visited Salthouse and I had a riving cup of coffee on the beach. Friendly service and beautiful location.

  • Steven Mace 9 October 2009 at 8:21 pm

    The best coffee to be had any where in Norfolk, I visit Julian the owner on a very regular basis. Please visit him at Salthouse, one of the nicest and most genuine people I have the pleasure of meeting.

  • Ben 14 February 2010 at 11:21 am

    I saw this coffee van parked on the outskirsts of Holt in 2006 so my wife and I stopped for and bought two lattes . I’m sorry but it was a total disappointment; the coffee was bland and the milk had been steamed to boiling so we both got burnt tongues! It was so bad that we drove a little way along from there, stopped the car and threw the coffee in a bin. Maybe the owner was having a bad day? Despite this, next time we are in the area we may pluck up the courage and try another one in the hope that it has improved.

    • chris 8 December 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Oh dear Ben – I guess it was an off moment of some sorts – we give him 100/100 time, after time, after time, – so do try again. Julian is the best in Norfolk, if not the world!

  • Tom 1 May 2010 at 9:26 am

    The best coffee, the best service, one of the best locations in Norfolk. Who could ask for more. I’ve had many cups of hot flavoursome coffee from this van in all weathers.Visit and try some for yourself.

  • Ben 4 June 2010 at 9:27 am

    We’re back in Norfolk in June so will be trying his coffee again and will report back with total honesty.

  • Michelle 13 October 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hi we are visiting Salthouse for a week 30th Oct 2010 when is the coffee man there – we love coffee and would love to catch him

  • Cosy Coffee Shops 13 October 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Hi Michelle. Sorry, I’m not sure when he’s around. Hope you catch him.

  • Sue 26 February 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Where is the Coffee Man, now the Car Park has become reclaimed beach ?? I look him up when in Cley

    • Cosy Coffee Shops 27 February 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Sue, I’m afraid I’m not sure. If I find out, I’ll post a comment here.